Another wine from Vin Cognito, this time a white Priorat (north-east Spain, inland from Tarragona). I thought Priorat was an entirely red wine region [see below] but Blei, Clos Martina 2012 is made from the white Garnacha grape (86%) with some Xarel-lo and Pedro Ximenez. 14% ABV means a powerful wine but this wears its strength very lightly, there were hardly any tell-tale windows above a very deep lemon colour. The wine was exceptionally bright and beautifully clear.
On the nose, there was a strong presence of lemon overlaying a richness and very slight honey quality. Priorat is a hot area (accounting for the richness) but also mountainous, so I guess that the grapes are grown at altitude to maintain their acidity levels. The palate was a delight; dry, yes, but also very soft with a long finish. This was a very well-integrated wine where fullness and acidity were in balance. Six months in oak have probably helped smooth out the edges but there was not much of the tell-tale vanilla; the tropical fruit flavours were still in evidence. Richard and I really liked this and thought it ‘a find’.
[Richard: not cheap at £18 but still excellent value. As it happens we have tasted a white Priorat before – another classy wine.]