Browse Tag

terra alta

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)


Bodegas 3 Sueños “Sexto” 2005 Terra Alta (Cataluña) – “Sexto” for the six grapes: garnacha, carignan, tempranillo, and then small additions of cabernet sauvignon, syrah, and lledoner pelut noir. No, I’ve never heard of it either. The wine itself is an affable fruit bomb, dark, plummy, and full of berried bursts and lush obviousness. Perhaps a sprinkle of pepper as well. There’s a little bit of structure clinging to an outcropping waaaay off to the side, but it’s a bit player at best. Fun. (12/09)

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)

Czech cars

Ferrer Escoda “Bàrbara Forés” 2005 Terra Alta “El Quintà” (Cataluña) – Some obtrusive oak, sticky peach, and flowers. Too thick, and lacking life. (2/08)

Ferrer Escoda “Bàrbara Forés” 2004 Terra Alta “Negre” (Cataluña) – Dense blueberry and lots of graphite-tinged structure. Good, but a little short. (2/08)

Ferrer Escoda “Bàrbara Forés” 2002 Terra Alta “Coma d’En Pou” (Cataluña) – Warm oakspice and baked cherries. Just OK. (2/08)

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)

Edetaria discretion

Edetaria “via Edetaria” 2004 Terra Alta Blanc (Cataluña) – A blend of macabeu and garnatxa blanca. Good minerality with dried fruit and some light herbal notes. Pretty and spring-like, with a thin layer of oak that doesn’t detract.

Alta states

Sin-Ley 2005 “G-3” Garnacha Terra Alta “Caliu” (Cataluña) – Very structured, yet the overall impression is quite light. Well, perhaps that’s not quite correct. The flavors are heavy, mostly inhabiting a mildly sticky realm of burgundy-colored cherries and spirit-infused strawberries, but the wine itself is neither sticky nor particular fruity. If anything, it’s over-structured for what’s inside. There’s highly present acidity as well. Is this just too young, needing time to integrate? Or is it permanently discombobulated? I suspect the latter, but it’s still not an unpleasant drink (though it needs food). (12/07)

TN: Higher ground

Piñol “Sacra Natura” 2005 Terra Alta (Cataluña) – Big, loud wine, full of flavor, ripe tannin and satin-textured earth, but with certain educated delicacies underneath the volume. Fruit tends towards the black and sun-drenched, with concentrated berries dominating. This is a very summery wine that probably works better in the chill of the winter, with a surprising bit of equilibrium to match. (1/07)