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Vall Llach Embruix 2006

Other Red Blends from Priorat, Spain
  • WS89
  • RP88
15.5% ABV
  • WS90
  • WE90
  • WE90
  • WS90
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15.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Sourced primarily from 10 to 15 year-old estate vines, Embruix (pronounced "Embroosh") de Vall Llach is Catalan for "bewitching." True to its name, the wine has an enchanting scarlet color with an amethyst halo. Full of succulent fruit, dark minerals and sweet spices, including nutmeg and fennel, this wine is complex and full-bodied. Meant to consume now or age for 20-25 years, this wine should be served between 58-60ºF.

34% Garnacha, 22% Cariñena, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Syrah, 4% Merlot

Critical Acclaim

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WS 89
Wine Spectator
Sleek and firm, this red offers black cherry, licorice and tobacco flavors. A bit austere, but well-integrated, with firm tannins and a smoky finish. For those who prefer bitter to sweet. Drink now through 2016. 1,445 cases imported.
RP 88
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2006 Embruix uses all five varieties permitted in the Priorat DO sourced from the estate’s younger vines. Purple in color, it has an expressive perfume of cedar, spice box, mineral, damp earth, and black fruits that jump from the glass. On the palate, however, the wine is compact and reticent. The flavors are good but the wine lacks generosity. Drink it over the next eight years.
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Vall Llach

Vall Llach

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Vall Llach, , Spain
Vall Llach
From its founding in the early 1990s, by famed Spanish singer Lluís Llach and notary Enric Costa, Vall Llach winemaking has been governed by a commitment to rigor and quality. The winery lies in the tiny village of Porerra, in southern Catalonia, in the highly-acclaimed D.O.Q. Priorat. Here, the magnificent century-old vineyard estates of Vall Llach are home to 60- to 90-year-old Cariñena and Garnacha vines.

Old vines naturally produce low yields, and Vall Llach reduces yields even further through careful vineyard management for densely concentrated wines. Vineyards climb steep slate hillsides, receiving optimum sun exposure and beneficial water deprivation, further concentrating the fruit. Newer plantings of Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah add complexity to the old-vine character, and the resulting wines - Vall Llach, Idus, and Embruix - have received high critical acclaim.

Pauillac

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The leader on the Left Bank as far as number of first growth classified producers within its boundaries, Pauillac has more than any of the other appellations, at three of the five. Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild border St. Estephe on its northern end and Chateau Latour is at Pauillac’s southern end, bordering St. Julien.

While the first growths are certainly some of the better producers of the Left Bank, today they often compete with some of the “lower ranked” producers (second, third, fourth, fifth growth) in quality and value. The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification that goes back to 1855. The finest chateaux in that year were judged on the basis of reputation and trading price; changes in rank since then have been miniscule at best. Today producers such as Chateau Pontet-Canet, Chateau Grand Puy-Lacoste, Chateau Lynch-Bages, among others (all fifth growth) offer some of the finest wines in all of Bordeaux.

Defining characteristics of fine wines from Pauillac include inky and juicy blackcurrant, cedar or cigar box and plush or chalky tannins.

Layers of gravel in the Pauillac region are key to its wines’ character and quality. The layers offer excellent drainage in the relatively flat topography of the region allowing water to run off into “jalles” or streams, which subsequently flow off into the Gironde.

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.

AMR73714_2006 Item# 104616

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