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Mather Teresina is a quintessentially Mediterranean wine made by the founding family of DO Terra Alta at Celler Piñol. Over four generations, the Piñol family have built their livelihood around their heritage, embracing regional traditions within their picturesque old vineyards located an hour’s drive southwest from Barcelona. In line with their philosophy of conservation, Cellers Piñol currently farm all of their vineyards organically and are spearheading an effort to revive a forgotten and beautifully aromatic native grape of Terra Alta, Morenillo. Mather Teresina is a single vineyard field blend of Garnacha, Cariñena, and Morenillo, showcasing luscious fruit and silky tannins right off the cork, but can age for decades. In other words, this is a collector’s Garnacha blend to rival the best producers along the Mediterranean coast, including the famous houses of the Southern Rhone. It is also a very personal project for the family, paying homage with its name to the late grandmother of current winery director Juanjo Piñol, who works alongside his mother Josefina, the cellar master.
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE?
This is one of the best-kept secrets in Spain! Mather Teresina can age for more than two decades, relying on the abundant and graceful acidity afforded by its limestone terroir. Furthermore, part of the blend features nearly extinct Morenillo grape, which is native to the area and only commercialized by the Pinol family. Fewer than 500 cases are produced each year.
2016 93WS, 92WE; 2011 93VM; 2010 93VM
50% Garnacha, 30% Cariñena, 20% Morenillo. Vines planted from 1950 - 1960. Tended in limestone and clay soil at 460 m ( 1,509ft) elevation. This is a vegan wine.
Yes, this wine is opulent, but it is also versatile. Its explosive aromatics and balanced acidity make it a great match for many fattier meats like pheasant, duck, venison, fois gras, or slow roasted pork. It will also shine next to blue cheeses like Stilton or Gorgonzola dolce and hard aged cheeses like Manchego.
VINIFICATION AND AGING:
20 - 24 months in 90% French and 10% American and oak barrels
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE:
The vineyards are located a few miles southwest of Priorat, within the Terra Alta DO in Catalunya's Tarragona province in northeastern Spain. In this remote region, the winemaking tradition dates back to the Romans. The winery and vineyards are in the town of Batea, situated at 400 meters (1,312 ft.) elevation. The soils are composed of 95% limestone and 5% clay. Yields are low (24.5 hectoliters per hectare, or 3,500 kilograms per hectare), which enhances the concentration and complexity in the grapes. The average temperature from April-October is 67.3F. The hot daytime and mild evening temperatures make Terra Alta a drier region than Montsant or Priorat, yet will still see snow each winter. These conditions produce wines with greater weight and ripeness than those from other DOs within the region.
Ruby-red. Intensely perfumed aromas of fresh dark berries, cherry compote and licorice develop a vanilla overtone as the wine opens up. Plush blackberry, cherry-vanilla, spicecake and floral pastille flavors show excellent clarity and a seamless texture, and a peppery flourish adds lift and bite. Fine-grained tannins build slowly and give shape to the impressively long, sweet finish, which leaves behind floral pastille and dark fruit liqueur notes.-- Josh Raynolds.