Priorat + A 'Perfect' Wine
Year 13, No. 10
While I’m tasting and visiting cellars in this region throughout the year, the annual report really gives the opportunity to bring it all together, stand back, and go, “Wow, what a dynamic region!” which is why it usually runs a bit longer than others; 3,700 words in this case.
The nuts and bolts version is: 2022—tough, 2021—overall amazing. Classic producers are making their best wines ever, but new projects are keeping them on their toes, and enotourism visits are very much up (plan a visit). Otherwise, if you want the full run down, that’s for paid subscribers.
I should add there’s something else special about this report in that it sees me give my very first 100 point score to a wine in nearly two decades of reviewing. I realize that this is a score bandied about quite often by some, but for me, it feels like the ultimate destination for a wine and to be used only in very select moments.
I’ve given it to a very, very special vi ranci wine that I tasted during an evening put on by the excellent winery, Vall Llach called, “La Nit del Poble”. If you missed this summer edition, they’ll be doing another in December although this 100 point wine might very well not be around then as it’s a true rarity.
And lastly a bit on the harvest as it’s started yesterday with some producers in the Penedès region picking their grapes for sparkling wines. Yes, this is earlier than last year and yes, this is indeed Crazy Town.
Drink well, be well.
(*) Free to read
The Featured Report
There’s always so much in motion with this Catalan denomination of origin that it feels like one annual report is never enough!
The Featured Book Review
“Vines in a Cold Climate” (*) is the latest opus from English writer,. If you don’t know his other books to date, you’ve been missing out as whether you’re a fan of English wines or just not yet a fan of English wines, this is a great read for truly anyone who enjoys wine.
And Now This
What’s the biggest wine barrel in the world? That’s a very good question and when I was out in the far east of Croatia, I may have very well found that which should be called, the ‘Jesus’ barrel. (*)
It’s a very, very hot summer, so maybe you’re wondering what’s new out there in the bubbly world? From the Tasting Bench I’ve reviewed some very different styles of sparkling wines from Catalunya.
The Featured Wine
If you want to talk about classics in Spanish wine, then there are few others that reach the level of López de Heredia’s Viña Tondonia Reserva. There’s essentially no bad vintage of this wine and the 2011 that I tasted at the winery in June breezed right in at a solid 95pts. Check this out.
Lately I’ve also been busy writing in other publications I contribute to from time to time.
Amongst these pieces there was one for Decanter on the changes to European Union wine labelling laws (*)—it’s much spicier than it sounds.
In the current print edition of World of Fine Wine I’ve written a lengthy profile on the “Garnachas of Rioja” which are a very fascinating and growing segment of Riojan wines.