92 Insider Points
Spicy Earth is the Way to Go
Spain has all sorts of fun wines coming out of it these days. No wonder it's quickly rising to be one of the most exported areas in the world. Priorat is one of what I like to call "The Big Three", Spain's home-run wines that collectors are flocking toward. The Maius Priorat is the first one we've run in some time, and it's a great return to the scene.
Earthy slate and plum nose. Juicy acidity and good structure on the palate, with tobacco leaf and raspberry leading into a red currant finish. Great its own, even better paired with a Cajun jambalaya. 92 Points - JZ May '18
Garnacha, Mazuela (Cariñena) and Cabernet Sauvignon
Priorat DOCa, Spain
About 20% of the wine is aged for 8 months in wooden barrels and then mixed with the other 80% of the wine. Subsequent aging in
We know an all-star wine when we taste one! More powerful than a Rioja or Ribera del Duero and a favorite of Rhone lovers as well, this is a rockstar in a bottle with mass appeal!
- 2012 was the first vintage that outlined a shift in Priorat winemaking which Bob Parker says led to “more precision, freshness and transparency with the terroir.”
- As for why that’s important: Priorat is powerful terroir; it’s a majestic, extraordinary, and harsh anomaly in viticulture--in fact it’s a wonder that vines (which are sometimes over a century old) can even grow there given its blazing hot summers and freezing cold winters. The mountainous terrain even prevents the use of heavy machinery for cultivating--it’s all done by hand. But amazingly, the steep slopes of decomposed granite and black slate the locals call licorella, along with the protection from the winds of the Sierra de Montsant, both lead to incredibly low yields, which in turn leads to incredibly unique wines that are evolving and earthy and ageworthy powerhouses. The same blends produced elsewhere just aren’t the same: Priorat wine is unmistakable for its massive structure and concentrated minerality.
- Maius is a father-and-son outfit located in “Barranc de la Bruixa,” the Cliff of the Witch; it’s right around the corner from the town of La Morera de Montsant, where, even that close, the wines are not nearly as complex and intense.
- The Assemblage has enough personality of its own without the aid of too much oak ageing. The grapes were hand-harvested at low yields; only 20% was aged in oak barrels, and only for 8 months, and then was ripened in stainless steel. The other 80% wasn’t aged in oak at all.
Rich blackberry flavors will saturate your palate. This wine is robust and concentrated, but the longer you have it open, the smoother the flavors will become. You'll also notice some hints of spice and coffee flavors. This wine will have you coming back for more!
Harvest: The grapes were exlusively harvested by hand and stored in small cases of 15 kilograms capacity, the Garnacha grapes were harvested during the first week of October, the Cariñena y Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were harvested during the second week of October.
Wine making: After crushing and destemming, the grapes were brought into stainless steel deposits for pre-fermentation in cold at 14 degrees Celsius for 3 days to accentuate the aromatic expression before proceeding to the fermentation. The alcoholic fermentation takes place at a temperature of maximum 26 degrees Celsius. The bleeding of the partially fermented must takes place after aproximately 10 days. A good maceration permits us to extract a good dosis of tannin structure as well as anthocyanins. The wine receives daily pigeage plus two remountings with a pump.
Municipality of La Morera of Montsant, Priorat. The vineyard has the characteristic slate soil of the Priorat region that produces grapes rich in minerals and wines with personal expressions
The grapes were exlusively harvested by hand and stored in small cases of 15 kilograms capacity, the Garnacha grapes were harvested during the first week of October, the Cariñena y Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were harvested during the second week of October.
Vineyard: Finca “Barrac de la Bruixa”.
Uncork this rich Spanish wine next to a hearty steak or rack of lamb. It's robust flavors will compliment any strong flavors that you decide to cook with.