2007 Vall Llach Idus Priorat
Expert Rating
RP 92 points
(Read the full review below)
 
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Vall Llach Vineyards Blue Slate Dividends

The Spanish wine industry, so buoyant in the first years of the new millennium, would soon be dragged down by the Common Market undertow. Cheap Spanish wine got even cheaper, with large bodegas selling insipid reds for less than the cost of production. One by one, American importers abandoned many of Spain's greatest wine trails. Just as we saw in Napa between 2008 and 2010, some of Spain's most storied bodegas were caught in the Euro whipsaw -- seemingly with nowhere to turn.

You heard it here first. Little by little, the tide is turning for the superstar estates of Spain, making for some of the most riveting bargains on today's market. We first learned of the rebound from Jean-Francois Hebrard at Quinta de la Quietud, when Hebrard told us that 2012 was one of the best years in the winery's short history. Then, it would be Gerin, Combier and Fischer at Trio Infernal who would sing much the same song. Finally, last month, the story of perseverance and resolve -- against all odds -- would be retold on the eerie moonscape at storied Vall Llach.

If you've come to Barcelona, but never taken the drive up the coast to Priorat, it's time to book a return trip. In the historic summer of 2007, the sun broiled these hand-tended terraces, providing a magical shimmer to the paper thin, blue slate for which Vall Llach is so well known. In the early years of the new millenium, Vall Llach's super-cuvee "Idus" went for $70/bottle. But when the Common Market blinked, sending shivers from Madrid to Catalunya, many in Priorat would be obliged to alter their ancient-vine production. At Vall Llach, Salus Álvarez stuck to his guns and never missed a beat. Now, with the storm clouds just beginning to break over Barcelona, one of the superstars of Priorat is reaping blue-slate dividends.

The 2007 Vall Llach "Idus" is jet black in color, with powerful, brooding aromas of blackberry preserves and anise. Rich and dense, the attack is a massive blend of blackberry and boysenberry, laced with sweet crème-de-cassis, all bracketed by Priorat's classic schist soil backbone. Drinking beautifully now, but don't be afraid to lay this one down for 3-4 more years.


Tasting Notes

2007 Vall Llach Idus Priorat
"Purple/black in color, it exhibits a brooding aromatic array of wet stone, licorice, fruit cake, plum, and blackberry. Thick, rich, and full-bodied on the palate, it has layers of fruit, a silky texture, and impeccable balance. Give it 2-3 years of additional cellaring and drink it from 2013 to 2027. "
92 points -- Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate

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