2006 La Perla del Priorat "Clos Les Fites" Crianza Priorat
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2006 Clos les Fites is a blend of 60% Garnacha, 25% Carinena, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Syrah fermented in stainless steel and aged for 12 months in new French oak. It has a well-defined bouquet of succulent dark berry, liquorice, lavender and star anise aromas all vying for attention. The palate is medium-bodied with a succulent entry, firm grip on the palate, but very well-balanced with ripe blackberry, liquorice, black pepper and a touch of sea salt towards its complex finish. This is sure to age with style. Drink 2014-2030. La Perla del Priorat was one of the unexpected surprises during my visit to Priorat. One of the regionís oldest wineries, having been founded by Carthusian monks in the 15th century, it was at one time apparently surrounded by up to 90,000 vines. Surely they were not all for ceremonial purposes? It was abandoned in the early 20th century, whereupon it was acquired by Count Pirenne who founded the winery in 1998 and set about resurrecting the vineyard that is presently dry farmed and green harvested.
This blend is sourced from 14-60 year old vines in one of the oldest vineyards in Priorat. The dry-farmed vineyard features the famous llicorella (iron-rich schist) soil unique to Priorat which imparts its signature minerality. The grapes were hand-selected in the vineyard and sorted again at the winery before being crushed and fermented in oak and stainless steel. The fermented juice was then aged in French oak, bottled, and aged for a minimum of two additional years in the estate's cellar.