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Nita 2009

Other Red Blends from Priorat, Spain
  • RP92
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Winemaker Notes

Like the dark red ruby the color of this wine resembles, Nita is a rare gem from the Spanish appellation of Priorat. From a region typically known for its concentrated barrel-aged reds, this wine is one of only a few jovens, or non-barrel aged wines, made within this celebrated appellation. Uneffectedby the toasted notes and wood tannins that barrel aging can produce, the 2009 Nita is perfect for those who want to taste the fruit and terroir of a wine in its purest form. Brain child of young female winemaker Meritxell Pallejà, this wine retains all of the characteristic mineralityof Priorat, while better preserving the complex fruit flavors of the old-vine Garnachaand Cariñena. Containing a primary bouquet of ripe red berries, violets and flint, this wine also has beautiful notes of tobacco, chocolate and fresh cream. As the wine also has lower alcohol thanmost Priorat wines, the 2009 Nita is fresh and easy to drink, with good acidity and juicy tannins that support a long finish.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
The Wine Advocate

The 2009 Nita is a rare, value-priced Priorat that over-delivers in a big way. This unoaked cuvee, made by Meritxell Palleja from purchased fruit, is a blend of 45% Garnacha, 35% Carinena, with the balance Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. It displays a fragrant bouquet of liquid minerality, lavender, incense, black cherry, and black raspberry. This leads to a concentrated, forward, savory offering with layers of ripe fruit, succulent flavors, good acidity, and excellent freshness. Although it has the stuffing to evolve for several years, it can be approached now. It is a great introduction to the DO of Priorat.

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Nita
Nita, , Spain
Nita
Nita is a rare gem from Priorat, a region typically known for its concentrated barrel-aged reds, because it is one of the only unoaked "vino jovens," or young wines, made in this famous appellation. The creation of young winemaker Maritxell Palleja, Nita retains all the characteristic minerality of a Priorat wine, while showcasing the dense fruit flavors of old-vine Garnacha and Cariñena.

Maritxell Palleja is the third generation of her family to have been raised in Priorat, where her great-grandmother Anita built their first family home, “Cal Nita,” the namesake of this wine. After finishing her undergraduate degree in agricultural engineering, Palleja spent a harvest and crush in the Napa Valley and in Bordeaux. She then returned to Priorat and became assistant enologist for Alvaro Palacios, before obtaining her graduate degree in enology and creating her own label, Nita. Palleja carefully selects old-vine Garnacha and Cariñena grapes from the steep, slate-covered vineyards, where low yields produce wines of great expression and complexity. A biodynamic producer, Palleja aligns her vineyard management with lunar and seasonal cycles.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

YNG416920_2009 Item# 122792

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