The small town of Gratallops where we’ve based ourselves for our Priorat holiday has several wine producers in the town. Some are seemingly hidden behind innocuous doorways that house maybe a dozen small fermenting tanks and the same amount of maturation barrels. Others have embraced wine tourism and offer a tasting bench inside the winery itself. Celler Cecilio is a family run business celebrating 75 vintages this year. Winemaker is August Vicent, the 2nd generation. He speaks no English but enough Italian that we could communicate. He’s jovial, quick to laugh and very receptive to tourists. The reds in the range sit towards the heavier end of the Priorat spectrum with plenty of maceration time for their Cariñena based blends. Their one white wine however is a standout amongst the local styles which seem to be “white wines for red wine drinkers.” These tend to be bigger, bolder structured wines with a DOQ regulated level of at least 13% ABV. Usually a blend of white grenache, macabeo and sometimes chardonnay, often with oak treatment. In this case we have 100% garnatxa blanca (white grenache), stainless steel ferment and only a small amount of time on skins.
Celler Cecilio, l’Udol, Priorat, 2016
Pale lemon colour in the glass. Perfumed nose of under ripe stonefruit, green apple, dill and lemon zest. The palate brings richer green melon and honeysuckle. The body starts medium-full, before tapering to a textural slatey, minerally finish. It seems almost embarrassed that it has to carry the ABV of 13.5%: the acidity keeps it juicy and tries to soften the footfall. Relatively modestly priced for Priorat, this is a refreshing find.
Wine purchased from cellar door