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CELLER PASANAU


Region: Cataluña
Appellation: D.O.C. Priorat
City: La Morera de Montsant
Winery Website: www.cellerpasanau.com
Winery GPS Coordinates: 41.266012, 0.841069

OVERVIEW

The Pasanaus are perennial growers in La Morera, the highest municipality of Priorat, with vineyards at over 2,400 feet elevation abutting the sheer rock wall of the Sierra de Montsant. Gravelly scree eroded from the cliffs covers the underlying llicorella slate, together with the elevation creating a less Mediterranean microclimate relative to the region as a whole.

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HISTORY

The Pasanau family are perennial growers in Priorat, with vineyards located in the highest municipality of the region, literally skirting the sheer rock wall of the Sierra de Montsant which forms Priorat's viticultural boundary.

At over 2,400 feet, Pasanau's "Finca La Planeta" dominates the regional landscape and experiences Priorat's widest daily temperature variation. This helps to retain freshness in the concentrated, late-harvested grapes, resulting in a uniquely tight-knit, albeit typically powerful Priorat style.

Llicorella (decomposed slate) soils and a long, arid growing season, as elsewhere in Priorat, severely limit yields while packing the fruit with mineral extract and complexity.

Finca La Planeta is a three-hectare clearing hewn from the rocky base of the cliffs in the early 1980s, with gravelly topsoils covering the underlying regional slate (llicorella). The soil and altitude prompted Ricard Pasanau to plant Cabernet Sauvignon, vines now well over 20 years old. As in the rest of Priorat, yields are minuscule, only 13,000 bottles per year produced from this site.

In 1995 a modern bodega was completed for a maximum production of 50,000 bottles. Grapes are picked in mid- to late-October and transported to the bodega in 40-pound boxes for a light crushing and destemming. The must flows by gravity to stainless steel tanks of 5,000 and 10,000-liter capacity for fermentation at a maximum of 26° Centigrade. The freerun wine is aged nearly one year in a mixture of new American and French oak types. Clarification is done through racking and light egg white fining prior to bottling in late Spring, always during a full moon.

Pasanau also grows Garnacha, Merlot, Mazuelo and Syrah within the village of La Morera. 10% Garnacha is used to soften the Cabernet in Finca La Planeta. Ceps Nous, offering great value from Pasanau's youngest vines, was introduced in 2002.

As the most concentrated and least Mediterranean in style of all Priorat wines, Pasanau offers a unique perspective on this spectacular and ancient wine district.

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PRESS

Pasanau Finca La Planeta (2015) - "Plush and heady, this bold red shows cassis, raspberry preserves and mountain herb flavors backed by espresso and loamy earth. Firm tannins are well integrated and racy acidity keeps this lively. Cabernet Sauvignon and Garnacha. Drink now through 2027."

90 Points
Thomas Matthews, Wine Spectator, Apr 30, 2021

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Pasanau Ceps Nous (2017) - "This solid red shows power. A thick texture is supported by muscular tannins and balsamic acidity, framing mulled fruit flavors of boysenberry and currant. Mineral and mountain herb notes linger. Garnacha, Merlot and Syrah. Drink now through 2029."

92 Points
Thomas Matthews, Wine Spectator, Apr 30, 2021

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Pasanau Finca La Planeta (2013) - "A saturated color and warm aromas of blackberry jam, prune and schist open this always impressive high-elevation Priorato. A rugged palate blends ripeness with freshness, while dark-plum and blackberry flavors are fairly massive, as is usually the case with La Planeta. On the finish, this Garnacha-Cabernet Sauvignon blend calms down and ends with chocolate notes. Drink through 2035."

93 Points
Michael Schachner, Wine Enthusiast, Jan 1, 2020

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Pasanau Ceps Nous (2015) - "Brilliant ruby color. Displays mineral- and spice-accented cherry and black raspberry scents that are complemented by suggestions of licorice and cracked pepper. Juicy and focused on the palate, offering bitter cherry, dark berry and spicecake flavors that are underscored by a vein of smoky minerality. Finishes long and smoky, with resonating spiciness and youthfully, chewy tannins that come on late. (aged in a combination of French and American oak barriques)."

