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Vall Llach Priorat 2003

Other Red Blends from Priorat, Spain
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    Winemaker Notes

    Celler Vall Llach is fortunate in possessing a selection of magnificent old estates, or "trossos," whose 60- to 90-year old Cariñena vines assure an exclusive foundation for its flagship wine. Always striving to achieve the best quality, Vall Llach cultivates their old vines according to traditional methods. These succulent clusters, along with a strict selection of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, give this wine its distinctive character representative of the Priorat region.

    This proprietary blend is deep cherry in color, with complex and elegant aromas that include nuances of the Mediterranean forest floor, blackberry jam, dried herbs, minerals, and spices. As it enters the mouth, this wine has magnificent flavors of condensed fruit and minerals with a tannin structure that is ripe, sweet, yet delicate. The end result is a long and profound finish with great concentration of aromas and flavors.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Vall Llach

    Vall Llach

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    Vall Llach, Priorat, Spain
    2003 Priorat
    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 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 (old Carignan and Grenache blended with Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot). When demand came, 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 create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. 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.

    WWB28426_2003 Item# 94869