Tue 13 Jan 2009
Well, this is a rousing little red wine that’s super-attractive and not only for people trying to join the Century Club of those who have tried 100 grapes in wine. The wild card or the dark horse in the Sexto 2006, from Spain’s Terra Alta region, the southern-most vineyard area of Catalonia, southwest of Barcelona, is the — ready? — lledoner pelut noir grape. Sexto 2006 contains only six percent of this obscure variety, but perhaps it contributes something of the wine’s dark, wild spiciness. The rest of the blend is 33 percent grenache, 30 percent carignan, 20 percent tempranillo, six percent cabernet sauvignon and five percent syrah; the carignan and LPN come from 60-year-old vines.
So, the wine is, as I said, wild, dark and spicy, robust, rich and warm. It’s all black fruit all the time, juicy and succulent; elements of earthiness — leather, briers and brambles, mossy tea and loam with a mineral component — are evident from the first sniff and the first taste. The bouquet conveys a woody-spicy aspect, like cloves and allspice scattered in saw-dust, while in the mouth the black fruit flavors deepen with notes of dried flowers, smoke and tar. Highly individual and able to stand up to hearty fare like braised veal shanks or short ribs, beef stew or spicy pork chops. Very Good+. About $12.
Imported by Heron Wines, San Francisco.