276/365 – Catalonia – DOQ Priorat – La Vilella Baixa – Celler del Pont – Lo Givot 2006
This is a wine of considerable delicacy, great aromas and flavours, with the characteristic strength of Priorat wines. Visually, the wine expresses clarity and intense colour. In the nose, its fruity character predominates with aromas of concentrated cherry. There’s also spices and light aromas of vanilla and toast that go well together without any of them taking over. As the wine opens the secondary aromas offer menthols and balsamic aromas. On the palate it registers a strong attack, well-balanced acidity and a long and persistent finish. Delicate and fresh, it demonstrates good tannins and structure, which suggest improvement in the bottle over the coming years. Retro-nasally it finishes with subtle layers of dark chocolate.
The climate offered extremely dry conditions throughout the entire growing season. A cold winter with less rainfall than normal, so, there were very little reserves of water in the soil as the vines began to bud. Modest rainfall during the spring was badly distributed and the situation was not helped by an extremely hot summer. Between March and August total precipitation was only 40 l/m2. Given these extreme conditions, the vines produced fewer grapes, but these were of higher concentration and quality. In September, the rains slowed the ripening of certain varieties, up until the first week of October.
The winery by the bridge! Celler del Pont is located in La Vilella Baixa D.O.Q. Priorat. The winery was established in 1998 by a group of people living in or with family ties to the Priorat. The company was created with the desire to produce high quality wines. The families of several of the partners own vineyards in and around the town of La Vilella Baixa. This guarantees supplies of grapes and also allows them to select the best vineyards and control of the growing cycle. Three of the partners have extensive professional experience in viticulture and winemaking. The vineyards selected cover about 5 hectares in different parts of the La Vilella Baixa. 50% are old vines of over 50 years. The traditional varieties in this area, are worked on steep, shale hillsides (costers de llicorella) following traditional Priorat methods. The remaining vines of between 11 and 17 years are situated on terraces, and include newer varieties, which have been introduced into the area. Yield per hectare varies between 1000 and 5000 kg. depending on grape variety and the age of the vine.
The winery is located on the ground floor cellar of an old house in the centre of La Vilella Baixa. The building, traditionally a winery, was restored, respecting as much as possible its original character. The first harvest was in 1998, the year the firm was set up. Every year in September and October, selections of grapes of the Garnatxa (Grenache), Carinyena (Carignane), Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are fermented in stainless steel tanks. Once fermented, the wine is transferred to barrels of French (90%) and American (10%) oak and aged for between 12 and 14 months. Blending is carried out in accordance with the results of tastings and the wine is held in stainless steel vats for subsequent bottling. Bottles are laid down for 6 months to round out the wine. These are marketed under the name Lo Givot, the name of one of the oldest vineyards.
Priorat is a magic corner of the world, lost between the mountains of southern Catalonia. After many years in hibernation it has woken to become a unique experience of landscape, gastronomy, culture and world renown wines. The quality of Priorat wines is the result of the special terroir and climate. The vines produce extremely low yields of very high concentration. The “Llicorella” or slate rock soil, contributes to the high minerality of these wines and is one of its principal characteristics. If you would like to learn more about Priorat and the wines of Lo Givot, do it the SweetEasy way! Stefan Lismond, at the Cellar del Pont will be delighted to introduce you to the whole process, from the oldest vineyard to the ageing room, where we will taste and enjoy this extraordinary wine.
108 to go!