Friday, April 10, 2009

2002 Clos Galena "Galena" Priorat Catalonia Spain

2002 Clos Galena "Galena" Priorat Catalonia Spain
Suggested retail price $17-$20
Distributed by Peter Matt of Monarchia-Matt in NYC

Clos Galena is the long worked project and culmination of oenologist and university lecturer, Miguel Pérez Cerrada. Domini de la Cartoxia, the winery, is located in El Molar, a hilltop (or mountain top, should I say) little village of Priorat (Tarragona, Catlonia, Spain).

The vineyard encompasses 11 hectares of mainly Garnacha, Carignan (or Carinan) and Syrah with some Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot vines, partly planted on the plateau, and gradually descending on steps (of all sizes), westward from the village.

Clos Galena winery produces two red wines: "Clos Galena" and "Galena", the former being the most expensive and made with older vines (or better vines, I'm not too sure because it is not specified on their website, but I assume so). The other difference between the two, is that, despite being a blend of mainly Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carinena, "Clos Galena" contains some Syrah and "Galena" contains some Merlot (see their website at for more details).

2002 Clos Galena "Galena" Priorat is a blend of roughly 35% Garnacha, 15% Carignane, 25% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged for 12 months in 80% French and 20% American oak barrels. The nose was a bit restrain at first, but with a bit of air and swirl in the glass, it was a bit more expressive with earthy and mineral tones. Offering much more on the attack and the mid-palate, I found this wine pretty good, with dark wild berry, stony, earthy notes and a juicy attitude due to a very good acidity. The finish was super earthy, mineral, dry almost like freshly crushed dark wild berry mixed with dirt and "Garrigue" like components. Really enjoyable, and at the antipodes of what new super extracted and ultraripe Priorat taste like. It is more elegant, earthy, balanced and old style (and somewhat less ripe or less fruity) than some of the new Priorat generation, but I enjoyed it this way and I'm hoping that you will too.


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