Dido "la Universal" Tinto 2018
Garnatxa Blend｜Montsant, Spain
Wife-and-husband team of Sara Pérez and René Barbier Jr. join forces to craft this special Spanish red. Barbier is a household name, no less than a legend in Spanish winemaking circles; he revolutionized the wines of Catalunya and put the Priorat region on the map with his famed Clos Mogador.
This micro-project focuses in on Falset, a village in Montsant, a horseshoe-shaped region fondly referred to as a "baby Priorat" – it encircles Priorat and has striking granite soils which translate to a distinct sense of minerality. Quite often these wines are dense, deeply-colored fruit bombs, laden with oak and power. This "la Universal" flips the script – it's a wine of extract, concentration and grace, yet clocking in at a modest 13.5% abv and packed with flavor.
A classic Cataluña blend of 60% Garnatxa (Grenache), 20% Syrah, with the balance of Carignan, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Immediately upon opening, one gets toasted green tobacco, red plum, herbal cherry candy, and a hint of chocolate. Cardamom, anise, and black pepper make for a spice-box cornucopia and the fruit turns soft and velvety with more air.
From eschewing metal capsules in favor of an organic wax seal, to using milk whey as a natural pesticide, their commitment to sustainability and a reduced carbon footprint informs everything they do. Native yeasts, organic farming, it's all here. A natural, delicious wine of beauty!