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Vall Llach Embruix 2006

Other Red Blends from Priorat, Spain
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Winemaker Notes

The Vall Llach team has characterized the 2006 vintage as being a "year of contrasts," where a very cold and humid winter was followed by an almost complete lack of spring weather as the temperature jumped from very cold to very warm in a matter of days. The record high temperatures that occurred between April and June were replaced by unusually cool temperatures in July and August, even though all of the summer months were sunny and very dry. Harvest began on the 16th of September and ended much earlier than usual on the 22nd of October. The overall grape quality was said to be very good and the vines produced small grape clusters that were high in sugar concentration with a good phenolic maturation. Total production was similar to that of 2005, when around 1/3 less fruit was harvested than in previous years.

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

Critical Acclaim

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WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
Rubbery and gaseous on first sniff, and then upon airing it shows pretty black fruit scents and richness. Forget about minerality and llicorela here; this wine is modern, lusty, big and dark, with licorice, blackberry and chocolately flavors. Finishes thick, long and tasty.
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Vall Llach

Vall Llach

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Vall Llach, Priorat, Spain
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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.

Tiny and entirely composed of craggy, jagged and deeply terraced vineyards, Priorat is a Catalan wine-producing region that was virtually abandoned until the early 1990s. Its renaissance came with the arrival of one man, René Barbier, who recognized the region’s forgotten potential. He banded with five friends to create five “Clos” in the village of Gratallops. Their aim was to revive some of Priorat’s ancient Carignan vines, as well as plant new—mainly French—varieties. These winemakers were technically skilled, well-trained and locally inspired; not surprisingly their results were a far cry from the few rustic and overly fermented wines already produced.

This movement escalated Priorat’s popularity for a few reasons. Its new wines were modern and made with well-recognized varieties, namely old Carignan and Grenache blended with Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. When the demand arrived, scarcity commanded higher prices and as the region discovered its new acclaim, investors came running from near and far. Within ten years, the area under vine practically doubled.

Priorat’s steep slopes of licorella (brown and black slate) and quartzite soils, protection from the cold winds of the Siera de Monstant and a lack of water, leading to incredibly low vine yields, all work together to make the region’s wines unique. While similar blends could and are produced elsewhere, the mineral essence and unprecedented concentration of a Priorat wine is unmistakable.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

PBC9018028_2006 Item# 107675