Mas d’en Compte 2007 is a white Priorat with an ABV of 13.5%. This region – remote, hot and dry – is better known for its reds, and, as all the reference books state, white wines are only a very small part of the production. Alcohol levels are usually on the high side for both colours as day-time temperatures can get to +40 deg. Fortunately, very cool night temperatures help the grapes maintain some acidity. So this was an interesting wine to try, even more so as it was a kind gift to Richard.
The wine had been opened 24 hours but had evidently not changed one iota – which, in itself, is proof of its power. The colour was a deep gold with lemony tints and, despite the ABV, did not evidence notable windows. The aroma was strong and complex, with some acidity, and, at various sniffs, reminded us of ripe melons and peaches with Richard opining a slight burnt caramel smell.
We did struggle with the palate description, however. Words such as weighty, rich, very long and complex came easily as did the nice balance of acidity and power. But from that point onwards we were searching for words. I tentatively suggested earthiness but that really didn’t do it justice as it wasn’t particularly rustic. Great to drink, it had some heat on the back-palate but not unpleasantly so. Again, research showed that others writers struggle to get past the words above, so we aren’t alone.
The dominant (50%) grape is Grenache Blanc but this powerful white grape can oxidise quickly so it is balanced with Picpoule (for the acidity) and Xarel-lo.
Richard, the budding Masterchef contender, matched this with asparagus, scallops, mint oil, brown shrimps and tartar sauce – there are a lot of big flavours there. I’m sure it coped with them.
[Richard: Han encountered this wine in a wine tasting at Weavers in Nottingham, a wine merchant I frequented some 40 years ago, in those long forgotten days when supermarkets sold little more than Blue Nun and Mateus Rose. My reaction, when I saw the tasting list, was as the title to this blog suggests. Geoff and another wine lover said the same thing. Anyway Han was kind enough to buy me a bottle and it really is good. Don’t miss if you are in Nottingham.]