251/365 – Catalonia –DOQ Priorat – Gratallops – Cal Batllet – Vi de la Vila, Escanya-Vella 2011
To Day`s Sound……….,
Vi de la Vila, Escanya-Vella 2011, 100% Escanya-Vella
Don’t know why really, but the wine was totally unclear as I opened the bottle but after about half an hour it displayed a clear and vivid colour, slightly golden. The primaries present some ripe white fruit and aromatic herbs. Continuing with notes of quite light floral and mineral touches, citric lime and hints of tropical fruits, like pineapple. Complex and fresh nose. Easy entry, easy to drink and easy to enjoy. Good body, balanced and well defined acidity, complex taste as was the nose. mouth-filling with good acidity, giving it length and freshness. This is a wine I am happy to recommend any time a day!
50% was fermented in vat at a low temperature and the remaining 50% was fermented in new French oak barrique. It gets to spend 7 months on lees. The qunatity made is the only objection I have towards this wine, as I personally would like to see more people enjoy it. Only 588 bottles were made and I am thoroughly happy to still have two left! If you have been following this blog, you should be very well acquainted with grapes like Xarel.lo, Parellada, Macabeu, Sumoll, Ull de Llebre, Samsó, Garnatxa Negra, Garnatxa Peluda and maybe even the Taladrado? Allow me to present the Escanya-Vella!
Escanya-Vella is a white Catalan wine grape variety planted primarily in the DOQ Priorat. The name literally translates from Catalan as “old lady strangler” and coughing is often a common reaction to those who eat the raw grapes. While grown in small numbers in Priorat, there are a number of wineries that use it as part of their blends. As far as I know and have been told, Marc Ripoll Sans at the Cal Batllet is the only one that does a mono-varietal wine using this unique grape. He also used to make a blend, using 40% Garnatxa Blanca and 60% Escanya-Vella, atleast those were the numbers for the 2008 white of Closa Batllet, the former name of the wines before the change of design, labels and wine making. I for one prefer the 100% Escanya-Vella of today!
It is a thick skinned grape with high acidity and is harvested later than other white varieties. Despite not being an officially recommended grape for the DOQ Priorat wine certification, there has been an effort recently by several cellars in the region to recuperate and revitalize this nearly lost grape.
132 to go!