Josefina Piñol Tinto
Josefina Piñol Red is an estate-bottled wine made by the Piñol family located in the high elevation vineyards of Terra Alta, south of Barcelona. The story of Cellar Vinos Piñol mirrors the ascendance of Spanish wines in world markets over the past ten years, a story of how a reverence for old, treasured vineyards and the best family traditions have been combined with new winemaking methods to produce wines with sterling quality. Similar to Yecla and Vinos de Madrid, Terra Alta is one of Spain's “up-and-coming” wine regions with an identity of exciting innovation and progressive change. Josefina Red is a late harvest 80-year-old vine Garnacha cuvee that taste like a high-end Port. Josefina is fermented naturally to 13%. Once fermentation is finished, the skins are distilled to make a high quality grappa used to increase the overall alcohol content of the wine to 15%. Juanjo G. Piñol and Toni Coca are the winemakers. Juanjo's mother Josefina remains in charge of the family cellar.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE? An elegant late-harvest wine, it is neither too alcoholic nor too sweet. Made with vines planted in 1908. All the fruit is estate-owned grapes grown by the fourth generation of the Piñol family. Organically grown. A limited production of 60 cases is produced.
RATING HISTORY: 2013 91WA; 2012 91WA; 2011 IWR; 2008 90RP; 2007IWC; 2006 92RP; 2004 92IWC
GRAPE: 90% Garnacha, 10% Syrah. Organically grown (certified) vines planted in 1940. Tended in limestone and clay soil at 400 m (1,312ft) elevation. This is a vegan wine.
PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: The wine will pair well with dark chocolate desserts, dark berry and plum tarts and aged hard cheeses.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING: Josefina is allowed to ferment naturally to 13%. Once fermentation is finished, the skins are distilled to make a high quality grappa used to increase the wine's overall alcohol content to 15%. The wine is aged for five months in French, American and Hungarian oak barrels.
PRODUCTION: 60 cases
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE: The vineyards are located a few miles southwest of Priorat, within the Terra Alta DO (Zone 5) in Catalunya's Tarragona province in northeastern Spain. The winemaking tradition, in this remote region, dates back to the 13th century. The winery and vineyards, planted in 1908, are in Batea at 400 meters (1,312 ft.) elevation. The soils are composed of 95% limestone and 5% clay. Regarding the area's climate, the average temperature from April-October is 67.3F. Terra Alta has hot days and warm to moderate nights. Terra Alta is drier and warmer than Montsant and Priorat, producing purple-red wines with greater weight and ripeness than those from other areas within Zone 5. The yearly rainfall (16.3 inches) is lower than the other neighboring DOs.
TASTING NOTES: Josefina Pinol Red Dulce reveals aromas of earth, mineral, and black cherry with flavors of assorted black fruits and prunes. On the palate it is intense, medium sweet, and lengthy. Drink this late harvest wine over the next 2-3 years.
All photos: Friederike Paetzold