Joseph Puig and his daughter Silvia
were equally infatuated with Greek mythology when they first bought
Viñedos de Ithaca in Gratallops, DOC Priorato, recalling how
first cultivated the land with the ancient grapevines they saw before
them. Acutely aware of the historical significance, Silvia and Joseph
wanted to pay tribute to the ancient winemakers by naming their winery,
Viñedos de Ithaca, after the kingdom where Odysseus was born.
Both Joseph and Silvia have a wonderful sense of humor and joy for what
they do. “Wine should be fun”, an idea they hold close to
their hearts. A philosophy they have conveyed and captured throughout
the winery. Their hard and demanding work in the vineyards together
with the love for wine is reflected in the outcome of the final product.
Both Joseph and Silvia have a strong interest and fascination for history,
especially that of the Greeks whom settled throughout the Mediterranean
and the mythology.
They have gone as far as to name each barrel of wine with a mythical
name like Kronos, Argos, Artemis, and Hermes on their barrels, again
to have fun and at the same time, adding life to their cellar. They
could have just as easily had a very boring numerical system but not
the Puig’s. Having their winery in the middle of one of the most
prestigious and renowned wine demarcations of Spain, they choose to
incorporate this philosophy to the wine labels too, naming the Odysseus,
Akyles and Penelope (Odysseus’s adoring wife) beaucase it’s
humorous, it plays upon a theme.
The vineyards and the cellar are located in Gratallops, 350 meters altitude
just south west of Barcelona, in the province of Tarragona. The soil
is the famous “llicorella” (slate-based) which dates from
the Paleozoic period. This soil is like a mosaic in which the roots
of the vine look for water deep down into the soil. With this kind of
soil, the intense heat and the unforgiving drought of this area gives
the wine a particular style - a rather mineral and intensely concentrated
ripe fruit character
here to visit the winery's web site.
Peluda 2006 'Penelope' (4 bottles) 500ML
Made from 100% Garnacha Peluda which is also used in the blend
for the Tinto. Has a great nose of red fruits, spicy and warmth with
cinnamon, candied fruits, walnuts, figs, meat and melon all mixed together.
While on the palate it delivers a lovely expression of lively roses,
bright cherry fruit, cranberry , blood oranges and watermelon with spice
all the way through the finish.
Tinto 2002 750ML
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar score: 89+ points (Sept/Oct
“Smoky Red and black fruit aromas are complicated by musky cocoa
and licorice. Mineral-accented cherry and blackberry flavors are firmed
by solid but harmonious tannins, which add grip to the finish. Youthfully
dry but there appears to be ample sweet fruit to reward a few years’
Tinto 2003 750ML
Vinified in 400 litre open barrels, the grapes come also from very old
vines with a very low production (0,250 Kgs.Per vine). Careful battonage
is done during fermentation to get the best color extraction of the
grapes. Varieties are: Caiñena, Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon…there
is also a tiny 10% composed by Touriga National, Petit Verdot, Syrah
and Caladoc. It is a genuine original, medium bodied, good quality tannins
with correct alcohol levels. It’s not an aggressive wine, instead
a very versatile and good companion to all sorts of food.
Tinto 2004 750ML
Very delicate racking was done in this vintage, only when needed. Shows
a strong mineral element, ink, iodine, while on the palate it offers
a very elegant feel, with delicate chocolate character, blackberries
with very good acidity, notes of brioche that come together to a soft
but compact and refined texture on the finish.
Maset del Ros Black Label 2004 750ML
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar score: 90 points (July/Aug.
“Opaque ruby. Cherry-cola, blueberry, graphite and cured tobacco
aromas are sweetened by a suave vanilla quality. Broad, fleshy cherry
and dark berry flavors are firmed by dusty tannins and given further
grip by bright minerality. A sweet tobacco quality carries through the
long, sappy finish. Plenty sexy right now but has the
balance and structure to reward patience.”
Wine Spectator score: 92 points (June 15, 2008)
“Earth and cola notes provide a dark frame for plum, mineral and
bitter chocolate flavors in this brooding red. The texture is firm and
polished, but the wine isn't yielding much now. Decant. Best after 2011.
1,800 cases made.”
Tinto Black Label 2006 750ML
Wine and Spirits Magazine score: 90 points (February 2010 Issue)
"There's a superripe aspect to this wine's aromas of fig, countered
by fresher flavors of red fruits and vibrant almost crystalline acidity.
The texture is wild. Give it another three or four years in the bottle
to soften up, then serve with pork loin roasted with plums.
