Browse Tag


Terra incognita

[piñol]Celler Piñol 2005 Terra Alta “Sacra Natura” (Cataluña) — 35% cariñena, 20% merlot, 20% cabernet sauvignon, 15% syrah, 10% tempranillo. The structural grapes have been just enough to hold the aromatic/textural grapes together this long, and in fact after a wan start the wine gains in strength and cohesiveness as it airs, but there are frays and tatters that shouldn’t be ignored. Rich, warm, dark, dusty fruit laid upon a decaying bed of dried leaves. (11/16)

Gateway wine

Piñol 2007 Terra Alta “Portal” (Cataluña) – 70% garnacha blanca, 20% sauvignon blanc, 5% viognier, 5% macabeo. Simultaneously fat and wiry, which is quite an achievement, and not an entirely welcome one. Kiwi and melon, perhaps some lemon, some heat on the nose, and a bit of stick to the finish. Not as good as the various reds from this producer. (7/09)

Alta states

Piñol 2005 Terra Alta “Sacra Natura” (Cataluña) – Surprisingly advanced, but perhaps due to that advancement drinking even better than it did in its flavorful but noisy adolescence. Dark fruit with a significant lean towards maturing, pie-like complexity, black earth, and a nutty/spicy zing doing some light lifting underneath. Fun. (1/09)

Sacred heights

Viños Piñol 2004 “Sacra Natura” Terra Alta “Viñas Viejos” (Cataluña) – Organic. Good, spicy crushed red fruit thrown in a blender, then well-infused with a rock-and-graphite tannin and zesty acidity. Finishes with drying apple skins and a good dusting of salt (and pepper). Fun and gluggable, but also a quality wine with some aging potential. (10/06)