2019 Celler Xavier Clua, Rosé “El Sola d’en Pol” Rosado Terra Alta, Catalonia, Spain.
Cellar Xavier Clua, run by Xavier Clua, combines tradition and modern thought to produce expressive wines from this ancient winegrowing region of Terra Alta, one of the historic wine areas of Catalonia, he and his winemaker wife Rosa Domenech, who has brought a wealth of new ideas to the estate, has turned this small winery into one of best in this part of Spain. Clua is located in Vilalba dels Arcs, in the Terra Alta in Catalonia, this is a dry, sunny area where, as the winery notes, winegrowing has been a tradition since medieval times with Grenache being especially well suited to the terroir here, which makes up most of the blend in Clua’s wines, like their amazingly vivid and flavorful Rosado (Rosé), a wine I have been enjoying for many years. Terra Alta a climate with both Mediterranian and continental influences enjoys very hot summers and cold winters with vines mostly set on calcareous clay soils and at higher elevations to keep the vines refreshed from cool breezes and chilly nights.
The 2019 version of Clua El Solà d’en Pol Rosado Terra Alta, made from 70% Garnatxa Negra (Grenache) and 30% Syrah, was all stainless steel fermented from ripe grapes with a short 4 hour maceration and a temperature controlled cool fermentation to preserve intensity and freshness, but still extracting a bright deep color and fullness of flavors. This wine bursts from the glass with crushed raspberry, Jolly Rancher watermelon, strawberry and candied cherry fruits, a delicate sense of mineral and a light dusting of spices along with floral tones, adding a hint of wild herbs and wet saline infused stones. The clay based soils and the warmth really bright out the density of fruit and this one shows this with its depth and richness on the fuller than expected palate, though it should be noted it is not overly presented or cloying, this is a dry Rosé in the Bandol style mold, but highlighting its Grenache fruit and it really thrives with robust cuisine, plus it is a crowd pleaser, able to impress the more serious wine lover as well as the novice pink drinker. Better still is the cost, the Clau Rosé impresses for the quality to price ratio, making it a Summer bargain.
($12 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive