"The following tasting... was one of the greatest 'value' tastings, if not the greatest, I have done in my 30+ years in this business. While I realize much of my reputation comes from the ability to evaluate expensive and prestigious wines, I derive enormous satisfaction from wines priced under $25, which is where the real marketplace is (although I suspect that is not where the majority of my subscribers are, which is somewhat unfortunate)." - Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
The quote above is from the preface to the article on Eric Solomon in which today's featured wine was reviewed. Not only are the words from 'The Emperor of Wine' convincing, he also gave the 2010 Espelt Old Vines Garnacha 92 points (a rather lofty mark for a wine of such modest fare). Most of you have probably stopped reading this and began your ordering process by now, but here's a quick little summary of the wine's background.
As you may already know, Eric Solomon's European Cellars is one of the best importers when it comes to Spanish values and this is just another example. The Espelt family has been growing grapes for a while with more than 500 acres of vineyards in northeastern Spain (along the way to the now 'retired' restaurant, El Bulli). However, they only began bottling their own wines back in 2000.
This 100% Garnacha is sourced from 91-year-old vines grown in granite and sandy soil. It exhibits red and black fruits with savory herb notes. The terroir adds a layer of minerality and complexity to this amazing little red. The man overseeing the winemaking is none other than Jean-Marc Lafage, who is also responsible for a number of other gems from Eric Solomon's value portfolio. The 'numbers' speak for themselves... a 92-point Garnacha from 91-year-old vines for $8.99? This is a case purchase. While it lasts.