123/365 – Catalonia – DOQ Priorat – Gratallops – Celler Cesca Vicent – Lo Piot
É Luxo Só…….
Of the wines regions in Spain only two, Priorat and Rioja, have been designated as Denominación de Origen Calificada (D.O.Ca.), which is the highest quality designation awarded. In Catalonia the appelation is known as DOQ, Denominació d’Origen Qualificada. One of the oldest Priorat vineyards, dating back as far as the 15th century, is the one owned by Francesca Vicent Robert´s. Her ancestors have been producing wine in this region for centuries. With the benefit of this tradition, Cesca Vicent is today producing a range of the finest Priorat wines available.
With the idea to study the “terroir” in depth, Cesca Vicent created a detailed soil map of her estate. This study done by Vien Asesoria SL, enterprise must be the guideline when handling the soil and the vine; because every “terroir” has its own characteristics and each grape variety expresses itself in a different way depending on what its roots have explored, and this finally results in the wine. To begin with, it is known that the estate has 11 different types of soils (gravel, slate, granite, slime…). Taking advantage of these varieties, perfectly delimitated on the soil map, Cesca Vicent has chosen the best of each grape variety to elaborate her wines. This combination gives Cesca Vicent’s wines a unique set of properties and aromas that cannot be found in any other wine from the DOQ Priorat.
The climate in this relatively small area is one of marked contrast with daytime temperatures of 40°C falling as low as 12°C during nighttime. This, combined with the geological characteristics of the estate and a low rainfall during the summer months, produces harvests of the highest quality. In 1999 the Bodega Cesca Vicent implemented a programme of Strict Crop Science Management and since 2008, under the approval of the “Consell Català de la Producció Agrària Ecològica”, an organic production has been implemented.
This emphasizes the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality. Organic wine is produced without using most conventional pesticides: petroleum-based fertilizers or sewage sludge-based fertilizers. Organic growing methods results in not only “healthier” vines, but in wines with greater flavour and a more distinct “terroir” character. Harvesting is carried out by hand separately, with selected bunches of grapes being harvested when they are at optimum ripeness, well-balanced, to ensure the grapes are in perfect conditions.
The Francesca Vicent estate comprises 18 hectares of which 11 are planted with Garnacha Negra, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Cariñena vines. The grapes ferment separately according to variety and vineyard plot. The wine is gently pumped through to spread the sediment 2 or 3 times in small steel tanks during the fermentation process. After approximately 4 months, the wine is transfered by gravity to French and American oak barrels where it remains approximately 12 months.
The coupage is chosen depending on the aroma and taste of the different varieties and is then bottled without any further physical processes, nor filtering, etc, in optimal temperature conditions. The wine then stays in the cellar under perfect humidity and temperature conditions until it is put on the market for consumption.
A deep cherry red with dense and attractive legs. During tasting it is full bodied and fruity, with sweet smooth spicy tannins. Potent and complex aromas with spicy hints reminiscent of clove, cacao and liquorice mixed with a sweet aroma that brings to mind mild caramel as well as tinges of Mediterranean scrub vegetation together with aromatic herbs with hints of leather and fruit preserve, rounded off with the fine sweet smoky aroma resulting from the time spent ageing in oak barrels. Meaty, slightly sweet and well rounded. It has a surprising and lingering aromatic aftertaste that evokes the terrain of its origins, the Priorat. This is for me one of the best Priorat wines, especially when price/quality is considered. A winner!
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Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle