Venus la Universal "Dido" Tinto Montsant 2016
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Husband and wife team Sara Pérez and René Barbier, Jr. are the children of two great pioneers of Priorat: José Luis Pérez of Mas Martinet and René Barbier of Clos Mogador. Sara and René are both very well respected vignerons in their own right, so it seemed natural that they should start a project together. For this project, they decided to stake their claim not in Priorat, but in the slightly sleepier region of Monsant, and to "interpret femininity through a bottle of wine." This might seem an odd choice for a bodega that relies on Garnacha- and Cariñena-based wines in Southern Catalonia, but it makes sense once you taste. Their style is incredibly elegant, refined, and sensual, with restrained alcohol levels and tremendous texture.
The grapes for Dido come from a few hectares of organically farmed vineyards owned by four different grape-growing families in Falset. The soils here are poor in organic matter and contribute to producing grapes with great ripeness and fruit flavors. A blend of mostly Garnatxa (Grenache) and Syrah with trace amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grown in plots ranging from granite to limestone throughout the appellation, the grapes for this 2016 Tinto were cold-soaked and fermented in concrete vats, then 40% aged in concrete and 60% in clay amphora for 9 months to preserve the exceptional and fresh qualities of the fruit. The result is a seductive and incredibly perfumed nose, brilliant purity and vibrant acidity on the palate, combining Grenache's floral and peppery notes with the slightly smoky, meaty character of Syrah. This is an irresistible, medium-bodied and full-flavored blend to respectfully put winter to rest while ushering in the cool temps and grilling vibes of Spring.