46% Garnacha, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 2% Syrah.
- Ahhhh Priorat! My favorite of all Spanish wines! I tasted my first Priorat back in 2005, and I remember it being my true-awakening to Spanish wine! I’ve since come around to enjoy the majority of styles coming out of Spain, but I will say; if you’re a “New World” wine drinker (i.e. everything from outside of Europe), Priorat is going to be a fairly easy entrance into wine from España. Stylistically they’re big, powerful, aggressive, usually higher in alcohol, and more often than not, combine New World grapes into their blend.
- The Black Slate Priorat received 90 points from Steven Tanzer and 91 points from Robert Parker….but then again who are they to know what you like? Buy a bottle and YOU be the judge!
- The Porrera Black Slate Priorat is part of the Eric Solomon portfolio. What does that mean? Well, I’ll personally put Eric Solomon right up there with Jorge Ordonez so far as Spanish importers of whom to trust. It’s not a guarantee that you’ll enjoy all their wines, but there is never usually a question of quality.
- Garnacha (Grenache) vines in the region take almost a "bonsai-like" appearance, looking more like bushes than trained vines, in much the same way of what’s seen in the Rhone region of France.
Place (click map for larger view)
Priorat is “classified” as one of the top wine producing regions of Spain, and gained DOCa (Denominación de Origen Calificada) status in 2003. Rioja (1991) and Ribera del Duero (2008) are currently the only other two.
I say “classified”, as I’ve never really been a big believer in the whole class system…at least when it comes to wine. No doubt there are plenty of crappy wines coming out of Rioja and Priorat, in the same way there’s also complete garbage coming out of Chianti (one of Italy’s top classified regions)! The classification of wine regions (for the most part) should be taken with a grain of salt, at least until they get it worked out!
Once again, I hate to bring soil into my reviews, but this is another instance of where it’s very important! The “llicorella” (slate) soils are infamous throughout the region of Priorat. They force the roots of the vines deep underground in order to search for water and mineral deposits.
Wines coming out of the Priorat (Priorato in Spanish) region are mainly red, although a small amount of whites are produced from Grenache Blanc, Macabeo, and Pedro Ximenez (a grape used in Sherry production). The whites also have a tendency to be higher in alcohol than the majority of other whites coming out of Spain.
Porrera is one of the nine villages in the Priorat region. With Porrera being cooler (as it sits closer to the ocean, thus benefiting from the cooling effects of the wind), the grapes are slower to ripen, and are therefore arguably (as always) more intense and concentrated.
- Most of the vineyards in Priorat are so steep that hand-harvesting is the only option, and so “old school” that mules are still used to transport grapes.
Not shy in any way, shape, or form, the Black Slate Priorat exhibits an almost meaty-type aroma on the nose, mixed with dried herbs, nutmeg, and bark. The plum and blackcurrant are lurking waaaaaay towards the back!
Even though 2009 is very young; the wine is drinking beautifully right now, even without decanting/aerating, although I would suggest you do so in order for it to reach its full potential. Surprisingly smooth, but still shows plenty of power! Black fruit leads the way, followed by black-cracked pepper, clove, dark-bitter chocolate, dried herbs and a long-smooth finish.
I suggest another few years in the bottle. I could drink this all day.
Surprisingly, this wine handles itself perfectly fine by itself, but if you’re thinking about food, try it with chorizo, herb-roasted lamb, flank steak (or any steak for that matter), duck confit, rabbit, olives, stews/casseroles, venison and hard cheeses.
$….I can’t quite remember what I paid for it. I think it was around $18.99, it shouldn’t be any more than $20.