Priorat, Red blends, Red wine, Spain

Bodegas La Cartuja 2008

Winemaker: Miquel Pinyol
Grape: 50% Garnacha, 30% Mazuelo (or Cariñena), 10% Cabernet Sauvignon,10% Syrah
Region: Priorat, Spain

90 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate:

“This is as good a deal as you are going to get from Priorat. The deep purple-colored 2007 La Cartuja is 50% Garnacha, 30% Carinena and the balance Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. It offers up an enticing nose of roasted minerals, lavender, incense, black cherry, and blueberry. On the palate it has good grip, savory flavors, and a lengthy finish.” (06/09)

This new wine project in the heart of Priorat, was founded by Borja Osborne, Alberto Orte and Patrick Mata. The single estate of 59 acres is called La Solana and located between the towns of El Molar and El Lloar, 820 ft above sea level.

As its producers proclaim, “La Cartuja is a small production estate-bottled cuvee that intends to show the mineral and spice of Priorat in a youthful style.” And the wine does just that. Organically grown, the winemaker’s team paid personal attention to every detail in the vineyard. After a harvest, wine was fermented with its crushed skin and than aged for 8 months in French oak barrels.

La Cartuja is a very modern wine that is intended to be enjoyed now – unlike most of the (much more expensive) Priorat production, that needs to lay down for a few years. Yet it still shows great structure and mineral complexity, that is so typical and unique for this famous Spanish wine region.

Tasting notes:
Intense aroma of dark fruit as blackberries, red and black cherries and dried plum combined with spices. On the palate it’s medium – to full body red, with lovely layers of clean fruit. Gentle oaky notes, velvety tannins and Priorat’s typical mineral complexity make this wine perfectly balanced.
The sweetness of the rich fruit is mixed with light nutmeg or tobacco hints on the palate. Generous long finish. One glass of this sexy red isn’t going to be enough. Superb value for the quality of the wine!

Dry – Off dry – Medium sweet – Sweet
Light – Medium – Full body
No oak – Aged in oak
Organically grown
Retail price: under $ 17.00

Ideal food pairing:
Shish kebab, grilled meats, Flank steak with shitakee sauce, BBQ, Beef Bourguignon and many more

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