Spanish Spelunkers

Oh, I will definitely seek out some South African white Grenache blends now! Thanks for the tip!

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I had the Donovan Rall Grenache Blanc (not the regular white) recently, and it was delicious, but very different to the similarly aged white Priorat I’ve had (all of which have been very young to be fair!).

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Well, note that most white Priorat is blended. The one I recommended is (depending on the vintage) maybe only 60% GB, and has to varying degrees, Macabeu (Macabeo), Picapoll (Picpoul) and Xarel·lo.

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Thanks for the interesting and helpful post.

The wine that prompted this is a 2017 so should be turning dumb in exactly 18 days time :wink: :
Have 5 bottles left so may stretch out my window depending on how they perform.

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Well, to be precise you need to wait until Sep 2022 to count a full four years from when it was picked in 2017. In any case, I would definitely consider decanting between now and the next few years, so it can open up a bit.

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Forgive me, but isn’t 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 not four full years?

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Fabulous reply with plenty of things to explore from this. Thank you!

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Like others I really enjoyed reading this.

This sounds like a type of wine I don’t like. But I did enjoy the Mogador you were kind enough to bring to the Crouch End tasting.

Jim

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Hahaha yes it is. My numbers were fooled by the words “in exactly 18 days time” which made it look like it was the start of the calendar year that mattered.

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Yes and in fairness, I’ve also lost interest in wines that are full of exaggeration and gratuitous bombast. Some of the Priorats were like this in the 1990s, when “Parkerised” wines were all the rage, but the truth is, there is a clear typicity in these wines, coming from the microclimate the the llicorella (the unique slate soil), and the winemaking is now much more restrained and balanced. Some of them are exceedingly refined (Clos Dofí comes to mind) and don’t taste like that sentence suggests at all. Objectively, it is true that they are high in tannins and alcohol, but most of the good ones are surprisingly balanced and restrained. I don’t think they’re famous for nothing.

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Very interesting to hear this history - thank you.

Jim

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Another fan of Mas d’en Compte Blanc. Was wowed by the 98 vintage at a calçotada at Clos Dominic in 2008 (I think). I have had major disappointments with this wine in more recent vintages, though, to the point where I stopped seeking it out. Looks like I should retry some time!

Never found a South African Grenache Blanc that was even nearly as interesting as the Catalan (Spanish and French) ones. The Foundry is much rated, but I found it really quite boring. Have no doubt whatsoever that the best examples of this grape are from Catalonia.

As regards the reds, agree entirely with Ricard about the baleful influence of Mr P in Priorat (result of both the huge size of the wines and the timing of their coming to fame). But equally that Priorat is about the clearest example of terroir in action that exists anywhere.

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Anyone know anything about this Finca Nueva Gran Reserva, Rioja 2005 It’s a completely new one to me but £28 for a 17-year-old gran Reserva from a very good vintage seems quite interesting!
image

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FANCY!

Cuevas de Arom Tuca Negra Garnacha, Campo de Borja 2017 (thewinesociety.com)

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I covet this. Too much for me but based on how good the entry level one is, I’d love to try it!

Agreed on the sentiment and the price. Did some cursory googling and sounds like this might not be the best - lots of new oak. Think it was a Guia Penin review saying the oak should calm down in subsequent years.
Start saving for next years release.

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There’s an excellent article about the rise (in quality and prominence) of Spanish white wines in this month’s Decanter. Very good read! :+1:

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Some of this lovely Godello has come on to the list:

https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/valdesil-sobre-lias-godello-valdeorras-2019

I think folk on here are familiar with its charms, but if you’re not - this is a fantastic wine to my tastes, and the time on its lees really adds dimension, texture and enjoyment :~}

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How about the mid-level version then…?

https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/cuevas-de-arom-os-cantals-garnacha-2018

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currently in my basket. Not clicked go yet, which is even more risky now you’ve posted about it! I have both spent too much and space concerns at the moment. Given just how good the £16.50 one is, this should be mind blowing.

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