If Spanish wine had a poster child, it would be the Priorat Crianza 2012, from Simbolic 16. When I think of European vineyards, I think of rough, sexy, sort of deep unbridled landscape where everything is made fresh and old school… a beautiful traditional vineyard. Simbolic fits the picture perfectly, since the wine comes from the mountainous region of Torroja del Priorat, which is near Montsant and Barcelona. This wine truly celebrates life with the strong, grounded roots of vines that grow deep into the rocky soil.
Priorat is aged for 16 months in French and American oak barrels (vintage with a touch of modern in all the right places). Additionally, with the Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Samsó varietals, Simbolic has created a beautiful, full, rich, earthy, and tannic wine. Wow. I can picture myself having a glass right now, over candlelight with a large steak, or even a delicious holiday dinner, with all of the spice, herb, and plum flavors! This is a wine you would have on a very special evening.
But why is the wine so worthwhile you ask? Yes, you can buy other full-bodied wines for a cheaper price from other regions, but the art and science of the sacrificial qualities of grape varietals in an altitude of 450-600m above sea level proves that Priorat is a better choice. In the mountains, grape vines play survival of the fittest growing in rocky, craggy, and almost nutrient-less soil. The skin of the grapes is dark and thick, which produce so much flavor due to the constant change in heat (extreme sunlight and extreme cold), and the fight for the perfect amount of water creates a lower yield.
Simbolic’s grapes are few but mighty… mighty enough that they have multiple awards: 92 points from Wine Enthusiast, 86 points from Wine Spectator, and a Silver Medal at the 2017 International Wine and Spirits Sommelier Challenge.
This winery has an incredible history too; it has been around since the 17th century, and was created by Carthusian monks of Scala-Dei. It was eventually made a private vineyard in 1868, has gone through the civil war, and now will hopefully forever reside as a winery.
So what are you drinking to celebrate this holiday season? Because I know I’m going to have a bottle of Priorat Crianza on hand to celebrate the beauty and effort of the wine and all the wonderful things that have happened in 2017.