Besllum 2011, Vino tinto, Spain
The Wine Advocate: 89 Points
Celler Malondro – Joan Carles Estivill is the third generation to tend the family vineyards. The vineyards are located in Cornudella del Montsant, the highest village in the appellation. He is passionate about his vineyards and only founded his boutique bodega after the region received denomination of origin status. He leaves the wine making skills to his young winemaker, Ramon Valls, who does all of the wine making in the bodega.
Joan Carles developed a circular metal retainer that he puts around each of his old vines to provide a trellis effect for the vine so the vines can be lifted off the ground. Joan Carles then trims the leaves so the grapes are in contact with the direct sunlight, enabling them to ripen from direct sunlight. Joan Carles also lets the grass grow between the vines to absorb the spring rains in order to further stress the vines.
Dark purple color. Fresh cherry, dark berry, and toasty oak aromas. Cherry, blackberry, and spicy peppery flavors. Long finish with a touch of dark chocolate and vanilla. Imported from: 2009
Composition: Carinena 45%, Garnacha 45%, Syrah 10%
Soil: very high concentration of clay, schist, and limestone Elevation: 1800 – 2460 feet Vineyard practice: dry farming, organic without certification
Vine Age: 15 to 76 years (40 years, average) Yield: less than 1 to 1.6 tons per acre Harvest Dates: October 15 – 22
Fermentation: cold soak 5 days, maceration 25 days, 20 days fermentation, 80% in small stainless steel tanks, 20% in oak, with wild (also referred to as indigenous or natural) yeast
Aging: 10 months in new French Allier, American, and Hungarian oak casks