90 Points
Josh Raynolds, Vinous, Apr 25, 2019

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Pasanau Los Torrents (2014) - "Lurid ruby-red. Lively spice- and mineral-tinged redcurrant and cherry aromas show good clarity and building florality. Taut, nervy and focused on the palate, which displays intense red fruit, exotic spice, and lavender pastille flavors accompanied by bracing white pepper and mineral flourishes. Deepens with air while maintaining its vivacity and focus and finishes gently sweet and very long, with subtle tannins and persistent spiciness."

92 Points
Josh Raynolds, Vinous, Apr 25, 2019

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Pasanau Los Torrents (2014) - "Ripe, inviting aromas of black cherry and cassis rank as precise. In the mouth, this is racy to the point of being wiry, with abundant intensity. Live-wire plum and berry flavors are the definition of high energy, while spice and complexities are trying to settle on a still-young finish."

91 Points, Cellar Selection
Michael Schachner, Wine Enthusiast, Jul 1, 2018

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Pasanau Finca La Planeta (2012) - "This pitch black colored Cabernet Sauvignon based wine from Priorat is very interesting. It opens with black raspberry and prune bouquet. On the palate, this wine is full bodied, balanced and concentrated. The finish is dry and its big tannins stick around for quite some time. I would enjoy this big boy by the fireplace on a cold winters night. Enjoy."

90 Points
Ken Hoggins, Ken's Wine Guide, Feb 23, 2018

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Pasanau Finca La Planeta (2012) - "Crisp, focused aromas of ripe berry fruits, hot asphalt and spice are potent and excellent. From one of the Priorat's highest locales (2,400 feet), this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Garnacha tastes of spicy plum, crushed peppercorn and schist. Warm finishing notes of minerality combined with strong fruit flavors are thorough and complex; drink through 2028."

94 Points, Editors' Choice
Michael Schachner, Wine Enthusiast, Nov 1, 2017

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Pasanau Finca La Planeta (2013) - "Vivid ruby-red. Ripe red berry, rose pastille and pipe tobacco scents are complemented by building mineral and vanilla accents. Sappy and focused on the palate, offering juicy cassis and bitter cherry flavors that deepen and turn sweeter as the wine stretches out. Finishes with smoky mineral thrust, chewy, slow-building tannins and impressive, spice- and mineral-driven persistence."

92 Points
Josh Raynolds, Vinous, Nov 1, 2017

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Pasanau Los Torrents (2012) - "This ripe rich blend of 50% Garnacha and 50% Carignan (Mazuelo) smells schisty, woody and earthy, with ample berry fruit. While this is stacked on the palate, it's also well balanced. Ripe black-fruit flavors show notes of buttery oak and chocolate, while this finishes toasty, warm and full of lush black-fruit flavors. Drink through 2024."

93 Points (Cellar Selection)
Michael Schachner, Wine Enthusiast, Jun 1, 2017

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Pasanau Los Torrents (2012) - "Spicy notes of cinnamon, cardamom and vanilla frame black cherry and plum flavors in this generous red. Firm tannins are balanced by balsamic acidity. Licorice and cola details emerge on the finish, accented by a touch of heat. Drink now through 2022."

91 Points
Thomas Matthews, Wine Spectator, May 31, 2017

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Pasanau Finca La Planeta (2008) - "Aromas of spiced cherry and cassis are schisty and belie this Cabernet-heavy wine's age. A narrow palate with firm tannins and not much give sets up flavors of oak, lemon peel, plum and berry fruits. A lasting finish with deep berry flavors and a topping of oak doesn't lose steam. Drink through 2025."

92 Points
Michael Schachner, Wine Enthusiast, Feb 1, 2017

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Pasanau Ceps Nous (2013) - "This very dark ruby colored Grenache based blend from Spain opens with a rum raisin and black cherry bouquet. On the palate, this wine is full bodied, balanced, smooth and nicely coats your mouth. The flavor profile is a mineral infused mild black cherry with notes of gentle plum and faint old oak. The finish is dry and its moderate tannins are very sticky and show very good length. This wine needs a fatty meal in the short term. I would pair it with braised short ribs. Enjoy – Ken"

90 Points
Ken Hoggins, Ken's Wine Guide, Jan 5, 2017

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Pasanau Ceps Nous (2013) - "Savory and spicy notes of licorice, cigar box and cardamom frame a deep core of plum and kirsch in this expressive red. Firm tannins and balsamic acidity impart a solid structure. Drink now through 2023."

92 Points
Thomas Matthews, Wine Spectator Insider, Jan 27, 2016

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Pasanau Ceps Nous (2013) - "Opaque ruby. Smoke- and mineral-accented dark berry and cherry scents show good clarity and develop a floral nuance in the glass. Juicy and focused on the palate, offering bitter cherry, violet pastilles and a touch of licorice. Finishes with very good energy, lift and persistence, displaying supple tannins and echoing candied flowers. This wine drinks nicely right now, especially when decanted for an hour or so."

90 Points
Josh Raynolds, Vinous, Jan 21, 2016

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Pasanau Ceps Nous (2011) - "Vivid purple. Smoky, spicy aromas of cherry pit, dark berries and licorice, with a zesty mineral overtone. Juicy and precise, offering bitter cherry and blackcurrant flavors and a hint of white pepper. Shows very good clarity and lift on the finish, which is firmed by silky, harmonious tannins. Still a baby but shows very good promise."

90 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 1, 2013

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Pasanau Ceps Nous (2010) - "Give this time in the glass and the feral scents of leather and game fade, while fruitier scents emerge. A young-vine blend of Garnacha (70 percent), along with Merlot, Cabernet and Syrah, this has brash energy, wild in texture, with a clarity and honesty to its black fruit flavor. Serve it with a steak."

92 Points, Best Buy
Patricio Tapia, Wine & Spirits, Feb 1, 2013

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Pasanau Ceps Nous (2010) - "Bright ruby.  Lively, sharply focused red berry and cherry aromas are complicated by smoky minerals, black tea and anise.  Fresh black raspberry and cherry skin flavors display impressive depth, with zesty minerality adding spine.  Turns spicier with air and finishes with very good clarity and length.  This wine should be even better with a couple of more years bottle age."

90(+?) Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 1, 2012

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Pasanau Ceps Nous (2008) - "Thick, raisiny berry aromas come with notes of licorice, mineral and black peppercorn. Feels tight and juicy, with zesty red fruit flavors, sweet black fruit flavors and shadings of schisty minerality and licorice. Smooth and sturdy on the finish. "

91 Points
Michael Schachner, Wine Enthusiast, Feb 1, 2012

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Pasanau Finca La Planeta (2006) - "A potent brew of raisin, blackberry, minerality and leather comes together to form a bold, very ripe bouquet. The palate is chunky and forward, with beefy tannins and full-force flavors of blackberry, black peppercorn and toast. A huge and massive wine with a sweet, toasty, ripe and candied finish. Drink now through 2014."

92 Points
Michael Schachner, Wine Enthusiast, Oct 1, 2011

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Pasanau Ceps Nous (2008) - "The medium ruby Ceps Nous is a lovely wine produced from young vines. A blend of 70% Garnacha Tinta, 20% Mazuelo, 4% Syrah, and 6% of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, it offers ripe red and black fruit, slate and minerals and reductive nuances on the nose. This is followed by a ripe and richly flavored palate with more dark fruit flavors, chocolate, balsamic notes and minerals. Aged for up to 12 months in used barrels, it has a silky texture and perfect balance with ripe tannins and a long finish."

90+ Points
Michael Potashnik, International Wine Review, Sep 1, 2011

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Pasanau Finca La Planeta (2006) - "Finca la Planeta is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12 % Garnacha. Dark ruby in color, it offers aromas of black fruit, smoked meat, herbs, and earth. Aged for 14 months in French barriques and other barrels, it is full-bodied and well-rounded on the palate, and has powerful flavors of blackberry, smoke, petrol, cardamom and figs through to the finish."

90 Points
Michael Potashnik, International Wine Review, Sep 1, 2011

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Pasanau Ceps Nous (2008) - "This very dark purple colored Spanish blend was well received. It opens with a black raspberry bouquet with a hint of black licorice and old oak. On the palate, this wine is medium bodied, smooth, and shows a nice blend of mild acidity and fruit. The flavor profile is a mineral infused black raspberry with notes of oak and black cherry. The finish is dry and its moderate tannins and fruit continue to linger for quite sometime. We thought this wine would pair well with spicy food like paella or seafood fra diavolo. It also went well with Rugelach. Enjoy"

91 Points
Ken Hoggins, Ken's Wine Guide, May 1, 2011

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Pasanau Ceps Nous (2008) - "Opaque purple. Initially wild and reduced on the nose but quickly gained freshness and dark fruit aromas. Juicy yet seamless blackberry and spicecake flavors are nicely firmed by zesty acidity. Primary in flavor but supple and broad, with a late note of cracked pepper. This surprisingly accessible and plush wine finishes with very good persistence."

