236/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Terra Alta – Gandesa – Celler Josep Vicens – Vinyes del Grau Syrah Vintage 2007
The Perfect Song……..,
Vinyes del Grau Syrah Vintage 2007, 100% Syrah
Very intense cherry red colour. The aroma is powerful and balanced. Ripe fruit, red stands out. Raspberry makes an appearance but doesn’t stay on for long, followed by spicy notes with aromas of coconut and cocoa. It is the expression of macerated black fruit. The palate is powerful and meaty with is enriched by sweetness. A medium persistent and very pleasant finish.
The vineyards of Josep Vincens are located in the surroundings of Gandesa, D.O. Terra Alta, in the south west corner of Catalonia, covering up to 17 hectares. With regards to grape varieties, they have grown several local varieties, such as Garnatxa and Samsó, but also some foreign varieties like the Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah. Soil is diverse, but calcareous and poorly organic characteristic stands out from the others, as a dominant type in the area of Terra Alta.
In a press article they have been described as «Orchestra winemakers» meaning that they are responsible for all the processes: from cultivating to harvesting the grapes, following-up on the elaboration process and finishing with the marketing and trading of the wines. They control it all, from the vineyard to the wineskin; from the wineskin to the consumer. They coordinate the sound of all the instruments.
Five-generation-old Celler Josep Vicens, under the brand name of Vinyes del Grau, is one of the traditional wine makers in the region that has quickly adapted to modern times. Josep Vicens is aware that the key word to endure in such a competitive environment is “quality” and despite his modest, rural upbringing, he has always been inclined to innovation. As an example, he was the first producer to plant Syrah in the Terra Alta, something probably perceived as eccentric when he did it, but the plants adapted so well to the local conditions and the wines had such a degree of quality that nowadays it is used by virtually every winery in the region, either to improve their coupages or to produce excellent monovarietal wines.
Nowadays, following some recent trends in wine making, he is also experimenting with oxygen permeable plastic tanks for the fermentation of the Garnatxa Blanca in order to produce wines with aromas and flavours coming only from grapes, leaving out those that would be provided by the wood if stored in oak barrels. Celler Josep Vicens blends the tradition of wine making in Terra Alta with the modern commercial ambition, to prove that the market still has room for family producers if they make the right choices.
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