28-11-2015 ~ 2 Comments

Wine Folly a bit too literal?

I haven’t really found how to get the new book by Wine Folly to Spain in a reasonable way yet. I’ve seen on Amazon that it’s gotten excellent reviews and I’m definitely curious about it as Madeline Puckette’s site has gained an excellent following over the years for creating approachable graphics and breakdowns of complex wine regions.

I’ve unfortunately never met Madeline but she has a lot of easygoing-ness to her in videos I’ve seen which has long been needed in the wine world. For example, a description of German wines was quite helpful. Their extremely logical yet dense system isn’t for the feint of heart and that’s a concise way to describe it. This is pretty typical of what her and her group on the site have been doing and it’s great.

This is why I was a more than a bit surprised to see this trailer for the book (yes, we do trailers for books now and we like it.) Like everything from Wine Folly, it’s produced very well and looks great. There are just a couple of problems in terms of what’s said and usually their text is so straightforward, I feel like it’s me that’s missed something in pointing these out, which could be the case.

For starters, I don’t think of Priorat as a GSM region (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre) like how Châteauneuf or other French regions are. There are some think this and yes, it’s a Grenache-centric region but Mourvèdre (known as Monastrell in Catalonia where it’s from) isn’t permitted within the DOQ. If anything, Priorat (as well as Montsant) are G-C-CS-S-M regions which is the more typical blends of Grenache, Carignan, Cab Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot in varying proportions.

There’s also the wine in question which is the Mas d’en Gil – Vi de Vila – Bellmunt. A fine wine that’s a blend of Grenache, Carignan, and Cab Sauvignon. Again, this would be the more typical blend in this region and most definitely not a GSM. And saying that if you like that wine, you’ll like Carignan might be true but only if it’s Carignan from Priorat, Montsant, or maybe some of the Empordà. If you’re going for a budget-minded Carignan as suggested in the video, it will probably be from Languedoc up north and be completely different from this Priorat wine.

Again this is why I’m curious to see this book and see Ms. Puckette and her co-author Justin Hammack’s take on it. Many have tried this over this years with varying levels of success. And why is that? Because wine is damned complex no matter how easy you try to present it.


Álvaro Palacios - L’Ermita 2016
Very light red cherry, raspberry, tea leaves, dried fennel, light touch of anise, bay leaf, dried flowers, touch of fig compote, truffle. Exceptionally light and delicate on the palate, very very fine red fruits, integrated tannins, plush with a slightly buttery, velvety aspect, very long finish.
85% Grenache 14% Carignan 1% "Others" · 15% · 1160EUR
97+ 3 Stars

Ancestral Wine Cellar - Khikhvi 2014
First harvest of Khikhvi. Light apricot notes, peach skin, lemon peel. Citric in the mouth, fresh, lively acidity, vibrant. Very holistic, full and deliciously good.
100% Khikhvi · 12% · 30GEL
95 3 Stars

Álvaro Palacios - Les Aubaguetes 2016
Linear plum and dark cherry notes, powdery cocoa, orange peel and blossom, raspberry at the base along with minor vanilla and dark spice touches. Delicate on the palate, light touches of dark fruit, good wealth of tannins yet held in check, medium plus acidity, very long finish. Needs much more time in the bottle.
77% Grenache 21% Carignan 1% Grenache Blanc 1% Macabeu · 14.5% · 455EUR
95+ 3 Stars

Petriaant Marani - Khikhvi 2015
Bruised red apple, touch of lemon peel, limestone minerality, and some white pepper notes at the back of it. High acidity and full in the mouth. Luscious, involving, elegant wine.
100% Khikhvi · 14% · 25GEL
94 3 Stars

Aquila del Torre - Primaluce 2015
Bruised yellow apple, bit of fig compote, chalky mineral notes, and hazelnut. Light oxidized touches that work to embellish the wine. Rich palate that carries lovely texture with the age of the wine.
100% Sauvignon Blanc · 13.5%
93 2 Stars

Domaine Augustin - Adéodat Blanc 2016
Lemon and white peach, strong kick of salinity, and toasted notes. Very fleshy and full on the palate, peach notes more prominent as well as Meyer lemon, medium plus acidity and a lengthy finish.
100% Grenache Gris · 14.5% · 20EUR
93 2 Stars

AA Badenhorst - Secateurs Red Blend 2012
Forest bramble with ripe red fruit, touches of cherry, ripe red plum, tiny bit of prune, cumin, anise, black licorice, wet cement mineral note, underlying fig jam. Crisp medium plus acidity, medium tannins, medium plus length, medium alcohol, overall medium plus body that’s ripe and lively but super fresh and balanced at the same time. Bit of rugged wildness to it but doesn’t get out of hand. Easy to drink but with just enough underlying complexity so that it stays interesting.
56% Syrah 27% Cinsaut 6% Grenache 4% Cabernet Sauvignon 7% "Others" · 13.5% · 12EUR
93 2 Stars

Domaine Treloar - Motus 2015
Dark ruby, minor rim. Big, mighty bouquet of red cherry and other brambly forest fruit, vanilla, almond blossom, orange peel, and cocoa. Rich and full on the palate with a wealth of tannins still integrating, leading into a crunchy, lingering finish.
80% Mourvèdre 10% Syrah 10% Grenache · 14% · 14EUR
93 2 Stars

Terroir Sense Fronteres - Guix Vermell 2017
Crisp red cherry fruit, touch of spice, flecks of pepper, baking spice, compacted, wet earth. Delicate on the palate, stays fresh, surprising high wealth of tannins, long finish.
100% Grenache · 13% · 250EUR
93+ 3 Stars

Tchotiashvili - Khikhvi 2014
Apricot, yellow peach, orange peel, and a touch of honey. Quite complex aromatically. Orchard fruit much more prevalent in the mouth with young apricot notes. Rich and elegant, touch of astringency in the finish.
100% Khikhvi · 13.1% · 28GEL
93+ 3 Stars