Merum Priorati El Cel

Tasting notes:
El cel 2013 has an opaque cherry-red hue with a purple rim. Dense, abundant tears. It has a splendid aromatic intensity, both on the nose and across the palate. The nose has notes of dark fruit such as ripe blueberries, with subtle undertones of pastries, as well as hints of toasted grain from the French oak. It is broad on entry and refreshing on the palate, thanks to its wellintegrated minerality. It has aromas of dark fruit such as wild berries, blackberries and plums, together with expressive flavors from its oak aging: chocolate, truffle and black licorice. It unfolds in powerful, complex fashion, and its silky tannins ensure a long, elegant midpalate.

Soil:
The rocky soil, very poor in organic matter, makes for low-vigor, low-yield vines. The laminated bedrock means the vines’ roots grow down as far as 15 meters. Both factors help the vines endure the summer stress and lead to a perfect, progressive ripening of the grapes. 2013 harvest: This year was characterized by a rainy spring and a warm, dry summer and fall. Garnacha (Grenache) production was uneven owing to ripening difficulties. The June hailstorm did not have a major impact. The harvested grapes were healthy and of excellent quality.

Appellation of origin:
Priorat DOQ Food pairing: An intense, full-bodied wine like El Cel calls for complex game dishes with plenty of fat, such as jugged hare with vegetable and herb marinade, suckling-pig terrine, or venison tenderloin with pomegranate sauce.

Vinification:

Harvested by hand in 20 kg boxes. All the harvested grapes are destemmed. Fermented/macerated at a controlled temperature in stainless-steel vats. Macerated for three weeks. Gently pressed using a pneumatic horizontal press. Malolactic fermentation in 225-liter French oak barrels. Aged for 14–18 months, after which the wine is blended and bottled. El Cel 2013 is neither filtered nor fined.

Alcohol content: 15.5% vol.
Total acidity (tartaric acid): 5.3 g/l.
Residual sugar: 0.6 g/l.
Vine training: Old vines are trained as bush vines and mature vines are trained horizontally (Cordon de Royat and double Royat, and shoot growth along vertical trellising).
Age of vines: 16–104 years.
Yield: 2500 kg/ha.
Type of oak: 1100% French oak. Medium toast. Third use.
Serving: Uncork and decant about two hours before drinking. Best served at 16 ºC to 18 ºC.

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