28-11-2015

Wine Folly a bit too literal?

I haven’t really found how to get the new book by Wine Folly to Spain in a reasonable way yet. I’ve seen on Amazon that it’s gotten excellent reviews and I’m definitely curious about it as Madeline Puckette’s site has gained an excellent following over the years for creating approachable graphics and breakdowns of complex wine regions.

I’ve unfortunately never met Madeline but she has a lot of easygoing-ness to her in videos I’ve seen which has long been needed in the wine world. For example, a description of German wines was quite helpful. Their extremely logical yet dense system isn’t for the feint of heart and that’s a concise way to describe it. This is pretty typical of what her and her group on the site have been doing and it’s great.

This is why I was a more than a bit surprised to see this trailer for the book (yes, we do trailers for books now and we like it.) Like everything from Wine Folly, it’s produced very well and looks great. There are just a couple of problems in terms of what’s said and usually their text is so straightforward, I feel like it’s me that’s missed something in pointing these out, which could be the case.

For starters, I don’t think of Priorat as a GSM region (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) like how Châteauneuf or other French regions are. There are some think this and yes, it’s a Grenache-centric region but Mourvèdre (known as Monastrell in Catalonia where it’s from) isn’t permitted within the DOQ. If anything, Priorat (as well as Montsant) are G-C-CS-S-M regions which is the more typical blends of Grenache, Carignan, Cab Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot in varying proportions.

There’s also the wine in question which is the Mas d’en Gil – Vi de Vila – Bellmunt. A fine wine that’s a blend of Grenache, Carignan, and Cab Sauvignon. Again, this would be the more typical blend in this region and most definitely not a GSM. And saying that if you like that wine, you’ll like Carignan might be true but only if it’s Carignan from Priorat, Montsant, or maybe some of the Empordà. If you’re going for a budget-minded Carignan as suggested in the video, it will probably be from Languedoc up north and be completely different from this Priorat wine.

Again this is why I’m curious to see this book and see Ms. Puckette and her co-author Justin Hammack’s take on it. Many have tried this over this years with varying levels of success. And why is that? Because wine is damned complex no matter how easy you try to present it.