Cal Pla Crianza, Joan Sangenis, Priorat 2018
Cal Pla is a very smart and stylish barrel-aged Spanish red - bursting with flavour, but also with quite some sophistication, structure and class. It was a universal hit with our tasting panel when we added it to the list last year. Priorat and La Rioja are the only two regions in Spain that hold the status of DOCa (Denominación de Origen Calificada), the highest designation for a wine appellation in Spain.
On my first buying visit to Spain over 20 years ago, I was told by a leading MW who knew a great deal about Spanish wine that Priorat is going to be Spains next big thing. He was not wrong - this wild, rugged and picturesque enclave of Tarragona is now producing some of Spains very finest reds - the very top boutique wines can run to hundreds of pounds a bottle - this one is an absolute snip at £15.95.
The 2018 vintage (a great one for the region) has just landed and is as delicious as ever. Made from 40 year-old vines, and aged for 15 months in French oak barrels - this is very deep in colour, with intense dark fruits. Quite serious in style, and also rugged and spicy with generous ripe blackberry notes. An alluring perfume adds freshness whilst the palate has layer upon layer of flavour - a touch of sweet, spicy oak and a very moreish character. Big, rich and powerful, but very well balanced, and hugely drinkable.
And theres no rush to drink - this will continue to develop for a few more years in the cellar if you wish. This is a cracker and you wont be disappointed.
- Ben Godfrey, Buyer of FromVineyardsDirect
Very difficult to find Priorat at a reasonable price these days so I was pleased to find FVD endorsing this one. It's approachable such that those of us who enjoy a powerful red can enjoy separate from food. Currently it improves on day two for me though and my feeling is that it should improve further with time.
High quality of wine for the price, heavy, very rich and full bodied. Great with beef.
Decent bottle, good price for a Priorat but not as compelling or great value as I remember earlier vintages from five or so years ago.
Approachable version of Priorat (less grist than some), but still with the impenetrable depth and wrap around intensity for an evening with a slow cooked beef stew or osso buco. Good value.