Organic Ghosting

Villages Range
Lo Tros 2016
DOQ Priorat
55% Carinyena, 45% Garnatxa
El Molar, Tarragona, Spain
Organic, bush and trellised vines
Winemaker: Roger Grifoll; Partner from Vinergia: Robert Hunter

Gorgeous deep dense ruby glass. Breathing in dark cherries, plums, smoke and balsamic vinegar reduction. First sip is smokey cherries, plums, strawberries, raspberries and raisins. After a bit comes caramel, rosemary, tobacco, antique book leather but not dusty. It’s a well kept library that is enhanced by a feeling of darkness. This beauty transforms from a bright tang to a smooth operator.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: toasty strawberries and blueberries (where did they come from?)

Vinergia partners with winemakers across Spain to create wines that showcase grapes/wines of their region. Lo Tros is their project with Roger Grifoll of Cellers Grifoll Declares. Their vineyards are in El Molar which is a unique town since it straddles DOQ Priorat and DO Montsant and they date back in their family since 1736. Instead of having large flowing vineyards, theirs are in plots or pieces throughout the town, hence the name Lo Tros. Also due to this straddling they have two different wineries, one in each DO. The most fascinating thing (other than the wine) for me is how they combat the dreaded “Cluster Moth” (Lobesia botrana) through “sexual confusion”. Out of respect for the land and vines they do it naturally by setting out biodegradable diffusers that make the male moths think they are heading for a pheromone booty call with a female moth. Instead of killing them, they just get stuck perplexed where did the ladies go and end up not reproducing. I guess this is the ultimate ghosting.

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Getting the Mix Right

Celler Frisach
L’Abrunet de Frisach Negre 2019
Garnatxa Negra 60%, Carinyena 40%
Terra Alta D.O.
Corbera d’Ebre, Catalonia, Spain
Organic and Biodynamic
Winemaker brothers: Francesc and Joan Ferre

Light cherry garnet color. After uncorking there’s cherries, plums, tiny flowers, and some dark natural earthy funk but not as much in previous ones I have had. There’s also almond and something toasty like biscotti. As for taste, there’s light cherry dancing with a little sprig of hay. Raspberry comes next, a pinch of pine, smooth cherry jolly rancher, and juicy plums with a mix of dried ones too. Moving on to the tingle on the tongue, almond, white pepper, and at the end there’s chocolate but so lovely and light. Quite a mouthful, but it all works together so well.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: Tart!

This isn’t the first time I’ve encountered L’Abrunet de Frisach Negre, but it was quite a while ago with a different label and a much stronger natural funk that hung around. I was so happy when I opened the  2019, and it is a bottle of perfection. They got the mix just right. This is one of those wines where you’re kicking yourself for not having a second bottle. Not going to lie, I did not share this with anyone because no way this one is all mine.

Francesc and Joan transformed their 200 year old family farm/vineyard into Celler Frisach back in 2009, but evidently their family had been doing it in an organic manner all those past years. Coming from this farm experience they want their vineyards to stick to the same historic integrity and also look to the future of experimenting with the grape and furthering the eco-friendly and certified organic aspects of their farming. Their L’Abrunet de Frisach Negre, the Garnatxa Negra and the Carinyena grapes are now grown in the blended farming way of the past. They grow together yet in two different plots within their land, to get the best result for the grapes and then harmonize in this bottle. As many of the wine families I’ve written about, Francesc and Joan have that same dedication and respect to their heritage, land, vineyards and Terra Alta. As they say on their site, “We are roots, we are Corbera, we are wine”.

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