90 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 16, 2010

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Pasanau El Vell Coster (2007) - "Inky violet. Seductive, expansive bouquet of black raspberry, cherry-cola, licorice, violet and Asian spices. Silky in texture and deeply concentrated but not heavy, offering sweet red and dark berry flavors that gain power in the mid-palate. The floral and cola notes linger on the long, sappy, incisive finish. This is still young."

92 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 16, 2010

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Pasanau Finca La Planeta (2006) - "Ruby-red. Redcurrant and cherry on the nose, with complicating notes of tobacco, cracked pepper and dried rose. Fleshy red berry and bitter cherry flavors show a seamless quality, with gentle acidity providing lift. Relatively open-knit wine with very good finishing cling and sweetness and fine-grained tannins. "

90 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 16, 2010

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Pasanau El Vell Coster (2005) - "Inky purple. Cherry-cola, black raspberry and cassis on the nose, with suave Asian spices and minerals adding complexity. Deep and chewy, offering a seductive array of dark fruit and candied floral flavors, with velvety tannins adding gentle grip and helping to rein in and focus the fruit. Gains power with air and finishes with excellent clarity and impressive persistence. Manages to be outsized in flavor while retaining balance; I'd bet on this rewarding at least a good decade of patience."

93 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Oct 1, 2008

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Pasanau Finca La Planeta (2005) - "Ruby-red. Fresh red-and blackcurrant aromas are complicated by graphite, tobacco and dried rose. Sharply focused red and dark berry flavors are given grip by dusty tannins and gain sweetness with air. Juicy and precise on the finish, with lingering notes of redcurrant and minerals. There's a Bordeaux-like poise and focus to this wine that I find intriguing. "

91 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 30, 2008

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Pasanau El Vell Coster (2006) - "Glass-staining ruby. Intensely perfumed, seductive bouquet of dark berries, minerals and fresh flowers, with cracked pepper and smoky Indian spices adding complexity. Sweet cherry and blackcurrant flavors are given a nervy quality by suave minerality and gain depth with aeration. Supple, juicy and precise on the finish, with lingering notes of sweet red and dark berry skin. Lovely stuff, with the balance to reward aging."

92 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 30, 2008

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Pasanau Finca La Planeta (2004) - "This terrific Spanish red from Priorat is very dark purple in color. It opens with a complex spicy black current bouquet with hints of tobacco, truffle oil, and black licorice. This medium bodied wine builds on the palate and is intense and very lively. It displays rich and delicious dusty black cherry flavors with hints of black licorice and oak. The finish is quite dry with tannins that linger for a very long time. We would suggest decanting this wine in the short term and enjoying it with dark chocolate, very sharp cheese, or granny smith apple slices. Enjoy - Ken"


Ken Hoggins, Ken's Wine Guide, Jul 15, 2008

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Pasanau El Vell Coster (2004) - "Thick and muscular, this red delivers raisin, kirsch, earth, tobacco and coffee flavors, with very assertive tannins and a real kick from alcohol. Shows character and lots of concentration, but a bit out of control. Best after 2008. "

88 Points
Thomas Matthews, Wine Spectator, Nov 1, 2007

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Pasanau La Morera de Montsant (2003) - "This ruby red wine opens with a pleasant old world, earthy, and woody bouquet. These scents were more prominent than the mild medicinal cherry fruit aromas that are also present. The bouquet does dissipate a bit with some air. On the palate, the wine is very smooth upon entry and immediately dry. There is a generous amount of cherry fruit flavors that explode in the mouth. This was a bit surprising given the amount of oak on the nose. On the finish, the wine has some serious tannin and is quite dry and has some length. This wine needs some time in the cellar. If you want it now you should decant it for at least an hour. It was even better on day 2. I really liked this wine and look forward to seeing how it evolves. Enjoy."

