The sensitive crystallization method observes modifications in the molecular arrangement of plant extracts in reaction to copper chloride and is scientific evidence that wine is a living organism. The capacity of a plant to influence the crystallization depends on its vitality. The small spaces at the nucleus and the texture formed at the middle and rim of a crystallization reveal information about the balance, structure and aromatics of a wine.
The image shown here is of Clos Erasmus. The homogeneity of the texture, the symmetry and the small size of the nuclei show that this is a well-balanced aromatic wine of superior origin. The asymmetric shape of the spaces implies red fruits and complexity. The depth of the peripheral zone indicates a robust wine with soft tannins, and the long, graceful length of the spherulitic fanning suggests persistence. Lack of secondary crystallization confirms an absence of flaws or volatility. This is a well-crafted wine.
Wine is a continuum: The life force of the vine produces fruit that is transformed into a wine, still breathing, evolving. From the glass to the palate, energy comingles, cells split and transform. We drink it, our consciousness is fueled and enlivened, our senses more aware. This is the gestalt of wine. It asks us to be still and listen for a moment to the story that binds us all, the energy of life.
The wines of the Priorat extend an invitation to sit and listen to the story of their lives. The flavors take you on a journey into the earth, collecting echoes of history along the way. The vines of the Priorat and the people who care for them tell a story of survival and the will to drink deeply of life.
The language of the senses is not communicated through words. We try so hard to find the right nouns and adjectives to express a flavor, a smell, a memory, yet, as Hugh Johnson so aptly put it, “words follow lumberingly after the clear, precise, yet indefinable impressions of the tongue.” Wine is an elusive language that has no form.
Those who have visited the Priorat find themselves in awe of the aliveness of the landscape. It stands to reason that its wines communicate with similar vitality. The energy of wine is documented. Nothing else in nature is capable of giving us so much. Perhaps this is why wine has remained a significant and often controversial part of human history since it was first enjoyed.
Critics and winemakers focus on terroir these days. The distinguishing characteristic of a great wine is sense of place, and minerality is argued to be at its core. If this is true, the wines of the Priorat have it all: història (a story), sense of place and minerality. So, argue as one might about its virtues, a Priorat wine merely has to focus on being itself.
Wine drinkers today are more adventurous, irreverent even. They are willing to try new things, explore the recommendations of friends and ignore the opinions of “authorities.” For the Priorat, this is a good thing, allowing the wines to speak for themselves and letting people receive their own version of the stories relayed in that intangible language of the senses.
Ethos Priorat is vividly panoramic. It is best viewed in landscape format to fully enjoy the experience.