Buil & Giné is named for Xavi Buil’s grandfather, Joan Giné, who made wine and raised his son and grandson in these dramatic vineyards. The winery itself was established in 1998 in the heart of Priorat, Gratallops, among the steep, slate-strewn slopes that the region is famous for. That slate soil is called llicorella, composed of schistose mica and quartzite, allowing roots to stretch deep to find water. It has a reflective black-red surface that radiates heat back to the vines. Yields are very low, leading to incredibly concentrated wines.
Many of the vines here are more than 45 years old and are a stone’s throw from the well-known L’Ermita vineyards, sharing much of the same terroir. From the beginning, Buil & Giné’s wines have been produced with the goal that its offerings should be classic yet approachable in style and price. To that end, the wines show more restraint and balance than others that are comparable prices. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed: in their Annual Buying Guide, Wine & Spirits Magazine selected Buil & Giné as one of the Wineries of the Year in 2006, 2008, and 2009.
“Giné Giné” is a blend of half Grenache and half Carignan, both grown in llicorella soil. The fruit comes from vineyards located in different areas: Bellmunt, Gratallops, La Vilella Baixa, El Molar, La Vilella Alta, El Lloar, and Torroja. Approximately half of the vineyards are between 20 and 30 years old, and the other half consist of old vines on slopes. Each variety is fermented separately, in stainless steel without added yeasts, then completes malolactic conversion in barrels. The wine is then blended and returned to stainless steel for aging.
It’s hard to find a wine that captures the essence of Priorat better than this one. As one taster noted: “It tastes as if there were a gash cut in the Priorat hills and blackcurrant juice came welling out of the schist. Give it a day of air and the wine’s delicacy begins to shine, layered in sunny fruit and herbs, hard to resist.” Floral notes, dark plum and berry fruit, savory herbs, pepper, sweet spices—they’re all here, adding layers of complexity and building up the long finish. Try it with dishes that will match its tannins—hearty stews, or braised or grilled meats such as beef or pork—or with an aged cheese, especially one of Spain’s many hard sheep’s milk cheeses.
|Producer||Buil & Giné|
Mon–Fri Noon–8 / Sat 11–7
Closed on Sunday
1167 N Howe Street
Chicago, IL 60610