This is a blast from the past. I used to sell this wine back in about 2002-2004. I loved it; in fact it was pretty much the first Spanish wine I fell in love with. It's a blend of Carignan, Grenache, and Cabernet Sauvignon from Torroja del Priorat. I don't remember how long it stays in old oak barrels but I think it was several years. I found this bottle at Tess market in Brunswick. Apparently Anne had bought a case from me back in about 2004 and just put it in the basement. a week or so ago she decided to take them out and put them back on the shelf.
I remember when this was released liking it but feeling that this vintage was harsh and had a kind of intense unbalanced character. Now with 18 years on it....
Aroma: This does not smell like a young wine! But it's absolutely not tired either. There's a really delicious aroma of cooked tomatoes, cranberries, roses, I get lots of rose petals, some rosemary, and also dried cherries. It's a lovely floral perfume of an aroma with all kinds of food and dried herb aromas. It makes me think of sun and dry rocky land. I've never been to Priorat but this makes me want to go, but maybe not in high summer. I think some of these aromas are things you just can't get in a wine with out age.
Taste: In the mouth the Rotllan Torra is dry, juicy and tannic all at once. Spicy and warming with great acidity, the texture is smooth and mature. My favorite part is that there's this really tasty saltiness in the mid palate that wakes your palate up and gets your mouth salivating.
Well, you can't get this anywhere. But drinking this bottle was a good reminder that there really is no replacement for aging. Or as I think is more fun to say "there's no replacement for the basement."