We found this at the Vins i Olis del Priorat store the minute we arrived in Falset. Nothing was open at 4pm except the town’s two exceptional wine stores. Llorenc and Marc Aguilo quickly ushered us to the tasting bar and before I knew it, I had some Priorat in my glass.
This wine is made by three French winemakers who came to the village of Torroja del Priorat to make wine on the famous llicorella / slate soils. This is the ‘entry level’ wine from Laurent Combier (Domaine Combier, Crozes Hermitage), Peter Fischer (Chateau Revelette, Aix en Provence) and Jean-Michel Gerin (Domaine Gerin, Cote-Rotie). A review of their single vineyard version can be found here.
If you look closely at the picture below of the vineyard and water tower, you can see ‘Trio Infernal’ in yellow print on the side of the south-facing slope.
It was hard to get this bottle open – the cork disintegrated and appeared to be half rotten. Thankfully the wine, equal part of Garnaxa, Carignenya and Syrah, was pristine.
The Riu is a deep purple and has the unmistakable aromas I now associate with most Priorat red – Dutch licorice, tar, soy sauce and black currant along with strong minerality and crushed herbs.
The palate is dry and the tannins ripe yet grippy – there is a reason these wines go so well with the local salumis and cuts of ham. Tannins love fat.
Acidity and body are both medium plus and the flavours are reminiscent of the aromas – more intense blackberry, black cherry, ripe plum and currant with soy and asphalt. The thyme and sage that grows everywhere in Priorat is also persistent.
WSET Good – the alcohol on this wine is noticeably heavy. That said, it is a home run hit with the local cuisine – bread rubbed with tomato, garlic and olive oil, sausages, cheeses and grilled meats – and its fruit forward nature is pleasant.