Vi Ranci in World of Fine Wine
My personal history with the wine known as Vi Ranci goes as such: I tried it for the first time about eight years ago and didn’t know what to make of it, I tried it again about four years ago and was intrigued, and now, I drink it often, completely enchanted by it, not to mention the cocktail based on it.
It’s for this that I wrote up an article in the December edition of World of Fine Wine. I’m absolutely thrilled to have it there as, not only is this magazine considered to be one of the finest in the wine publishing world, but also Vi Ranci has arrived at a point where it truly it a “fine wine” and has long-deserved more recognition.
For those who aren’t familiar (as I assume most wouldn’t be), it’s an oxidized wine, typically made from the red Grenache grape (although others are found as well) and it takes a good 8-10 years of sitting, aging and “rancifying” before it even starts to resemble the finished product you can find in limited supplies today. The most beautiful of the wines come from barrels that are 50 or more years old and it’s one of these called, “Ca les Viudes” from the family house that’s now Sangenís i Vaqué, that I followed the story of initially as it went from its birth in the mid-20th century to earning 100 points from The Wine Advocate in 2014 under the Arrels del Priorat project. This is going to soon be joined by ones from Vall Llach as well as Mas Martinet and others.
As I’ve generally found, this is really a Catalan style of wine that ranges from the most southern points of the region, up to the most historic northern bits which are now Rousillon, France. I’m sure it was made in other regions in the past as it has such a peasant-base to it but about the only drink you can find in any large production that’s similar is the Oloroso Sherry from Jerez that is made in essentially the same process.
It’s a wondrous drink now, but given the incredibly small quantities that are made, you may not ever be able to taste it lest you make a visit to Catalonia, which has merits in its own right. Otherwise, enjoy my article and travel in your mind for the time being.