Sunday, September 23, 2012

Updated Review: ***+ $$ Vega Escal Priorat, Spain, 2005 - GOOD VALUE

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By way of background, opening thoughts: From the Priorat area of Spain, land of long-lived and often more costly red wines, comes this modestly priced offering that has achieved some recognition.

Original tasting and review, September, 2011: This is Vega Escal Priorat, Spain, 2005, a blend of 60% carignan, 30% grenache and 10% shiraz, finished at 14.5% alcohol.

In the glass: Vega Escal is black burgundy, still purple at the edge, opaque from within a quarter inch of the edge.  Black madness. 

On the nose: Poured cool with a brief decant and swirled vigorously, shows brilliant, bold and lifted black fruit, carrying some oak.  From the aroma, seems like this will be aggressive, rich and potent.

On the palate: The primary elements on the palate are in fact a round, silken, almost shimmery full mouth feel of perky fruit.  Think very ripe, rich blackberry.  The follow-up to the sip are little strands of tannins and acids leaving their calling cards in your cheeks and along the back of your tongue.  Just enough liveliness mixed with the deep fruit suggests Vega Escal Priorat is ready for drinking now, in the sixth year since vintage date. 

In summary: Overall, rates three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with a plus for its balanced intensity, creating a good value wine indeed.

Following long decant, two days kept cool in partially filled bottle:   Soft black cherries on the nose.  Palate is consistent with rich blackberries and a touch of oak.
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Updated review, over a year later,  September, 2012:  Mahogany now in the glass.  Softly aromatic, having lost much boldness, perhaps a hint tired.  Soft and deep fruit on the palate.    
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Another updated review, almost two more years later, now a whoppping nine years from vintage date,  July, 2014:  Deep muddy magenta in the glass, opaque still from about a half inch in from the edge.  Clean, subtle, light red fruit.  Shows not a hint of age (completely unlike my tasting in 2012); all bright red fruits with a remarkably clean finish.  Friendly, light and bright - the most remarkable thing is how little of its almost decade of age that it shows.

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