Pretty label, but how’s the wine? It’s a real find. The wine equivalent of a travel blogger posting a selfie from a place you’ve never heard of. And your reaction is: “I’d like to go there.”
That place is Priorat—a ruggedly picturesque, small wine region south of Barcelona, Spain, and below the French border. This wine from that place, the 2016 CAMINS DEL PRIORAT from Alvaro Palacios, has the texture of a high-end Bordeaux Cab and the minerally tannins and meatiness of a top Rhone blend—perhaps all the influence of Priorat being a close neighbor to France. But, the boldness, distinctiveness and delicious richness of flavor is unique to this part of Spain’s one-of-a-kind terroir of steep hills and terraces. The nose on the wine says “bold and weighty”—black cherry, dark plum, prune and cola. That note of pepper and spice that comes in later? Yeah, you’re in Spain all right.
Priorat as a wine region has mustered up a ton of buzz from the cognoscenti. You know, somms and such. That’s because you find wines like this one, which is made of 40% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah. Esoteric, unconventional and ruggedly individual—the core values of being part of wine intelligentsia are all covered. That doesn’t have to be a turn-off for, you know, just regular folks who love good wine. At around 22 bucks, consider this wine low airfare to a place that’s excitingly unfamiliar. –J.M.