Yet another one of those Catalan Grenaches with some Carignan from a DO close to the wonderful Priorat for a lot less. This was a staff pick at a good local wine shop I keep forgetting about. McCoppins on the traffic sewer that’s Johnston Street in old Fitzroy for those familiar with Melbourne. Extremely familiar for the moment due to lockdown walks with lots fewer motors clogging the asphalt. Breathe more easily. Developing smells of old leather furniture, dark cherries with a balsamic tang, roasting pan juices and, yes, the sooty old fireplace detail of that beautiful, rugged landscape. One day I’ll get there. There’s ripe plums and peanuts from Grenache to freshen a mouthful with well mingled very ripe tannin and just enough acidity. Probably as good as it will get with a little bottle age. Heartwarming wine for quiet times as we wait for better news. Went back for another masked browse and all gone. Time passes, shelves empty and fill with something new to enjoy.
14% alcohol. Cork. $20.
91 points, baby Priorat.
A quick note on the Piñol next level up 2017 Sa Natura Terra Alta. Sadly one of those more expensive bottles where oak means more money. Already of the view that Grenache and oak are unhappy together, the same seems to apply to Carignan. The fruit seems about the same quality as Raig de Raïm but as it’s subdued by sooty, nutty oak to smell and the palate’s splintered by wood tannin, I definitely prefer the cheaper option. Yet another where less in the making is more in the tasting. There’s half a bottle to go too.