|Grans Muralles is a beautiful vineyard, surrounded by the walls of a 13th century Cistercian monastery, and planted with a range of indigenous Spanish grapes:
Monastrell, Cariñena, Garnacha, Garró and Samsó.
That is in complete contrast to Mas La Plana, made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon of course.
Grans MurallesGrans Muralles in the DO Conca de BarberÓ has been cultivated since Cistercian monks introduced vines here in the 13th century.
Grans Muralles 2001
This wine spent 18 months in new French oak from Nevers and Vosges. It has a deep, dark crimson colour. Much creamier and apparently more ripe and cassis-like than the Mas la Plana, with very ripe and full, forward black fruit showing no sign of the truffle and vegetal character that so marks Mas la Plana. Lovely quality of coffee and cedar oak, and hints of a thyme-like fragrance. On the palate that ripe, sweet, very concentrated and supple black fruit floods across the palate. There's plenty of grip, with liquorice and plum skins adding svelte but grippy edge. Very good balance here, with fantastic richness and harmony. 92/100
Grans Muralles 2002
Quite gamy and fleshy, with grilled meats and lots of cedar. More open than the 2001, which is not surprising given vintage conditions in 2002. Lots of gamy, structured depth and richness, with chewy tannins and very good balance. More open and approachable, and whilst this doesn't have the ultimate concentration, and nor, I suspect the staying power of the 2001, it is a very, very good wine that makes for delicious drinking now. 91/100
Grans Muralles 2005
Very dark, but vibrant crimson/black. Hugely closed, muscular, dense and concentrated black fruit aromas. There's a certain meatiness here. A tiny hint of something violetty and floral too, and again that little herbal hint. The palate has really intense, creamy and muscular fruit. There's massive concentration here, with dry, savoury, slightly leathery black fruit. This broadens to show some spice, but that leathery, dark, tightly-wound muscularity is brooding and impressive, and suggests this certainly needs time. 93/100
Mirador del Castell 2006
From the Milmanda vineyard, this wine blends 85% Chardonnay with 15% Parellada, with part of the Chardonnay aged in Limousin oak. Very attractive, fresh nose, with a hint of grassy cut, but a lovely, refined stone fruit character with a background of sesame seed smokiness. The palate has a similar combination of ripe, quite luscious peach and pear, and that crisp, lemon and grassy, endive edge. The oak just adds a creaminess in the finish of this delicious and stylish wine. 88/100
Salmos 'Perpetual' Priorato 2005
Only 6000 bottles of this wine are produced, from old vines Cariñena and Garnacha, aged 15 months on the lees in French oak. It has a vibrant, deep colour, with very ripe, fruit-forward nose, with lots of juicy redcurrant and cherry crunch. Lovely freshness on the palate too, some chocolate and dense black plum, but retains its bright and crunchy structure with supple, creamy tannins and excellent length. 92/100