230/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Montsant – Falset – La Cova dels Vins – Ombra Barrica 2009
Ruby red colour with violet trim. The fruity nose suggests blackberry and cassis, with lovely accenting aromas of minerals, dark flowers, camphor and spicy oak. Exotic aromas of toasted wood, cherry liquor and seductive red berries. The palate reflects spices and currant notes that appear in the foreground, backed by flavors of mocha, dried herbs and dense berry preserves. A very interesting blend with a high degree of mineral overtone. Concentrated and balanced wine with lots of fruit. Velvety tannins on a good mineral background and toasty hints provided by the oak during the ageing. Long and persistent wine. It required about thirty minutes of breathing. Considering the price, I could drink this almost everyday!
A red like this one is perfect for meat, but because of its soft tannins and juicy texture, the wine doesn’t need the intensity of a rib-eye or porterhouse steak to show it off. Rather, it’s perfect for roasted veal chops, steaks and charred chops. The plump fruit of the Ombra will also find a good match with earthy ingredients like mushrooms, eggplant and root vegetables. Use cardamom, cumin and other Middle Eastern spices to echo the wine’s own notes of spice and wild herbs.
The aim of this small winery is to produce wines according to traditional winemaking techniques. This wine is made of grapes from old vines planted between the villages of Falset and Capçanes at 300-700 metres of altitude in shale and clay rich soils, with difficult access. Garnacha Tinta, Samso and Cabernet Sauvignon are nicely blended without any of the varieties taking over in any way. 10-month ageing in 300 l French and American oak barrels after 15-day malolactic maceration.
Winemaker Francesc Perello-aka Sisco-grew up in the heart of the wine regions of Montsant and Priorat, which are just west and south of Barcelona. Sisco trained as a winemaker and took a job at the acclaimed cooperative Capçanes. One winter afternoon in 2002, Sisco and his father were pruning some old, sparse vines, inspiring his father to reminisce about the great wines made from that particular run-down vineyard. It was then that the two hit on the idea of reviving the vineyard, a project that resulted in La Cova dels Vins (The Cave of Wine).
Because the parcel’s 100-year-old vines yielded only a tiny amount, father and son decided to supplement the offering with complementary vines from other locations. This blend incorporates grapes from Samso (Carignan) and Garnacha (Grenache) vines up to 50 years old with grapes from 15-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon vines, all grown on alluvial soils featuring clay and schist.
151 to go!