Back in July, I wrote a quick review of Camins del Priorat, a bold and powerful wine from the Priorat region of Spain, just outside Barcelona. What I loved about it was its beastly combination of black cherry and flint, and how it mellowed into near perfection after an hour of oxygen. At $23, it was also an excellent introduction to the region’s often sky-high-expensive wines.
But within a day of posting the article, a reader named Miquel commented, essentially, “if you like Camins del Priorat, Nita is even better.”
And so, I found a bottle of Nita on wine.com and just got around to opening it this past weekend. Knowing a little bit about what I was dealing with, I felt it was best to uncork it with beef since Priorat can be so bold and oaky. But as I found out, this smooth and supple beauty — which is not aged in oak barrels at all, a rarity for the region — could complement anything from a carbonara to lamb sliders to pork tenderloin with a dark fruit compote. It’s highly versatile, in large part because of its youth, vibrancy, and lack of furry tannins.
The world needs more red wines that pack a punch, yet do it without oak. That’s a pretty clever trick.
As good as this wine is, it was made more special to me because it came from a reader recommendation. Keep them coming: I’ll probably buy what you recommend and profile it someday.
2011 Nita Priorat by Meritxell Pallejà
Priorat DOQ, Spain
Grapes: Grenache 45% / Carignan 35% / Cabernet Sauvignon 15% / Syrah 5%
Rating: ★★★★ 1/2 (out of five)
• Profile: ★★★★ 1/2
• Food Friendliness: ★★★★★
• Value: ★★★ 1/2
Tasting notes: Nita Priorat opens up with elegant aromas of blackberry, dark cocoa, violets and walnut, and follows through with a similar profile on the palate. The texture of the wine is wonderfully silky, and the absence of oak makes it feel fresh and vibrant in a way that is original. A wonderful wine.
Recommended for: Lamb burgers, Mongolian barbecue, robust pastas.
- Nita by Meritxell Pallejà – Folio Wines profile of the wine
- 2005 Meritxell Pallejà – Review of the 2005 vintage before it was exported via Gabriella Opaz of Catavino
- Weight and Power of Priorat Wines Balanced by Elegance – Bill St. John, Chicago Tribune
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