Celler Pasanau Priorat Ceps Nous 2018
Aged 6 months in French and American barriques. Concentrated and voluptuous ripe fruit is complemented by strong minerality and wood spice on the nose and finish.
The Pasanaus are perennial growers in La Morera, the highest municipality of Priorat, with vineyards at over 2,400 feet elevation abutting the sheer rock wall of the Sierra de Montsant. Gravelly scree eroded from the cliffs covers the underlying llicorella slate, together with the elevation creating a less Mediterranean microclimate relative to the region as a whole.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The Pasanau family are perennial growers in Priorat, with vineyards located in the highest municipality of the region, literally skirting the sheer rock wall of the Sierra de Montscant, which forms the Priorat's viticulture boundary to its north and west.
At over 2,400 feet, Pasanau's "Finca La Planeta" dominates the regional landscape and experiences Priorat's widest daily temperature variation. This helps to retain freshness in the concentrated, late-harvested grapes, resulting in a uniquely tight-knit, albeit typically powerful Priorat style. The long, arid growing season, as elsewhere in Priorat, severely limits yields while packing the fruit with mineral extract and complexity.
Tiny and entirely composed of craggy, jagged and deeply terraced vineyards, Priorat is a Catalan wine-producing region that was virtually abandoned until the early 1990s. This Spanish wine's renaissance came with the arrival of one man, René Barbier, who recognized the region’s forgotten potential. He banded with five friends to create five “Clos” in the village of Gratallops. Their aim was to revive some of Priorat’s ancient Carignan vines, as well as plant new—mainly French—varieties. These winemakers were technically skilled, well-trained and locally inspired; not surprisingly their results were a far cry from the few rustic and overly fermented wines already produced.
This movement escalated Priorat’s popularity for a few reasons. Its new wines were modern and made with well-recognized varieties, namely old Carignan and Grenache blended with Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. When the demand arrived, scarcity commanded higher prices and as the region discovered its new acclaim, investors came running from near and far. Within ten years, the area under vine practically doubled.
Priorat’s steep slopes of licorella (brown and black slate) and quartzite soils, protection from the cold winds of the Siera de Monstant and a lack of water, leading to incredibly low vine yields, all work together to make the region’s wines unique. While similar blends could and are produced elsewhere, the mineral essence and unprecedented concentration of a Priorat wine is unmistakable.
Grenache thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. While Grenache's birthplace is Spain (there called Garnacha), today it is more recognized as the key player in the red blends of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its villages. Somm Secret—The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic, single varietal Grenache (there called Cannonau). California, Washington and Australia have achieved found success with Grenache, both flying solo and in blends.