2002 Alma de Llicorella
Red Blend •Priorat D.O.Q.
Spain: Cava & Penedes
What we say
UNIQUE WINE ALERT:
It is not often we are able to feature a Spanish wine of such character and quality. A perfect blend of Carinena and Garnacha with plenty elegance and finesse but also a classic rustic feel that transports you to the region.
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Mission Codename: The Soul of the Priorat
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Visit the Priorat region in Spain’s Catalonia and secure an exclusive allocation of a delicious red blend from esteemed local winemaker Sara Pérez.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Oriel Wines
Wine Subject: 2002 Alma de Llicorella Priorat D.O.Q.
Winemaker: Sara Pérez
Backgrounder: The Priorat D.O.Q. (or Priorata DOCa) in Spain’s Catalonia (Bajo Penedes) is a region that is known for making rich and bold red blends of Cabernet, Garnacha (Grenache), Carinena (Carignan), Merlot and other local varietals. And while neighboring regions are well known for the region’s sparkling classic Cava, this regions dry and warm climate and extremely poor solid results in grape vines that struggle leading to intense and flavorful fruit of great character.
Today’s delicious and exclusive selection, made by esteemed local winemaker Sara Pérez is a classic blend of 60% Carinena and 40% Garnacha and is representative of the new breed of elegant wines being produced from the region.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep ruby red with a clear core that turns just slightly murky at its heart. Brighter ruby red along the edges and when swirled pencil thin legs of varying speeds are randomly space around the glass.
Smell – Warm, tangy and bold on the nose with great aromas of ripe red fruit including cherry and plum. Slightly hot spice, cedar cigar box and tobacco, a touch of earthiness and oaky notes adds complexity and invites a sip.
Feel – Velvet smooth on entry with well rounded tannins, this full-bodied and dry wine has tangy vibrant acidity and a touch if crisp textured minerality that hits at mid palate and holds the fruit tight into the finish.
Taste – Much more restrained on the palate than the aromatic nose would indicate, this complex wine brings a perfect old-world palate to its rich and tangy fruit. Red and black cherry, dark plum, warm spice and cedar box mingle with earthy, oaky and mineral notes.
Finish – Extremely long with the ripe fruit and earthy notes fading just before the warm spice, tangy acidity and textured minerality lasts and lasts.
Conclusion – The 2002 Oriel Wines Alma de Llicorella Priorat D.O.Q. is a truly delicious wine that brings a fresh and aromatic ‘new world’ nose and perfectly combines it with ‘old world’ texture and palate. Great complexity from start to finish, well structured and long lasting. A wine to pair with spicy tapas or even richer preparations of seafood, and of course chorizo or roasted meats. Enjoy tonight as this wine is in its peak!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The approximate location of the Priorat region in Catalonia can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
Awards & Accolades:
About This Wine:
Alma de Llicorella is named for the dark, dense slate soils unique to the Priorat region that impart interesting mineral characteristics to the wine.
Aroma: Intense fruits, minerals, flowers, spices and oak.
Taste: Plum and wild berries with licorice and spice; warm and earthy with fine tannins and a delicate structure.
Vineyards & Winemaking: Slate/quartzite soils. 10–15 days temperature-controlled fermentation (to a maximum of 28° C), 15 days post-fermentation maceration. Aged for 14 months in French oak (50% new).
The Region: In the last decade Priorat has risen from obscurity to become one of Spain’s top wine regions, a source of some sought-after, superstar red wines. At the beginning of the 1990s few outside of Spain had heard of Priorat (known as Priorato in Castilian), an ancient wine region predating the arrival of the Romans, but the emergence of several ambitious new winemakers has led to a quality revolution, producing wines that now express the full potential of these spectacular terroirs.
Priorat is a small, isolated region, located slightly west of Tarragona in Catalonia, approximately 60 kilometers southwest of Barcelona. It’s trump card is its unique soil, known as llicorella (licorice). This is a dark slate which sparkles in the high sun from the quartzite that runs through it. The climate is ideal for fine wine production, with hot days and cool nights during the growing season. Low rainfall levels force the vines to root deeply into the soil to find a steady but controlled water supply. Couple this terroir with the low-yielding old Garnacha (Grenache) and Cariñena (Carignan) vines that predominate, and the result is concentrated, profound red wines with heady aromas and complex, minerally flavours.
About The Winery:
Oriel is a completely new kind of wine company—on a mission to help you enjoy handmade wines from around the globe!
Unbeatable Value: By cutting out the middlemen and never owning vineyards, Oriel can offer a $25 wine for $15, or a $45 wine for $25. This is because wine prices are actually driven by overheads and marketing more than by the costs of grapes and winemaking.
Critical Acclaim: Oriel wines are served in hundreds of America’s top restaurants and retailers and have earned acclaim from all the top critics and press. Oriel’s rapidly growing fan base extends from Usher and Teri Hatcher all the way through to the White House…!
The World’s Greatest Winemakers: Oriel wines are made by some of the world’s most celebrated winemakers who have made some of the greatest wines on earth—from Petrus to Penfold’s Grange—they are truly excited about helping you to discover great handmade wines from around the globe.
An Unmatched Guarantee of Quality: Unlike traditional wineries, Oriel has no obligation to make wines in poor vintages so we don’t—simple! This means we only make wines in good vintages and have absolute confidence in every bottle—guaranteed. No other winery on earth can say that.
Unique Wines of Character: Oriel wines are handmade in miniscule quantities, because making great wine is like making great food—to make a little with the very best ingredients is possible, to make a lot is not. Oriel wines are made especially for us, just a few barrels at a time, and express the distinct characters of the vineyards they come from—open a bottle and take a trip..
About The Winemaker:
Sara Pérez – Sara has lived in the Priorat region since she was nine years old. She combined early studies in plant biology with work in vineyards and learning about the commercialization of wines. Upon completion of her studies in biology, she earned degrees in Viticulture from University Rovira I Virgili de Tarragona and in Philosophy from University of Barcelona. In 1996, Sara, with her brother Adrià, confronted their first vintage in Mas Martinet.
Sara is currently making wine in Priorat (Mas Martinet, Cims de Porrera) and Montsant (Venus and Dido, Venus la Universal). Other projects in Priorat include La Vinya del 8, a group impassioned for the recuperation of old vines, produced its first vintage in 2001, and Finca Partida Bellvisos (Ariadna) which produced its first vintage in 2002.
Sara also actively advises several Spanish wineries, including, but not limited to Celler del Roure in Valencia, Mustifuillo in Utiel-Requena, Hereus de Ribas in Binissalem, and Vall Llach in Priorat.
Varietals: 60% Carinena, 40% Garnacha
Harvest: September 20–October 20, 2002.