There's a good reason the Catalan region of Priorat has become one of the world's hottest wine zones. This area in the northeast corner of Spain has undergone a striking transformation over the last two decades. Once known for traditionally styled wines that were rough and rustic, a combination of talent and technology has helped turn Priorat into a powerhouse for a more contemporary international style that brings focused concentrations of fruit and more polished tannins.
This Nita, currently discounted by $10 in Pennsylvania, is a great example of Priorat's luscious new guard. Made by young winemaker Maritxell Palleja, a protege of Priorat pioneer Alvaro Palacios, Nita blends the region's traditional garnacha and cariñena grapes with a touch of cabernet and syrah into a burst of plush dark fruit. At the same time, it somehow manages to be pretty and delicate - so much so that a pour through my quick-aging aerator stripped away a bit too much structure. This wine should be drunk relatively young and without much decanting fuss, because when I poured it straight from the bottle into the glass, Priorat's trademark minerality and spice-box intrigue reappeared, framing this lovely modern red with just enough old-school bones to keep it true to its roots.
- Craig LaBan
The 2007 Nita Priorat red blend (code: 15892) is available in Pennsylvania at select Premium Selection stores for $14.99.