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Vall Llach Priorat 2006

Other Red Blends from Priorat, Spain
  • RP94
  • WE94
  • WS94
15.5% ABV
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15.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

"The flagship 2005 Vall-Llach is composed of 65% Carinena, 15% Syrah, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Merlot aged for 12 months in new French oak. Many of the Carinena vines for this cuvee are pre-phylloxera. Opaque purple-colored, it offers up a splendid aromatic array including pain grille, slate, mushroom, espresso, garrigue, blueberry, and black currant. Opulent, full-bodied, and rich, this pedal to the metal Priorat possesses 8-10 years of aging potential. The winery claims it can be cellared for up to 50 years; that could well prove true although many of us will not be around to find out or our delay of gratification will have long given out."
-Wine Advocate

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2006 Vall-Llach is 65% Carinena, 20% Merlot, and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 14 months in 100% new French oak. Opaque purple in color, the nose offers up pain grille, liquid mineral, scorched earth, herbs, incense, and assorted black fruits. Layered, dense, and still a bit ungiving, this powerful, full-bodied wine has gobs of succulent fruit in reserve, plenty of ripe tannin, and a lengthy finish. Allow 6-8 years of additional cellaring and drink it from 2016 to 2030. 94+
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
Earthy and deep as midnight, with spice, floral notes, herbal aromas, tobacco and mocha. The palate is super rich, almost to the point of syrup, with blackberry, brown sugar and coffee flavors. Finishes chewy, ripe and deep, with no harshness or tannic grind. Drink now through 2013.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
Rich and bold, this expressive red delivers black cherry, blackberry, espresso, mineral and mountain herb flavors that are intense and complex, yet focused and balanced. The firm tannins are well-integrated, while the acidity is bright and refreshing. Drink now through 2021. 283 cases imported.
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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.

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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.

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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.

PBC9018030_2006 Item# 98096