2014 Vinyes Velles Magiques Acústic Celler
Wonderfully exhilarating Garnacha from the fringes of Priorat. It has shimmering blackcurrant and apple flesh fruit, mouthwatering acidity and a slap of herbs, and yet you can still taste the heat in the grapes. 'Top Score of Tasting'. (Blind tasted by Oz Clarke at Decanter Magazine's 'Grenache Around the World' feature, 29 Jan 2018.) Rating: 96 www.decanter.com (Apr 2018)
*Case price: Mix any 12 bottles of wine or 6 bottles of Champagne, Spirits or Fortified to get the 'case price' for each bottle.
These exciting wines, from very old vines in the DO of Montsant (a 'doughnut-like' ring of land that encircles Priorat on all sides) is the project of Albert Jané Ubeda. Unlike Priorat's famous slate soils Monsant has a mixture of terroirs with more clay, sand and slate vineyards. Planted with Garnatxa (Garnacha) and Samso (Cariñena).
Albert is like an obsessive collector when it comes to prospecting new vineyards, even if he comes across a small parcel of old bush vines he just has to have it and this patchwork of sites add so much complexity and intensity to his wines. All the vines are between 30 and 105 years old, in harsh and stony soils of sand stones and clay.
Albert's philosophy is to create wines that express and bring back to life the traditional way of making wines here. He is all about authenticity and says his job is to look after the vines - he makes his wine in the vineyards not the cellar. It is the vines and the terroir that are the magic here for Albert and his mission is to bottle it!
Working organically since his first vintage in 2004, all the grapes are hand-picked. Vinification is traditional (small wooden press), there is a very prudent use of oak 'a good barrel is a barrel you cannot taste' says Albert, it should 'help the wine express itself not actually add its own mark to the juice'. All wines are then bottled without fining or filtration, making them the most exciting and expressive wines we have tasted from this upcoming region.
Feel the warmth of the Catalan sunshine, and the complexity and intensity of 30+ year old vines in this selection of great wines from Albert Jané’s Acústic estate in Montsant. The classic Catalan blend of Garnatxa (Grenache) and Carinyena (Carignan), and a style more redolent of the Rhône than Rioja, the Acústic Red and Brao are a popular part of the LEA & SANDEMAN Spanish range; the world-beating Auditori (100% Garnatxa) is a thing of beauty indeed; whilst the Acústic White (Grenache Blanc, Macabeu and Pansal) is a relatively undiscovered gem with rounded peachy fruit and the texture and class of a nice white Rhône or Burgundy. These are great wines and thoroughly charming. Acústic – music for your taste buds?
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