The Geekiest Flight in Colorado
I'm sure you've seen the movies where the fancy sommelier spews on about the forest floor and flowery rhubarb flavors and thought really?!?! We all know some wines taste differently than others and different grapes and wine making methods probably have something to do with that. That said, one challenge for all of us somms/wine geeks is recognizing the soil a wine is grown in by the taste of it. The actual science behind tasting the flavors of the soil in wine has been hard to come by, prompting many to claim its all fooey. Can one really smell and taste the soil in the finished wine?? Well, now you can be the judge.
Lesser known than Rioja, the only other DOQ in Spain is Priorat. A tiny, rugged, mountainous region with little rainfall and inhospitable soils and wine traditions dating back to the Middle Ages. The area is of volcanic origin which confers interesting characteristics to the soil. The basis (called llicorella in Catalan) comprises reddish and black slate with small particles of mica, which reflects the sunlight and conserves heat. You can pretty much only grow grapes or maybe olives here, but the wines have a quiet reputation of being arguably Spain's best. Surrounding Priorat is Montsant which doesn't have a single soil type but has soils of clay, slate, limestone and even sand. Grenache or Garnacha is widely planted here as it can stand the heat.
Here in Montsant is the Cellar Capcanes and their vineyards have multiple soil types. They
have done an amazing experiment with Garnacha grown on different soil types but all other aspects of production being held consistent. That means the grapes were all harvested at the same Brix (sugar levels), all fermented at the same temperature for 28 days. Held for the same time for a bit in old French oak barrels and then lightly filtered. They have done their best to have the only difference be the soil types. Is there a difference? You'll have to see for yourself!
Even if you can't, it's not an exercise in futility as both these wines are delicious. In fact after a couple minutes most folks are just busy enjoying the wine rather than evaluating it for soil type indications. We only have a little of the slate and limestone versions on hand, hopefully we can get our hands on the sand and clay versions if they ever come into Colorado. Come on out and get your geek on with us, its a unique opportunity that we're excited to share with you. This flight is available starting Tuesday March 21st and only while supplies last.