Nita by Meritxell Palleją
VINTAGE In the words of winemaker Meritxell Pallejà, 2012 was demarcated by an absence of rainfall plus intense waves of heat that caused hydric stress in the non-native varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah) that grow in Priorat. The old-vine Garnacha and Cariñena, which are indigenous to the area, did not suffer as much and when bud break began around the end of March, their shoots continued to grow slowly up to and past the period of flowering. One benefit of this arid vintage, was that none of the vines suffered rot or mildew problems and only the youngest of vines were prone to desiccation. While over 380 liters of rain fell in 2012, the rain was mostly confined to a short two-month period in spring, and the exorbitantly hot and dry summer led to very rich wines with lush fruit flavors.
VINEYARDS Located in the southern half of the province of Tarragona, approximately 2 hours southwest of Barcelona, the D.O.Q. Priorat has a very rugged countryside where the majority of the vines are grown on steep hillsides made up of nothing but solid or crumbling stands of slate, known locally as llicorella. This nutrient-poor “soil” with little water retention is the distinguishing element of this region. These characteristics, along with stark diurnal temperature differences, produce gnarled vines of very low production and wines that are incredibly complex with great fruit concentration.
WINEMAKERS NOTES Akin to a bright red ruby in its color and rarity, Nita is a unique gem from the Spanish appellation of Priorat. From a region typically known for its concentrated barrel-aged reds, this wine is one of only a few jovenes, or non-barrel aged wines, produced within this celebrated appellation. Unaffected by the excessive toasted notes that barrel aging can produce, the 2012 Nita is perfect for those who want to taste the fruit and terroir of a wine in its purest form. Brain child of young female winemaker Meritxell Pallejà, this wine retains all of the characteristic minerality of Priorat, while better preserving the complex fruit flavors of old-vine Garnacha and Cariñena. Bright cherry-red in color with a garnet rim, this wine has compelling aromas of red fruit and sweet spice with hints of fennel and aniseed. On the palate this wine is fresh and well-balanced with potent red-fruit flavors, juicy acidity with a slightly mineral finish. Meant to drink now or age up to five years, this agreeable wine is the perfect accompaniment to a variety of dishes including BBQ, Chinese, Italian and American cuisine.
VARIETAL BLEND 45% Garnacha, 35% Carinena, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Syrah