2005 Trio Infernal Priorat Cuvee No. 1/3

Trio Infernal Priorat Cuvee No. 1/3 They tried to prepare us, but nothing they said could have readied us. We took the dangerous route to Priorat. Not the coastal road with the crazy Spanish drivers. No, we took the fast track, in Laurent Combier's prop plane, leaving the Rhone in the morning as Combier had done countless times, tracking the blue-green Mediteranean, landing a couple hours later just north of the rugged hillsides of northeastern Spain.

Combier, Peter Fischer (Chateau Revelette) and Jean-Michel Gerin (Cote Rotie) had been making the trek for a half-dozen years, ever since they had been enchanted by the impossibly terraced vineyards and the ancient-vine Carignane and Grenache on the coast just a few hours south of Barcelona. When El Mundo, Spain's number one newspaper, named a 2004 Trio Infernal the "Best Spanish Wine of the Year," the French trio were owners of one of the hottest properties in Spain's hottest appellation.

Laurent Combier and his prop plane
Laurent Combier and his prop plane
When we got to Trio Infernal, it was immediately clear why these brilliant winemakers had come so far so fast. The old vines were impossibly terraced, a vineyard maze winding through the steep hillsides, all planted on precious schiste. And when we tasted the absolutely sensational 2005, a wine with deeper flavors than 2004, more explosiveness, but also with an amazingly fresh and vibrant finish, we thought Trio Infernal's meteoric rise was only the beginning.

Tasting Notes
"The 2005 Cuvee No. 1/3 is a blend of Garnacha and Carinena aged for 12 months in seasoned French oak. Purple-colored, it offers up an enticing bouquet of mineral, spice box, cedar, black cherry and blueberry. This leads to a plush, surprisingly forward wine which nicely conceals enough structure to evolve for 2-3 years. Already exhibiting considerable complexity, it will be at its best from 2010-2018."
92 points-- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate