(2022) Made from 40-year-old vines and aged for 15 months in French oak barrels, this blends Grenache and Carignan with 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. All come from the high-elevation slate soils of the Priorat region, and synthetic chemicals are not used in the vineyards. It has a finely-wrought cherry, spice and floral nose, power beneath with more ripe black fruit character, but plenty of elegance. In the mouth an endive twist of liquoricy bitterness is lovely against sweetly ripe and intense, Amarone-like mid-palate fruit. The oak is polished and creamy, touching on chocolaty, and the finish with tight tannins and cherry acidity is lovely. One of the stars of this tasting.
(2022) Sara Perez is the second generation winemaker for her family estate - one of five families that pioneered DO Priorat, created only in 1989. This certified organic wine is mostly Garnacha (Grenache) blended with Carignan and Syrah, and just a dash of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. I note the modest 13.5% abv here; many Priorat wines hit 14.5% or more. The nose has a herbal, olive and forest floor aspect, though suffused with a ripe black berry fruitiness that has some lighter aspects too; liquorice perhaps adding an edge to the profile. Loads of spicy, tannic character on the palate, with a frisson of bittersweet, roughening plum and cherry skins adding a lip-smacking tartness. Oak supplies a cedary layer too, but the energy and drive of the acid core streaks to the finish.
(2021) The steep, slate vineyards of Priorat lie at high altitude close to Barcelona, and not too far from where Torres has its base. This is a blend of Cariñena, Garnacha and Syrah, aged 14 months in French oak. It has a refined, vinous nose, cherries and blackcurrants, touched by graphite and light, creamy, polished oak. There's something a little earthy and gravelly too, adding to the appeal. The palate has great energy: a lip-smacking burst of juicy black fruits and acidity fills the mouth, while smoky, bittersweet dark chocolate notes swirl around. Tannins are very plush and fine, and the length is excellent.
(2020) From the high quality Priorat region of northeast Spain, close to Barcelona, this is a typical blend of Carignan and Grenache, and at 'Crianza' level, will have seen some barrel ageing. There's a firm cherry fruited character on the nose, definitely a touch of tobacco spice and the whole picture quite taut and serious. In the mouth the cherry fruit becomes more fleshy, softened slightly by silky tannins and a pert but generous acidity. It stays savoury and dry, a really nicely balanced wine that's crying out for a bit of meaty protein to match. Part of Lidl's 'Wine Tour', May 2020.
(2018) A rare example of a white wine from Priorat in northeast Spain, this is a blend of 50% white Grenache 25% Picapoll (Picpoul) and 25% Xa.rello, fermented and matured for seven months in barrels, 70% new French oak and 30% American oak. A hint of gold to the buttercup colour, there's plenty of toasty and oatmeal and almond creaminess on the nose and richness is evident with pear fruit and a hint of spice. In the mouth it's a substantial wine, the full oak treatment adding volume and texture, as well as that more overt oak character, which is perhaps just slightly overdone for me. Nevertheless, an interesting take on a Burgundian style, with good firm acids bringing up the finish.
(2018) Along with the dry Furmint, one of the stars of the line-up for me - though you have to like a fair thwack of charry, spicy oak in your wines. In this Priorat it is matched by plenty of berry fruit, smoky and mineral in its own way, and a hint of Parma violet to the aroma. It has excellent drinkability, made principally from Grenache with some Bordeaux varieties in the mix, giving a fruit freshness and silky richness to the palate. A grippy bite of tannin and good, clean acidity completes the picture of a wine that's a banker for barbies this summer.
(2015) And yes it's two in a row for Aldi with this 14.5% Garnacha (Grenache) based wine. Tight kirsch and blackcurrant, the fine spice suggesting Sandalwood and delighfully balanced aromatic character. On the palate it is composed and beautifully fruited with a cleansing, crisp finish showing copious fruit but such a precise structure of tannin and acidity. Could cellar for a few years too.
(2015) This is 100% Syrah from Berenguer's own vineyards, aged 15 months in Burgundian oak. It has 15% alcohol. Very dark, saturated crimson black, with a full, coffee, chocolate, ripe and sweet black plum and glossy cassis nose, again a bit of mint or menthol here, and just a background hint of something a little more gamy. Huge fruit sweetness and concentration on the palate: an enormously deep, glossy, smooth as velvet pool of ripe black berries, all beautifully merged with the svelte and creamy oak and tannins, a little spicy and cherry acidity leavening the picture. A massive, unctuous wine that some will like more than others, but a really good example of its style.
(2015) 'C.S.' stands for Cabernet Sauvignon, in this case 100% Cabernet from a single vineyard, which spent 16 months in new French oak, and only 1,000 bottles made. With 15% alcohol it is true to the house style and is massively ripe and spicy - no sign here of Cabernet Sauvignon's occasionally green note of savoury olive: this is a fruit bomb for sure, and yet there's a refinement too, graphite and cedar and very high quality and quite subtle French oak. In the mouth the tannins are fairly dusty at the moment, suggesting this perhaps needs a little time, the edge of acidity and tight tannin giving some liquorice and an endive-like bittersweetness to the long, spicy, spicy finish.
(2015) The Grenache-based wines of Priorat, grown at altitude on slate soils close to Barcelona, can be some of the most profound in Spain. Old vine Grenache is joined by Syrah and Mazuelo in this wine, which has a dense, intense purple/black saturation, and very vivid and velvety berry and spice aromas: hints of clove and cedar as well as plenty of dark bramble fruit. Despite the 14.5% alcohol there is a bit of cut and freshness on the palate. Tannins are pretty soft and fine, acidity is fresh and cherryish, all off-setting the ripe fruit concentration and spice.