Priorat is known for low yields and labor intensive vineyards, often producing good quality wines marked by concentration, along with generally a higher price tag.
So at $8.99 for this Priorat, my expectations were mixed.
The first tasting of the wine exhibited the desired concentration with oodles of cherry and blueberry, and earthy tobacco and leather notes. Good, but I found that for a dollar more the Trader Joe’s Reserve Garnacha to be well worth the extra buck.
I’ve since opened two more bottles with mixed success. Both bottles’ corks exhibited early degeneration, which would account for the apparent oxidized state in the second bottle. This lacked any fruit and was overwhelming in the astringent bitterness; the third, while producing ripe cherry, plum, and blueberry flavors with a touch of spice, it still lacked the voluptuousness of my first encounter as it died off quickly on the palate. Juicy, but lacking depth and extension, characteristics to be found in quaffable everyday wines for half the price. Given a bit longer to open, it did develop a bit of richness.
@ $8.99, the wine fails to deliver the buck to the belly, and considering the inconsistency of the tastings, and the degenerative cork:
2.5 out of 5 Bellies
As we said, though, our experience with the wine was varied and Jason @ Jason’s Wine Blog had a better experience with the wine. He provides a great sounding board and an updated take on wines at his website. He provides a great resource for wine reviews, insider info, and an unbiased view of wines that we all can afford.
Not to say that this wine won’t appeal to some. If you like the Chariot Gypsy Red 2009, you might love this one.