Very Good (87-89)
Ken Hoggins, KensWineGuide.com, Jul 28, 2007

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Pasanau El Vell Coster (2004) - "Inky ruby. Mineral-accented blackcurrant and blueberry aromas are complemented by cured tobacco, violet and smoked meat. Really expands across the palate, showing a nervy tone and bright dark berry and floral pastille flavors. With aeration, this gains a sweet oak spice note that harmonizes nicely with the sexy dark fruit qualities. Light tannins add structure. Quite elegant, and balanced to repay at least a few years in the cellar."

91 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Jul 1, 2007

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Pasanau La Morera de Montsant (2003) - "Ruby-red. Deep cherry and blueberry aromas display notable purity and an expansive personality. Silky in texture, with sweet red and dark berry flavors complicated by gentle spice, smoked meat and mineral accents. Finishes on a peppery dark berry note, with smooth tannins and excellent persistence. "

90 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Jul 1, 2007

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Pasanau Finca La Planeta (2002) - "Cabernet's peppery berry flavors are joined by earth and spice from old-vine Garnacha in this blend. Drink now-10 years."

Catalonia recommendation - ***
Jamal A. Rayyis, Food & Wine, Wine Guide 2007, Oct 1, 2006

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Pasanau Finca La Planeta (2003) - "Deep ruby. Intense, spicy aromas of cherry preserves, redcurrant, wild strawberry and cocoa powder, with a suggestion of baking spices. Youthfully vibrant if a touch wound-up, with potent red fruit flavors emerging with aeration, along with complicating notes of cigar box and roasted coffee. Finishes sweet, spicy and long, with supple tannins and a lingering note of fruitcake. Serious but delicious stuff. "

91 Points
Josh Raynolds, International Wine Cellar, Sep 1, 2006

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Pasanau Ceps Nous (2003) - "From the highest vineyard in the Priorat region, a young-vine blend of garnacha (grenache), merlot, mazuelo and syrah; a dandy, spicy, smoky red wine, almost Rhône-ish, with good acidity and a touch of minerality. "

****1/2
Michael Lonsford, The Houston Chronicle, May 1, 2006

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Pasanau La Morera de Montsant (2001) - "This wine will stick to your ribs, and it'll grab your palate on the way down, leaving quite an impression. Red fruit, leather and toast create a rock-solid, ideal nose. Moderately syrupy and full-bodied, with smooth berry flavors and plenty of vanilla. Finishes long and classy."

90 Points
Michael Schachner, Wine Enthusiast, Oct 1, 2005

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Pasanau Ceps Nous (2003) - "Dark red. Superripe aromas of dark berries, smoked meat, licorice, graphite, rose oil and nutty oak. Sweet, lush and pliant, with seamless flavors of currant and dark cherry. Quite approachable, even a bit evolved in the style of the year, but without being oxidative. Finishes minerally and impressively long, with lush tannins. "

91 Points
Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, Sep 1, 2005

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Pasanau Finca la Planeta (2001) - "Our top-rated wine, the 2001 Finca la Planeta from Pasanau Germans [contains] 90 percent cabernet sauvignon, and indeed, it would be easy to mistake it for a fine Bordeaux, with its deep aromas and flavors of tobacco and berries. It's powerfully tannic and acidic, yet it's also elegant, with earthy, mineral flavors and a whiff of smokiness. The other 10 percent is garnacha, and perhaps that's what makes the wine so singular. "

***1/2 - Top-rated wine of tasting; Best Value
Eric Asimov, Priorat's Return Was Worth the Wait, The New York Times, Mar 9, 2005

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Pasanau Finca La Planeta (2001) - "Cassis, blackberry, mineral and chocolate notes marry nicely in this polished red. The tannins are big but fine-grained, the texture is plush and toothsome. It's a big wine, but the power is perfectly controlled."

93 Points
Thomas Matthews, Wine Spectator, Nov 30, 2004

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WINES

Click on a wine name below to learn more about the vintage:

Pasanau Ceps Nous (2018)

Pasanau Ceps Nous (2017)

Pasanau Ceps Nous (2016)

Pasanau Ceps Nous (2015)

Pasanau Ceps Nous (2014)

Pasanau Finca La Planeta (2015)

Pasanau Finca La Planeta (2013)

Pasanau Finca La Planeta (2012)

Pasanau Finca La Planeta (2008)

Pasanau Les Myriams (2016)

Pasanau Los Torrents (2015)

Pasanau Los Torrents (2014)

Pasanau Los Torrents (2012)

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