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Cal Batllet Marc Ripoll Priorat 5 Partides Gratallops 2016 £58.89
CAL BATLLET - MARC RIPOLL GRATALLOPS 5 PARTIDES PRIORAT
Marc Ripoll returned to his family vineyards to change their fortunes. The family had been reduced to selling their harvests to the local co-operative, but he set about renovating the dilapidated winery and now Cal Batllet is regarded as one of the leading estates from their village of Gratallops.
Marc is part of the new generation of winemakers in Priorat who are reclaiming the region for their own. Focusing on a style that puts the local terroir as its heart and looking to create wines of elegance and refinement, light years away from what made Priorat the darling of the American critics. An organic approach in the vineyard and use of wild yeast and barrel fermentation all come together to create wines expressive of the individual sites they come from. The 90-year-old bush vines planted in steep hillsides on slate soil all create personalities of their own, none more so than the nearly extinct Escanya Vella grape which produces a wine full of sublime texture and fruit.
This expression is 100% Carignan wine from vineyards up to 100 years old. Planted on steep slopes in 5 different Gratallops village areas: Aubagues (250m, S,W,N), Camp d'en Piquer (250m, E), Coma (300m, NW), la Capella (300m, S), Vinyals (250m, S).
The hand-harvested grapes are fermentation spontaneously in open top 225 litre barrels as well as a flexitank egg, with pigeage twice per day at a maximum temperature of 26ºC, soft extraction, long maceration, and minimal intervention with total respect for the fruit.
After spending 16 months in predominantly French oak barriques (60% new) this terroir-driven wine faithfully represents the soils of Gratallops, giving a wine that is mineral-based, complex, ripe, elegant and soft with a long finish. A superb terroir driven wine, with volume but with excellent fruit balance.
A perfect partner to roast beef, and game
Decanter 96 Points
Cal Batllet is part of a growing group of winemakers changing the face of Priorat wines, with organic farming practices, indigenous yeasts and barrel fermentation all being increasingly used. 5 Partides is 100 Cariñena, old vines grown in five different hillside sites. The wine is aged for 16 months in a combination of oak barrels and flexitank eggs, Slatey, dark berries, an intense and vibrant nose; well-balanced oak, and a fresh finish. This is concentrated and big, yet elegant, and offers lots of underlying slatey, stony freshness. 96 Points, BW, February 2023.