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Jeb Dunnuck Score: 92 Open Jeb Dunnuck Score: rating modal
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Jeb Dunnuck launched the “The Rhône Report” publication and website in 2008. Jeb was the leading reviewer for California, Washington, and Southern France from 2013 to 2017 for Robert Parker's Wine Advocate before launching

The rugged slopes of the Priorat alternate between forest and wild herbs, then groves of olive trees and vineyards. It's said that you can't get from Point A to Point B in Priorat without a detour through Points F and Q-- on either road or terrain. But the careful eye can detect that even the densest of forests in the Priorat bear traces of generations of farmers who have attempted to tame this wild landscape. Crumbling terraces overgrown with brush, tiny broken-down shelters from which one could escape the blisteringly hot midday sun, and the occasional twisted metal of an abandoned farming implement, the use of which has long since been forgotten.

The region would have remained raw and undiscovered had it not been for the pioneering four founders of the Priorat: Daphne Glorian, Alvaro Palacios, Josep Luis Perez, and Rene Barbier. With their efforts, the modern Priorat was born, and it has seen tremendous growth in the last thirty years.

Appreciating and honoring both tradition and newer practices, we have a new custom cuvée from Eric Solomon: Coster dels Olivers. This is a blend of 60% Carinyena (Carignan), 30% Garnatxa (Grenache), and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon grown on slate soils by the Sangenis family of Porrera. A combination of younger vine fruit, a relatively cooler northwestern exposure of the vineyards, a high percentage of Carinyena, and 12 months of aging in well-seasoned French and Hungarian oak barrels, ensures a brighter and juicier style of Priorat made for immediate enjoyment. And so enjoyable it is! You might be familiar with the name 'Eric Solomon' as his wines have graced our shelves and palates for many years and will continue to do so when he keeps releasing liquid gems like this one.

Dark ruby red in color, the nose leads with red and dark fruits, particularly black cherry and strawberry, adding streaks of minerality and earth along with a touch of rose bush and garrique. On the palate, mixed red fruits occupy most of the foreground as hints of wood spice, slatey minerality and rose water act as an award-worthy supporting cast. There is a nice lushness to the mouthfeel but smooth tannins and the right amount of acidity keep it fresh and lively. The finish brings fresh cherries together with minerality and light spice as it slowly resolves on the tongue, the flavors lingering on and on after the final sip. All this for under 18 bucks? Yes, please!

JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "Based largely on Carignan, with 30% Garnacha and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2018 Priorat has a big, smoky nose of mulled red and black fruits, graphite, flowers, and new leather. This carries to a medium to full-bodied wine with terrific tannins (especially for Carignan), a balanced, elegant texture, no hard edges, and a great finish."
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