I learned late yesterday that Silvia Puig was pouring her wines at a dinner at Tallula in Northern Virginia last night. It wasn’t enough notice for me to make it and regretted not being able to attend. Tonight, I came home and attempted to remedy the situation by opening a bottle of their Akyles.
The Akyles is a blend of 40% Garnatxa Negra & Peluda (Peluda is a variant of the Garnatxa grape so-called because the underside of the leaves have a hairy or “peluda” appearance) 45% Carinyena and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Vinification is done directly into 400 liter French oak casks with the skins, so that the never-ending stirring can be accomplished during fermentation with native yeast in order to get the rich tannins and color from the grapes. Aged in the same barrels once topped off for 10-12 months.
Beautiful dark ruby in color. The nose is a packed with dark cherry and currant, violet and rose with a little vanilla, orange and cola. The color and the nose suggest another dense and extracted red wine from Priorat (not to mention weighing in at 15% alcohol), but this is actually quite graceful, finessed, supple and balanced. That all being said, there is a lot of fruit (dark and baked berry) with some fig, olive, green vegetable and vanilla. Nice minerality. Expansive with a big finish.
I was really impressed with the Odysseus Garnacha Blanca Priorat 2008, but this is a winner as well. Recommended — and a good value at $22 a bottle. Imported by Vinos Unico.
About Viñedos de Ithaca
The father and daughter team of Joseph and Silvia Puig named their winery Odysseus in honor of the Greeks who first brought vines to Spain. Odysseus makes Garnacha Tinta based reds, as virtually all of the producers in Priorat, but they have attracted the most attention for their Garnacha Blanca.