Celler Vall Lach
Tel: +34 977 828 244
For me, Priorat is Spain’s most exciting region. From
a standing start just a couple of decades ago, this wonderful terroir
has been revitalized and now some fantastic wines are being made from
its schistous soils – not unlike those of Portugal’s Douro.
Vall Llach was founded in the early 1990s by singer Lluís
Llach and Enric Costa, and it situated in Porrera. However, the first
wine to be marketed was released in 2000. It’s pride and joy are
some old vine (60–90 years) Cariñena and Garnacha vines. They have
also planted some Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Some grapes are also
bought in to supplement these.
Three wines are made. Embruix is aged fro 14 months in
used casks (all French oak, previously used for the main wine), and
consists of a blend of Cariñena, Cabernet Sauvignon and young
Garnacha, supplemented with a bit of Syrah and Merlot. Idus is aged in
new oak (light toast 300 litre barrels from Dargaud & Jeagle,
medium toast 225 litre barrels from Radoux, all French) for 18 months,
and consists of 40% old vine Cariñena, 25% Cabernet, 20% Merlot, 10%
Garnacha and 5% Syrah. The flagship wine, titled simply Vall Llach is
aged for 18 months in new French oak (same barrels as the Idus), and
is mostly (65%) old vine Cariñena with the rest Merlot and Cabernet.
The wines were being presented by young winemaker Bibi
Garcia, who graduated in Viticulture and Enology from Madrid
University and has worked in Rioja and had a couple of spells in
Recent vintages in Priorat. 2000 was very good, with a
very hot, dry summer. 2001 had a bit more rain, and overall was
probably more balanced. 2002 was a difficult vintage in these parts
(as it was in a fair bit of Europe), and production was cut severely.
2003 was also difficult because of rain producing botrytis problems.
2004, though, was fantastic.
Vall Llach Embruix 2002 Priorat
Tight, slightly close nose. The palate is savoury, earthy and
spicy with good density and firm structure. Very savoury. Very good+
Vall Llach Idus 2001 Priorat
Sweet, intense liquoricey nose which is quite smooth and high
toned. The palate is supple and expressive with elegant red fruits and
an earthy, spicy edge. Quite delicious and moreish – a savoury sort
of style. Very good/excellent 93/100
Vall Llach 2001 Priorat
Brooding, intense dark fruits on the nose. Smooth and elegant with
a mineralic edge. The palate is supple with lovely rich, smooth red
and black fruits backed by powerful but supple tannic structure.
There’s a distinctive, rich almost chocolatey, spicy finish. Very
Vall Llach 2000 Priorat
Wonderful, powerful spicy nose. Chocolatey, spicy, minerally,
expressive and full with lots of complexity. The palate is bold with
concentrated, dense spicy fruit. Very full and tannic (there’s huge
structure here); currently tight and dense with lots of ripe fruit
under the tight structure. Excellent 96/100
UK availability: agent is McKinley Vintners
Wines tasted 02/05
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