In The Glass: Celler de l’Encastell – Marge 2013
There are some cellars in Priorat that just happily stay in the background, producing great wines, selling them, and then producing more. They give the impression that great winemaking is easy (it’s not, I know) and this is probably the best way to sum up Encastell. Raimon Castellvi is a pretty mellow, easygoing guy and I don’t know too many people that ever rave on and on about his wines like others in the area but year after year, he’s produced some damned fine wines. He also has great things yet to come such as his 100% Grenache from the village of Porrera that hasn’t been released yet but I tried earlier this year and was even more blown away than the old vine Carignan which already takes my socks and knocks them off.
But situated as introduction to all of this is the Marge. No, this isn’t a tribute to Marge Simpson which is undoubtedly what any English speaker thinks when they see the name. Marge (pronounced mar-ja) in Catalan is the name for the wall of a terrace, usually made of stone. There are many of these old walls littered about through Priorat still and it’s a fitting name as the wine takes grapes from several vineyards around the area.
A young wine it is not which is why the price is a touch higher than other truly “young” wines in the area. It spends 6-8 months in the barrel and has a price that reflects this but is still an excellent value for the region. On top of that, 2013 was an excellent vintage throughout Spain and Southern France as shown by the wines that are starting to be released. Definitely a bottle to look out for if Raimon’s small production can be found in your market.
Rich, red forest fruits, vanilla cream, wild herbs, and crushed, fresh slate. Alcohol runs a touch high in the body but with big fruits but full tannins and very healthy acidity that carries through the long finish.
Grenache, Merlot, Cab Sauvignon, Carignan, Syrah 15% 16€