A Priorat amber wine to blow the mind – Les Brugueres Antecessor 1997
Over the summer I tasted and scored over 400 wines from DOQ Priorat & DO Montsant. Anyone can receive the full results now for free when buying the books (també en català). It includes a wealth of new vintages as well as new projects and both regions see their wines focusing largely on the releases from 2015 which is a lovely, open vintage that’s ready to drink now.
Tucked away in all of the samples was one from La Conreria d’Scala Dei, a relatively unknown cellar in the village of Escaladei that’s often confused with the much larger Cellers de Scala Dei but has a very different approach. The winemaker of La Conreria produces some of the most quality-price conscious wines I’ve ever found in Priorat and from time to time he likes to mix things up such as when he handed off the samples to me and pulled one out saying, “Yeah, this is… a bit different, essentially an ‘amber wine’.”
When I got around to tasting it, indeed, it was very much a full skin-contact white wine from White Grenache that say 18 months of aging in the barrel on its lees and other materials. This in and of itself would have been a novelty as I can’t think of anyone else who has done it, but the more important fact is that it was from their very first harvest in 1997. So yes, there’s an Amber Wine from DOQ Priorat that’s before the craze started anywhere else, even in Georgia.
The only reason I’ve found out about it now is that they released it at the end of last year for their 20th anniversary. Jordi says that they re-corked it a couple of year ago but otherwise it’s remained untouched in the cellar, waiting for its day to shine. And that’s the last and most important aspect to the wine: it’s god damned good!
Find its tasting note below or all the rest of the wines from La Conreria and others in the supplements now available.
Les Brugueres Antecessor 1997
Wealth of dried fruit, apricot, peach, spice notes of thistle, lavender, fig leaf, peach kirsch. Mighty on the palate, keen fruit notes still hanging in there, wealth of acidity and a long finish, light lingering cherry sweetness. Completely not “Priorat” but very well made in the style of amber wine that, as it breathes picks up a defined “vi ranci” character.
100% White Grenache 14% 130€