The Geekiest Flight in Colorado

I'm sure you've seen the movies where the fancy sommelier spews on about the forest floor and flowery rhubarb flavors and thought really?!?! We all know some wines taste differently than others and different grapes and wine making methods probably have something to do with that. That said, one challenge for all of us somms/wine geeks is recognizing the soil a wine is grown in by the taste of it. The actual science behind tasting the flavors of the soil in wine has been hard to come by, prompting many to claim its all fooey. Can one really smell and taste the soil in the finished wine?? Well, now you can be the judge.

Lesser known than Rioja, the only other DOQ in Spain is Priorat. A tiny, rugged, mountainous region with little rainfall and inhospitable soils and wine traditions dating back to the Middle Ages. The area is of volcanic origin which confers interesting characteristics to the soil. The basis (called llicorella in Catalan) comprises reddish and black slate with small particles of mica, which reflects the sunlight and conserves heat. You can pretty much only grow grapes or maybe olives here, but the wines have a quiet reputation of being arguably Spain's best. Surrounding Priorat is Montsant which doesn't have a single soil type but has soils of clay, slate, limestone and even sand. Grenache or Garnacha is widely planted here as it can stand the heat.

Here in Montsant is the Cellar Capcanes and their vineyards have multiple soil types. They 

Priorat Bitto Bistro

have done an amazing experiment with Garnacha grown on different soil types but all other aspects of production being held consistent. That means the grapes were all harvested at the same Brix (sugar levels), all fermented at the same temperature for 28 days. Held for the same time for a bit in old French oak barrels and then lightly filtered. They have done their best to have the only difference be the soil types. Is there a difference? You'll have to see for yourself!

Even if you can't, it's not an exercise in futility as both these wines are delicious. In fact after a couple minutes most folks are just busy enjoying the wine rather than evaluating it for soil type indications. We only have a little of the slate and limestone versions on hand, hopefully we can get our hands on the sand and clay versions if they ever come into Colorado. Come on out and get your geek on with us, its a unique opportunity that we're excited to share with you. This flight is available starting Tuesday March 21st and only while supplies last.


Orchard Wine Cellar Movers and Shakers This Week

  • Laya

    #1 Laya

    From Castilla-La Mancha in Central Spain, a unique blend made with the Garnacha Tintorera grape. Not only is the skin red, but so is the flesh. This provides a sturdy structure and noticeable tannins. Aged only 4 months in oak, this wine has luscious red and black fruits with hints of spice. Definitely one you should try, especially at this price!
    (Holding the #1 spot)

  • Armas de Guerra Rose

    #2 Armas de Guerra Rose

    My heavens! 50+ year old, organic Mencia vines from some of the highest vineyards in Bierzo. Subtle aromas of strawberry, pink grapefruit and white pepper play with clean river rock minerality touched by zesty key lime. Balance and finish are tied together with a vibrating acidity. Structured and executed like a world class ballerina doing flamenco. Sells out every year for good reason. Lighter than Provence, a different planet than White Zin. The only hard part is only opening one bottle at a time. (behind by 14 bottles)

  • Bonavita Red

    #3 Bonavita Red

    Made from four grapes harvested later than usual to achieve a greater ripeness and smoothness. A deep and inky wine, with ripe plum and blackcurrant aromas. Nice ripe fig and cherry with chocolate and licorice flavors. Just enough oak to give it some backbone. (behind by 5 bottles)

  • Tintero Moscato

    #4 Tintero Moscato

    Sori Gramella refers to the one of the only single vineyard Moscatos, and Marco is the only producer to bottle this striking limestone amphitheater commercially. Once the 30 year old vines give up their bounty, and the grapes are harvested and pressed, they are kept in stainless steel at a low temperature to prevent fermentation until an order is received in order to provide the freshest wine possible. (behind by 7 bottles)

Fun New Arrivals

  • Three Brooms

    Three Brooms

    This single vineyard, certified sustainable sav blanc shows lovely white flower, chili pepper, and gooseberry on the nose with some sandy mineralogy. Very nice weight and balance showing passion fruit, ripe apple flavors. Such a pleasant surprise is the roundness, the acid is lively and energetic but not abrasive.

  • Dancing Pines Gin

    Dancing Pines Gin

    A beautiful Colorado original. An aromatic, dry, refreshing spirit crafted with 6 botanicals, each contributing a unique component to the harmonious whole. Lovely bright citrus comes through on the finish prompting another sip, and another..

  • Obsidian Cab

    Obsidian Cab

    A wonderful classic CA Cab with solid structure from the altitude and Hungarian oak. Reserved and dark on the nose with aromas of blackberries, hints of black licorice and coffee. Really nice and elegant. Touch on the masculine side with no jammy, jelly jar junk here. Wonderfully different.

  • Armas de Guerra Mencia

    Armas de Guerra Mencia

    An excellent introduction to Bierzo's native varietal, the palate is fresh, elegant, and clean. Energetic aromas of fresh blue fruits, violet and white pepper, plus a subtle touch of licorice. Supple and gently sweet on the palate, offering sappy boysenberry and floral highlights with a hint of smokiness.