Albert Pasanau has again fashioned an exceptional and complex Priorat in the estate’s 2013 Pasanau Finca La Planeta, which has garnered 92 points from Vinous. Exhibiting a deep, nearly impenetrable color from the preeminence of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pasanau’s 2013 Finca La Planeta could easily be mistaken for young classified Bordeaux on the order of fine Pauillac. Add Finca La Planeta’s beautiful and distinctive bouquet of black fruits and graphite and a resemblance to the great Château Lafite springs to mind. And, much like a young Château Lafite, the 2013 Finca La Planeta is initially reticent upon emerging from the bottle, but not for very long. The wine’s deep berry flavors, graphite, thyme and hints of cedar quickly come to fore. Full-bodied, intense, and endowed with an iron core, the 2013 Finca La Planeta retains a combination of Bordeaux hauteur and Spanish warmth, a wine that is both sleek and immensely flavorful. Drink this wine happily now after thirty minutes or more of aeration or lay a few bottles away for further ageing to delight through 2025. Enjoy!
A world class wine such as the complex, sophisticated 2013 Pasanau La Planeta calls for accompaniments of equal stature. The finest cuts of meat, a complex sauce, or a simple dish made from the very freshest ingredients are the hallmark of great food and wine pairings. Roast Leg of Tender Spring Lamb; Chateaubriand; and Loin Veal Chops, served with shitake mushrooms and an herb rice pilaf, are just a few of our favorite dishes with Pasanau’s La Planeta. Pan Roasted Duck Breast will do this wine justice as well. Roasted Quail, stuffed with apple-smoked bacon and mushrooms, served over a corn based risotto, makes for another tasty suggestion. Yet, it is not so much what one serves with the 2013 La Planeta that matters as much as it is the quality of the ingredients. Pasanau’s wines are complex and sophisticated, yet tender and easy to pair with accompaniments befitting their stature.
Since the 1990s, the Pasanau family and their beloved Priorat have achieved international fame. Today, Priorat remains Spain’s “hottest” wine producing region, fashioning an increasing number of sensational wines. At the forefront of Priorat’s success has been the Pasanau estate.
Pasanau commands the high ground in Priorat, literally and figuratively. At over 2,400 feet, Pasanau’s Finca La Planeta vineyard, which is devoted entirely to Cabernet Sauvignon, dominates Priorat’s arid, starkly beautiful landscape. Planted on gravely scree and slate, this 12.5-acre vineyard yields in great vintages one of the most intense and unique of all Priorat wines. The Pasanau estate also includes equally impressive parcels of ancient, un-grafted Garnacha and Mazuelo vines from which the property’s Los Torrents is made. Unlike Finca La Planeta, which relies primarily on Cabernet Sauvignon, Los Torrents is a more traditional style of Priorat in that it contains equal parts Garnacha and Mazuelo from very old parcels that face each other across a ravine cut by water running through Priorat’s famous slate soil known as llicorella.
If Pasanau’s acumen with Finca La Planeta and Los Torrents were not enough to seal its place among the finest producers of Priorat, the estate’s Ceps Nous, a delicious contemporary style of Priorat comprised of fruit from younger vines, makes an equally compelling case for Pasanau’s exceptional quality and diversity. Comprised of the region’s traditional grape varietals (Garnacha and Mazuelo) along with healthy dollops of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah, Ceps Nous offers a wonderful introduction to Priorat. Small amounts of excellent Viognier are also crafted at this exceptional property.
Working out of a small modern bodega that was completed in 1995, Pasanau fashions some of Spain’s most compelling wines. At Pasanau, grapes are routinely picked quite late, often not until late October, in order to extract the greatest intensity from each low yielding vine. All tanks are gravity fed and racking and fining are done only during a full moon using all natural ingredients, which says quite a bit about this estate’s commitment to excellence as well as its biodynamic practices.
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