L'ESTEL 2014, D.O. Terra Alta
The colour is intense (from Syrah) and lively with a core of garnet (from Grenache) with a bright ruby rim (Cariñena). Stony minerality overlay black fruits and spice on the nose. On the palate, the wine is bodied with sweet red fruit and soft tannins. Not a traditional Priorato type, this wine gives full and round sensation and is to be to be enjoyed with all roast pork, including Cha Siu.
This modern wine has the following salient characteristics and benefits:
Modern style for the cool climate influence(450 metres above, allowing full maturation of the grapes though Alcohol level is at 14.5%) Wood fermentation(hence very soft wood and fruit tannins), almost fermented out(RS 0.12 gram), so it tastes smart.
Chalky and sandy topsoil over clay-limestone all underpinned by limestone bedrock contributes to low nutrient level and a tremendous capacity for storing water, that is important for the wines as the summers are warm and dry and almost always windy alternating between winds from the arid continental and the more humid the Mediterranean.
Special maceration tanks with automated pigeage pistons the maceration is very gentle and ensures no greenness or harshness enters the wine.
Scores are high.
"A polished and very resolved wine in a flavorsome dark berry fruited guise with gently leafy and savory elements. The palate has deeply ripe and velvety tannins carrying spiced dried cherry flavor.”
94 Points, James Suckling
"I already see an improvement on the wines of Herencia Altès, which I already found impressive last time. A name to keep in mind for Terra Alta."
90 Points, The Wine Advocate