Quality control time again! And on this occasion we opened a bottle of Primitiu de Bellmunt 2000 from Priorat in Spain without any idea of what a treat we were in for, especially as this wine seems to have passed somewhat under the radar – a little surprising given the enticing tasting note which continues to ring true:
Super aromas of coffee and black berries intermingled with aromatic eastern spice and kirsch. The palate is very enticing, with soft berry fruits to the fore, gentle tannins and with superb lively aromatic red fruit notes. Quite beguiling.
Primitiu de Bellmunt produces exceptionally pure and concentrated wine with distinctive underlying minerality and bags of terroir from three of the oldest plots in the entire Priorat with Grenache and Carignan vines of between 70-110 years old!
For anyone with an interest in top quality Spanish wines, this is a must try. A lovely mature wine, as well as looking like a superb value, and we can’t recommend it highly enough! It shows how gracefully wines from the highly praised Priorat region can age.
Primitiu de Bellmunt, like many Priorat growers, originally sold bulk wine to other producers, until Antonio Rodriguez began bottling wines under his own label in the late 1990s. Primitiu de Bellmunt is now at the forefront of this little known Catalan district, and Priorat has transformed its lackluster reputation into a real powerhouse of modern winemaking.
Domaine Fondreche’s stunning new southern Rhône releases from the 2009 and 2010 vintages are on a par with the estate’s sublime 2007 vintage. They left our experts breathless.
We have just secured stocks of follow-on vintages of their entry-level Mas Fondreche, the powerful yet elegant Nadal and Fayard, and the super stylish Persia with all the class and sophistication of neighbouring Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Not to mention a brand new wine to our list, the l’Eclat Blanc (lit. white radiance), which has a lovely lifted, fresh citrus palate singing above a gorgeous mineral base.
Winemaker Sebastien Vincenti is devoted to his terroir, and his three special plots are treated individually according to their specific needs; farmed using organic methods, including 100% organic manure, with no chemcial herbicides, and planting between rows to prevent erosion, promote microbial life and aeration of the soil. He is also committed to biodynamic principles, taking into account the influence of lunar cycles when ploughing and harvesting.
Sebastien’s 35 hectares are cropped to produce nearly half the yields of that of his neighbours, making Fondreche’s wines more deeply textured and intensely fruity. The vineyards are situated in the Ventoux appellation to the east of the Rhône Valley, an area sheltered from the Mistral wind by the spectacular foothills of Mont Ventoux and Monts de Vaucluse.
If you haven’t tasted these extraordinary wines before, be prepared to be simply blown away by their class, complexity and concentration. Not to mention great value-for-money too.
“The leading reference point estate in the Cotes du Ventoux region, Domaine de Fondreche is run with extraordinary passion and impeccable attention to detail by Sebastian Vincenti and Manou Barthelemy. This large estate of just under 100 acres is biodynamically farmed and all the red wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered.” eRobertParker.com