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Ardiles Priorat is deep and moody yet captures a brightness and elegance remarkable for such a powerful wine. Sweet m...Read more...
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Food Pairings for Merum Priorati Ardiles
Although it's to be expected on a Priorat, the body on this one wasn't enough to shine through the high alcohol. I could tell there was depth and substance down in there somewhere but it just wasn't coming out. Not terrible though, food provides good balance to the wine.
Ardiles Priorat is deep and moody yet captures a brightness and elegance remarkable for such a powerful wine. Sweet mulberry fruit is surrounded by herbal notes of thyme and fennel and underpinned with a hint of vanilla. Very ripe, fine tannins allow the sweet, juicy fruit to dominate but with the seriousness of leather, tobacco and coffee notes adding complexity. Located in eastern Priorat around the pretty village of porrera, this is in one of the wildest, most rugged terrains, where few vines thrive and those that do produce less than 1 kg of grapes per vine. Vineyards here are not measured in hectares but by numbers of vines planted due to extreme terracing and contours on these stunning mountainsides. There isn't what you'd call soil, more just a carpet of broken black slate called Licorella. In these radical conditions 5 grape varieties thrive on the merum estate: Garnacha, Carinena, Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot. A project founded in 2004 by two Catalan familes, the winemaking side is overseen by oenologist Don Lewis (an Australian whose experience in Spain spans 2 decades) and his collaborator Narelle King. Impeccably made but not 'over polished', these are truly handmade wines: total production in 2004 was 9,000 bottles, fermentation is in small, open top vats with long cuvasion and the wines are intense and seriously complex against a backdrop of bright and vibrant modern fruit. This is great matched with slow-cooked shoulder of lamb, or rabbit braised with olive and herbs.
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