Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Heredad Vina Carles Priorat (2005)

As I have previously noted, Clare and I are part of a wine club where couples meet once a month.  One couple hosts and cooks a four course meal, while another couple brings the wine to pair with each course.  All of the other couples enjoy both the food and wine.  Recently, the host couple cooked a four course Spanish dinner.  And we had the duty to pair these dishes with Spanish wines.  

Of course, as part of our duty, I had to sample some Spanish wines.  There is no better way to learn about wine than to drink a glass or two.  During my research,  I had the opportunity to learn about the Spanish -- or, more accurately Catalan -- wine region of Priorat. The Priorat is a Denominacio d'Origin Qualificada  (DOQ) located in the Spanish region of Tarragona.  Priorat wines are traditionally made from Garnacha Tinta grapes grown within the designated geographical region.  However, the rules of of the DOQ allow vineyards in this region to grow other red grapes, such as Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. 

The Carles Priorat is not a traditional Priorat made entirely from Garnacha grapes.  Instead, it is a blend of grapes.  The blend for the 2005 vintage consists of 60% Cariñena (or Carignan, if you are in France), 30% Garnacha (or, once again, Grenache if you are in France), and 10% Syrah.  For me, this is an interesting blend because of the prominence of the Cariñena grape. 

The Carles Priorat pours a rather bright crimson red in color. The aromatic elements of this wine include ripe red fruit, like cherries, dark cherries or plums.  The body of the wine is full and jammy.  The flavor of the wine includes ripe cherries, as well as a little raspberry.  There is a little earthiness on the finish, with a hint of spice.  The earthiness and spice led to a dry finish. 

For me, the Carles Priorat is a bold wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon, and, as such, this Priorat is paired best with roasted red meats, some stews and other earthy dishes.  The wine also pairs well with hard cheeses, such as cow and goat cheeses like Garrotxa and Urgélia.

This wine is available at some wine stores and grocery stores.  I found a bottle for $17.99, and on sale for $14.99.

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