Macabeo 2008 750ML
Made from 100% Macabeo grapes that go through 50% oak fermentation
and 50% stainless steel. By doing this the wine has complexity, weight
and freshness at the same time. The aromas of toasted hazelnuts, wild
herbs and complex spices mixed with faint notes of jasmine, dried
apricot are the wines signature notes. In the mouth it is very expansive
and alive with a persistent aftertaste. The subtle oak hints add an
additional distinction and layer to the wine. Very limited production,
35 cases imported per year with a total production of less than 100
Garnacha Blanca 2005 (750ML)
Light pale golden color. The nose is intoxicating and alive with white
flowers, peaches in syrup, light green herbal notes, apricots and more.
Really a fun wine to sniff! In the mouth this wine has a rich body to
it with medium acidity and a unique sweetness that ends dry. Light mandarin
orange, peach, orange zest, white flowers…almost honeysuckle,
all combine which leaves your mouth with a richness that lingers. The
finish while dry has a note of slight bitterness, perfect to leave your
mouth looking for more.
2003 vintage - Wine Spectator Magazine, July, 2005 – 90
2004 vintage - Wine Spectator Magazine, October, 2005
– 89 points!
Garnacha Blanca 2006 (750ML)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar score: 90 points (Sept/Oct
“Musky pear skin and yellow plum aromas are complicated by vanilla,
clove, and toasted grain. Fleshy yellow fruit and sweet butter flavors
are broad and chewy, gaining nuttiness with air. Dry, chewy and emphatically
not a fruity style – highly recommended for fans of this type.”
Garnacha Blanca 2008 (750ML)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar score: 91 points (Sept/Oct
"Light yellow-gold. A complex bouquet evokes pear, honeydew,
anise and pungent herbs, with a strong mineral undertone. Rich, weighty
orchard and pit fruit flavors are complicated by a strong herbal quality
and given spine by dusty minerality. A note of bitter lime adds grip
to the long, strikingly juicy finish. This could compete with many
topnotch white Chateauneuf du Papes."
Pedro Ximénez 2007 (750ML)
Pedro Ximénez is best known as a sweet sherry grape. After
discovering a parcel of old vine PX within their vineyards Joseph
and Sylvia decided to vinify the PX separately. The final result is
a unique rich, dry white wine and the only still wine made from PX
grapes in Spain. Apricots, peaches, nectarines and green apple find
room in the nose with additional highlights of roses. Higher toned
than the Garnacha Blanca showcasing abundant bright fruit a wonderful
mouth feel and a finish of golden raisins. The grapes are sourced
from a 75-year old vineyard near Scala Dei. 150 cases made.
Rosado 2007 (750ML)
This lagrima (free run juice…no pressing) style rosado uses
some of the same fruit as the Odysseus Tinto (90% old vine Garnacha
plus Cabernet Sauvignon, Cariñena and Touriga Nacional), macerated
on the skins for a few hours to extract a bit of color and then fermented
in stainless steel. A dark watermelon colored rosado with abundant
berry-like fruit and elegantly balanced acidity. Not to be mistaken
for a frilly summer picnic wine, this award winning wine tops out
at 14.5 percent alcohol. Easily the best Spanish rosado I’ve
tried.150 cases produced.
Tinto 2006 (750ML)
eParker score: 90 points (# 183 June 2009)
The 2006 Akyles Tinto is a blend of 42% Garnacha, 25% Carinena, with
the balance Garnacha Peluda and Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 10 months
in French oak. Purple-colored, it delivers an alluring perfume of
liquid minerality, lavender, black cherry, and black raspberry. Elegant
on the palate but still a bit tightly wound, this lengthy effort will
profit from several more years of bottle age. Drink it from 2012 to
Tinto 2007 (750ML)
Best Buy! - Wine and Spirits Magazine score: 90 points (February 2010
"Young garnacha, carinena, and cabernet vines provide the fruit
for this red, yielding generous flavors of blackberries and ripe strawberries
in an ample and seductively spicy wine. Youthfully tense with pointed
acidity, it is set to gain in complexity over the next several years.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar score: 90 points (Sept/Oct
"Glass-staining ruby color. Intensely floral bouquet evokes blackcurrant,
cherry-vanilla, rose, magnolia and sassafras. Fleshy, deeply concentrated
dark berry flavors verge on jammy but are braced by zesty minerality
and dusty tannins. Very smooth on the finish, which repeats the sweet
dark fruit and vanilla notes. This is already drinking well."