339/365 – Catalonia – DOQ Priorat – Priorat – Clos del Portal – Negre de Negres 2012
That Old Black Magic……..,
Negre de Negres 2012, Garnacha Tinta, Carignena, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah
Down and down I go, round and round I go, like a leaf that’s caught in a tide….., Black Magic is found in abundance in this Super Catalan that Alfredo Arribas had created by most probably using magic? This is a wine that shouldn’t exist, at least not in this region, because it defies all sensory logics when it comes to what the Priorat region equals and what wines from here in general are all about. Even the price is magical, an absolute value for money! And that, my friends, is why it is a Super Catalan.
Lovely, intense, dark cherry color. Clean and Bright. Nice slow tears. Intense and fresh aromas. A great background with notes of herbs and carob, it displayes an expressive minerality with a wide range of red and black, juicy and fresh fruit and abundant balsamic notes. After it opens up, elegant toasted notes appear, a lot of very creamy and spicy notes and chocolate that stands out. Negre de Negres (“Black of the Blacks”, referring to the red grape varieties being used) is a wine that is powerful on the palate, but gentle and kind at the same time. It has a silky and very tasty entry, sweet but with a freshness that is present at every level. In the mouth it reflects the same aromas which are found in the nose with a perfect harmony between fruit, toast, creamy balsamic and expressive minerality. Excellent acidity in perfect balance. Ripe tannins. Long finish with good persistence. If you are out to get something different from Priorat, you should keep this one in mind! Enjoy, enjoy and enjoy!
Maybe there are better ways to live life? I just feel good about the way I am living mine. Sun, great food, walk with the dogs and wonderful wine, not to mention the wonderful wife! Had a truly enjoyable wine tasting yesterday with a great bunch of wine lovers in Barcelona. Some of the usual suspects were there, together with some new prospects!
One of the new members is a passionate host within the community of EatWith! People with a passion for food and wine, cooking at home and inviting, in most cases, total strangers and preparing a dining experience in their own home. Yes, you’re right, couldn’t but join in and am now contemplating my own hosting of such an event! Let the passionate cooking begin!
The work of Alfredo Arribas begins in the DOQ Priorat during 2001. The Clos del Portal, estate wines project is located in the heart of Priorat, between the villages of El Lloar and Bellmunt, rising from the valley of the Siurana River to the foothills of the Sierra del Montsant.
Throughout the years they have been recovering abandoned coster terraces, working with the diversity of grapes and clones present on these sites and outlining an advanced model of viticulture.
Before long, their estate wines have managed to stand out as a clear example of the latest generation of Priorat wines, in pursuit of elegance and subtlety. Made with meticulous perfectionism, interpreting the extreme terroir, austere soil and climate, showing the way of the future for this wine growing area. Alfredo Arribas runs the winery with the support of Joan Asens.
Clos Portal has 40 ha. of small plots. All of them bordering with each other, out of which 14 ha. are vineyards, half of the vineyards are coster and the remaining are terraces. The importance of the mineral soil, licorella slate base with subtle variations of different soil components that confer complexity to the whole, is the key factor of great harmony of these treasured wines made from different varieties and vineyards.
Grenache, Carignena, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Monastrell are the grapes grown along with some experimental varietals. They work on the basis of organic viticulture and are in the process of conversion to organic farming altogether. Estate wine meaning that all wines are produced with their own grapes, harvested manually, rigorously selected, cluster by cluster in the vineyard and not buying additional grapes.
49 to go!