Coma Vella 2010 – Priorat, Spain

The nose bursts into a froth of red fruits, violets, white pepper, and freshly hewn wood. This is a deep ruby-garnet, medium to light bodied beauty. Not exactly what I’d come to expect from Priorat. The typically Catalan tannins put a muscular structure on what would otherwise be a light bodied day-drinker. Strawberries, blackberries, and membrillo play on the palate with a faint cocoa-melting-to-slate tannin finish. As she opens up, the body deepens and becomes more powerful, with flavors of cassis, chewy cocoa, pepper, and faint vanilla come on. At 15%, and with plenty of acid, she’s got a kick to her that accentuates and stiffens the spine of the tannin. Very interesting Priorat estate bottling. I picked this up as a recommendation at Goñi Ardoteka in San Sebastián, Spain. Just over 43,500 bottles made. This was bottle No. 03983. Online research says that you can grab a bottle for $30-50.

  • Rating: Impressive
  • Name: Coma Vella 2010
  • Winery: Viticultors Mas d’en Gil
  • Region: Priorat
  • Country: Spain
  • Varietals: N/A
  • Price: $30-$50
  • Where to Buy: Goñi Ardoteka in San Sebastián, Spain
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Abadal 3.9 2009 – Pla de Bages, Spain

IMG_0012A powerful nose of baked berry pie, leather, crushed flowers with a hint of jasmine at the end. Some strawberry notes develop as it sits open in the decanter. A really amazing bouquet worth lingering on. Chewy leather, cocoa, and dark red fruit at the front end with a powerful, typically Catalan, tannic finish with stone and slate. This is a fascinating and powerful expression of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. About 30-45 minutes after decanting the nose shifted to a strong maple note – sheer stunner. Truly a roller-coaster; it opens, concentrates, opens again. A deep black garnet color. Cherry popsicle near the end. Yes, I said cherry popsicle. Melted. Cherry. Popsicle. I picked this up in Barcelona on Patricia’s recommendation. Damn glad I did. Wine Searcher can’t seem to find a bottle in the U.S.

  • Rating: Stunning
  • Name: Abadal 3.9 2009
  • Winery: Bodegas Abadal 
  • Region: Pla de Bages
  • Country: Spain
  • Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah
  • Price: $25
  • Where to Buy: N/A

Fabre Montmayou Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel Selection 2009 – Rio Negro, Patagonia, Argentina

img_3531Dark cherry, cassis, and white pepper notes on the nose right out of the bottle. Rich, bold leather and balsamic notes, some creamy vanilla flavors on the front end with tight tannins bringing up the rear shutting it all down just before you get bowled over. This has been one of my favorites for a few years now and I’m working my way through the final few bottles of a case I’ve been nursing. An hour after the cork pops and after some of the 15% alcohol burns off it opens a bit further, the tannins combine with a creamy cocoa note and chewy leather. The nose takes on a faint greenness, like crushed flowers. It’s more common to run into this wine’s cousins by Fabre Montmayou – the Mendoza Malbecs are nice, but can’t quite keep up with this Rio Negro, Patagonia Cab. I believe this ran around $20-25/ bottle when I bought it. Attempts to find it in the myriad, noisy online wine resources (ya know, the reason why I started this blog in the first place) ran on several later vintages hovering in the $16/ bottle range.

  • Rating: Impressive
  • Name: Cabernet Sauvignon Barrel Selection 2009 
  • Winery:Fabre Montmayou
  • Region: Rio Negro, Patagonia
  • Country: Argentina  
  • Varietals:Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Price: $20-$25
  • Where to Buy: d’Vines, 3103 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20010