2012 Clos Figueres, Priorat
This Priorat wine by Cellers (Catalan for winery, or cellar) Clos Figueres is a blend of 85% Grenache and Carignan (vines are approximately 30-60 years), 10% Syrah, and 5% Mourvèdre and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The grapes were fermented in 500-litre new oak casks turned on their side with the top removed to form a small open-topped vat, with regular “pigeage” by hand and extended maceration on the skins.
The wine was then aged for 13 months in new and 1-year-old Allier French oak barrels.
This is a rather small production of around 2500 bottles only.
The wine comes in a dark red color with purple hues. It’s dense and almost black to the core while the rim throws this delicious-looking purple rays suggesting this is still a youthful wine that hasn’t evolve much yet at least as far as the color is concerned.
The aroma profile is very powerful: richly fruity and spicy.
It strikes by its intense notes of ripe, nearly jammy berries like they are soaking in alcohol, like a blackberry and strawberry jam liqueur.
There is also definite spiciness to it, black pepper and eucalyptus making it smell very pungent with an affirmed personality your nose can only pay attention to.
Add dark notes of dark cocoa, vanilla, nearly coffee, and a touch of smokiness from the wood, and you have a rich and generous nose with plenty to say. Complex and tempting!
The palate surprised me first by its utter smoothness. Stunningly delicious and juicy jammy red berry flavors invade your mouth as soon as you put the wine in your mouth. They are joined by a very silky smooth sensation from fine tannins caressing your palate with an elegant drying feel.
After this first pleasant surprise, the wine’s solid acidity kicks in and brings up with it the rich spiciness and generous toasted elements from the oak.
It’s a world of clove, vanilla, toasted hazelnut that combine and blend with the berry fruit liqueur notes for an overall luscious sensation, a little like in a black forest cake that would have been pimped up with liquor… for a much better and much deeper and powerful experience.
A dry wine with fine and rather dense tannins. It does feel just a little sweet from the ripeness of the fruit characters, which in turn make the fruit shine even further.
A Priorat wine that satisfies deeply from its lusciously fruity berry liqueur characters, combined with spices and well-integrated oaky tones.
A dense and super-smooth tannic structure joins solid acidity to marry generous spices and s complex flavor profile.
When to drink?
Like the appearance suggested, this wine is still rather youthful although very enjoyable to drink now for lovers of bold fresh fruit flavors.
Given its acidity and tannic density though, it will sure evolve positively for the coming 10 years if not more. Try the wine now so you can feel what I’m talking about, but hold on to a few half-dozen bottles to see how it matures and far through time it can go. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a couple of decades.