Escanya-Vella, To Day`s Sound in DOQ Priorat

251/365 – Catalonia –DOQ Priorat – Gratallops – Cal Batllet – Vi de la Vila, Escanya-Vella 2011

To Day`s Sound……….,

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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!

Escanyavella

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.

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle

132 to go!

Clos Figueras/Cal Batllet, Come rain or come shine in DOQ Priorat

104/365 – Catalonia – DOQ Priorat – Gratallops – Cal Batllet – 5 Partides 2009, Gratallops Vi de la Vila

Come rain or come shine….

…, happy together, unhappy together, wouldn’t it be fine? Clos Figueras winery in Gratallops hosted an event today, consisting of cellars from Priorat and Monsant, as well as there being several artisanal cheese producers from all over Catalonia. Only the weather could have been better, as it rained quite heavily all day. The rest……, wine and cheese! Can’t go wrong!

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Went to a dinner with some Dutch friends yesterday, Cava, a buffet of selected foods, nice chats amongst friends and we got to talking about todays event. They were all quite certain that the rain would be coming down heavily today, and they were right. I tried to point out that it never rains in Priorat, as it has its own micro climate! Boy was I wrong, and the Dutch friends stayed at home! I did not! And now, recalling the wines and cheeses, I’m smiling from ear to ear, it has been yet another great day!

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Catalan Wine is writing daily about one wine from one of the 12 D.O:s in Catalonia, and so far it has been one article a day, which I hope will continue for 365 days! Some articles are comprehensive with loads of details, whilst others are short and almost only covers the wine.

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Today, some pictures of wine and cheese and one tasting note of a wine that I believe will be a classic! Tomorrow, Catalan Wine 365 is visiting the Alimentaria fair in Barcelona during two days, so you can expect additional photos from that wine loving event as well!

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There were 10 cellars represented and underneath you will find the list. The ones containing a link, have been covered earlier and if you wish to read the ful story, just follow the links!

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Clos Figueras, a small to medium sized winery in Gratallops, opened their new vintages, the white was a favorite. Celler Clos 93, the smallest winery in Priorat, with their question mark and olive oil. Celler Jaume Sabate from La Vilella Baixa had the only Vi Ranci (a wine similar to sherry and using the solera principles).

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Clos Dominic from Porrera was represented by the daughter of the house, Ingrid, opening bottle after bottle of their range of three reds! Joan d’Anguera, a innovative small cellar from Montsant. Ficaria Vins from La Figuera in Monsant, Jaume and his wife were pouring their beautiful Pater and Elia wines!

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Clos Batllet, Marc Ripoll Sans, owner and wine maker was happy to get a visit by Catalan Wine! Vinyes Domenech served their Furvus! Portal del Priorat is getting a visit at their winery in the days to come, they make several wines and showed up with Gotes, one from Montsant and the other from Priorat. And finally Orto Vins, with Jordi Beltran, serving their splendid white wine and sweet wine, made me smile even more!

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Cal Batllet, 5 Partides 2009, 100% Carignena, from very old vines!

Aged for 15 months in French oak. 100% new barrels. The barrels are of 225 liters and the fermentation is carried out in open barrels at a maximum temperature of 26 º C, 4 pigiage daily, gentle extraction, long gestation and high control. Respecting the grapes fully! “Gratallops Vi de la Vila” is the new appellation for the wines produced from Gratallops, inspired by the Burgundy philosophy of village wines.

The color is dark ink but not opaque, it is more of a deep purple. Red and black fruit with an overlay of jammy blackberries and red currant. This is a complex wine and the secondary notes were a bit hard to read as they were evolving minute by minute, but ground coffee and underbrush were present most of the time, blue berries and cassis showed up to join the show as well as slight hints of cedar and spices. The mouth receives a harmonious mix of savory ripe fruit, smooth and velvety with a multitude of rich flavors endorsed by time, better by the minute. Have I found new favorite from Priorat? Yes, because they are ALL my favorites!

The name 5 Partides is due to the five selected  sloping vineyard plots, with vines of up to 100 years, located in the outskirts of Gratallops. The wine transmits the personality of the terroir of Gratallops with its mineral complexity, and maturity This is a elegant, smooth wine with a long aftertaste.

The 5 vineyards are; Camp d’en Piquer (250m, slope, E), Coma (300m, slope, NW), Capella (300m, slope, S), Mas d’en Pallarès (300m, slope, SW), Vinyals (250m, slope, S). The 2009 harvest had a hot summer which provided for a great maturity and it shows!

278 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle