What happens when an architect turns vintner? In the case of Spanish architect Alfredo Arribas, the move spawned not just one, but two wineries—both infused with artistry from the wine down to the amazing illustrated labels and of course the beautifully modern winery buildings. What would you expect from an architect and industrial designer of some note, with buildings in Spain, Germany, Italy, China, Belgium, France and particularly in Japan.
In 2001 he established Portel del Priorat in the emerging wine-making regions of Priorat and the neighbouring Montsant and is now one of the shining lights of Priorat and Spain. This 2012 Faunus is from the second winery project, Ediciones I Limitadas, focusing on vineyards in the surrounding Montsant region.
It would be easy for this winery to be a sideshow and indulgence of a wealthy and influential owner. However Alfredo is very committed and passionate in all things wine. Focusing on local grape varieties and clones, his vineyards are all organic and the winemaking is fastidious.
The 2012 Faunus is a blend Carginan (30%) Tempranillo (30%) Merlot (25%) & Syrah (15%).
Intense vivid purple with almost bluish edges. There is a burst of red and black fruits and just a touch of smoky notes that heighten the overall sensation of the wine. Fleshy, juicy and pretty amazing with or without food. The wine is very balanced, sure it is quite high in alcohol at 14%, but you do not notice it. There is also this prominent minerality that is so common to the region. It gives the wine a sense of drama and intensity. The wine only spends 9 months in oak and it shows, or more to the point does not show. A lot of new wineries believe they need to overpower wines with oak to make them more impressive. This is just not the case if you have great fruit to start off with.
This wine is all about the balance.