A full-bodied red brimming with fruit and Mediterranean herbs
Dense and almost opaque with a purplish-red colour. On the nose, the wine gives off aromas of Mediterranean plants such as fennel and rosemary, while a swirl of the glass releases further aromas of black and red fruits, notes of red pepper, and a scent of nutmeg from the oak barrel ageing. Full-bodied, velvety on the palate with gentle, round tannins and a long, balsamic finish.
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More about Que Si!
Who makes it
Set up in 2012, I Tant Vins is the brainchild of Joan Àngel Lliberia, head man at Edetària, one of Terra Alta's most respected wineries, and firm defender of the unique character and personality of indigenous Catalan grape varieties, particularly Garnacha. I Tant's aim is to produce top quality, value for money wines that really reflect the typicity, or characteristics of the local area.
The region of Terra Alta also provides Joan and his team a very broad range of soils to work with. That diversity provides lots of subtle nuances to work with when crafting their wines - each vineyard has its own personality depending on soil type, its location or orientation.
With their commitment to native varieties and old vines, I Tant produce wines of real character and personality that are a wonderful expression of their homeland.
About the grapes
Garnacha is one of the most widely grown wine grapes in the world and in Spain it's about the third most grown red grape behind Tempranillo and Bobal.
It's a late-ripening grape and it really likes hot dry conditions making it a robust vine for winemakers. Garnacha is low in tannins, but quite high in alcohol, so it produces wines with a good mouth feel. In younger wines, you’ll taste red fruits like strawberry and raspberry. And in wines using older vines you’ll get sweeter deeper fruit flavours like figs. Occasionally you'll also find a little bit of a white pepper.
Samsó (aka Cariñena or Mazuelo) used to be one of Spain’s dominant grape varieties due to its high yields. But issues over quality meant it fell out of favour. It’s now making a comeback, producing wines with fine tannins, good acidity, and it brings bags of dark fruit flavour to a blend.
Where it's made
Priorat can be defined by its mountain viticulture. Like Ribeira Sacra in Galicia, the enchanting mountains, ridges, hillsides and costers ("steep slopes" in the Catalan language) of Priorat make for a pretty tortuous geography, resisting mechanised farming methods and requiring winegrowers to farm small plots (the whole DOQ only covers some 2,000 hectares) with famously low yields, arrange their vineyards in terraces to facilitate access and, in some cases, use traditional methods like horse or donkey to till the land between the vines.
Another key aspect that sets Priorat apart from other wine-growing regions is the famous crumbling black slate and quartz soil known in Catalan as llicorella. Nutrient-poor, the grapes are forced to dig deep for sustenance, which helps give Priorat wines a distinctive mineral concentration that has become their hallmark.
Old vine Garnacha and Samsó are the stars here, traditionally producing quite rich, powerful red wines with notes of liquorice, tar, and black cherries.
How it's made
The grapes are carefully selected by hand in the vineyard before being chilled and transferred to the winery, where they undergo a further selection to weed out any sub-standard fruit. The grapes are then de-stemmed and pressed in an inert environment before undergoing fermentation at 23ºC followed by a further 14 days of maceration. The wine then undergoes malolactic fermentation in stainless steel tanks and is aged for three months in French oak barrels before bottling.
I am a big fan of Priorat wines and this is a very good one. We found that it does need a little time to breathe, but then is smooth and rich in flavour. A wonderful wine and we will be ordering more.