Three wine kings
In countries where Christmas is celebrated there seems to be a split based upon whether you think gifts should be exchanged on Jesus’s birthday, December 25th or likely when the Three Kings showed up to give him said gifts on January 6th. However it may be for where you are, in Spain the 6th is the big day and so I feel like taking the opportunity to go hog wild and pick out three “kings” from the wines of Catalonia. Basically these three wines that moved me in the last few years and maybe even touched my soul which naturally borderlines lines on asshole wine writing but hey, ’tis the season!
If you’re going to be the most expensive bottle in DO Montsant, then you better damned well be worth it. From a single vineyard perched above La Figuera this 125+ year-old (the vines are ungrafted so no one knows for sure) Grenache shows it is not to be toyed with. The aromas are robust with forest fruits, blueberries, and graphite minerality as well as toasted hazelnuts in a luscious, full nose. Large and wonderful in the mouth, it manages to still be fresh and complete with a lingering, elegant finish that hangs beautifully on the palate.
100% Grenache 15% 110€
Vall Llach Mas de la Rosa 2010
This wine has a special place in my leg as I learned in the 2014 vintage just how damned difficult this steep, craggy, 110 year-old vineyard of Carignan is to harvest. One wrong step landed me on a sharp piece of licorella with a bruise that lasted weeks but I looked upon fondly any time I’ve had the chance to taste this Vi de Finca wine. Dark chocolate notes are predominant along with beautiful minerality that peels apart like the most delicious onion you’ll ever find while you drink it and dig down through the layers. Despite the robust, very Priorat aspects, it is very able to hold acidity and not overpower meals to just be refined as hell.
90% Carignan, 5% Cab Sauvignon, 5% Merlot 15.5% 90€
Clos Erasmus 2010
Daphne Glorian’s cellar’s de facto namesake wine (it’s actually the cellar of Clos i Terrasses) is high on my list of “You’re opening it? I’m there!” wines. The wine is electric and alive with the red fruit notes seeming to pulse as you inhale it. Naturally a full-bodied wine, it fills in the mouth with plush, lovely tannins and as it opens, floral notes appear in the form of violets eventually giving way to mineral notes that linger in to the finish. Delicious, exciting, vivacious, and not to be missed if you can find it.
70% Grenache, 30% Syrah 15% 140€