WTN: Bob Ross
Vinos Piñol Ludovicus, 2004, Terra Alta, Spain.
Unfined, unfiltered,tank fermented, 12 to 15 year old vines, three months in small oak barrels.
$11.99/bottle - $128.99/case Beekmans, Glen Rock, NJ http://www.beekmanwine.com/
I've mentioned before how much I like neighborhood wine retailers. This was the first store I frequented, and although we've moved several miles away, I stop by from time to time to chat with Joel Mitchel and buy a few of his recommendations. This one was a particular winner. Deep ruby/purple color, deep hue, very good fruit and spice aroma, rich fruit taste, medium mouth feel, long finish. Lovely overall impression, great match with left over lamb. 3*+. Great QPR.
Josefina Piñol is the current owner of Cellar Vinos Piñol which was founded in 1945 by Josep Arrufi. It consists of 100 acres of vineyards in the town of Batea which is in the Terra Alta wine region. Located just 45 miles southwest of Barcelona, Terra Alta is in the high mountains of Tarragona. It sits next to Priorat and enjoys the same climate conditions (high Mediterranean) and altitude (1300 feet). The very hot days, cold nights, and moderate rainfall allows the grapes to ripen well during the day and slowly during the night. It prevents the acidity from falling too rapidly as harvest approaches, and it allows for a high skin-to-juice ratio which yields deeply colored and flavored red wines.
"Vinos Piñol is farmed organically on soil that is limestone over clay. With low levels of organic matter, the vines struggle for nutrients and produce low yields of concentrated grapes. Thirteen different varietals are planted, and the vines range from 8 to 95 years of age. Six different red blends and three whites are marketed by the winery. José Galcera Piñol and Stefan Mikulasek are the vineyard managers; Juanjo Calcera Piñol and Luis Marin are the winemakers.
"Ludovicus (rhymes with delicious!) is a 3000-case blend of 35% Garnacha (Grenache), 30% Tempranillo, 25% Syrah, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon from vines that are mostly 12 to 15 years old. This is a big and ripe wine that pulls no punches. Although it was tank-fermented, three months of aging in small oak barrels has tempered its wildest tendencies. This is, however, a gutsy mouth full of red wine for a cold winter’s night. It would be great with lamb."
We had this wine with left over lamb. This James Beard recipe isn't fancy, but it's easy and quick, and almost fool proof. A great match with this Spanish bargain.
1 large onion, sliced into rings
1 Tbl. tomato sauce -- Beard recommended catsup.
3 large cooking apples, peeled and diced
2 C leftover lamb, cut into small cubes
1/2 C lamb gravy or brown sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Using a large skillet or dutch oven, sauté the onions in a little oil until limp. Add the apples and cook, stirring gently, 5 minutes. Add the gravy and tomato sauce. Stir and cook 3 minutes. Add the lamb. Stir, cover and cook 5 minutes. Serve over rice. Serves 4.
Joel recommended other good wine matches: Grand Cru Beaujolais such as Moulin-a-Vent, a flavorful red Burgundy or a top notch Pinot Noir.