The Saucy Dressings’ chief taster had high hopes for the Les Crestes 2012 – the wine for June. It’s a Priorat, made from 80% Garnacha, 10% Cariñena, and 10% Syrah grapes, a third of which come from vines more than 50 years old and the wine has been awarded 94 Parker points. Unfortunately it was a little disappointing, but perhaps we should have left it for two or three more years.

Why the high hopes? “It’s a Priorat” he told me, “that region produces some terrific wines.”



When I bought the wine, I commented to Ralph Smith, the supplier, that Les Crestes had a very French-sounding name for a wine grown in Spain. He replied:

quotes1Yes, this is a Priorat based in Catalonia, south of Barcelona by 50km. It’s in an absolutely perfect location for growing vines. It’s slate soil helps reflect sun light onto the vines. A lot of expensive wines come from this area. Only two wine regions in Spain have achieved the highest level of Denominacion de Origen (DOC): Rioja and, it’s less well known, also Priorat. About 20-25 years ago a number of French growers moved to this region where they saw great opportunities – as there were some very old vines not being utilised as well as they could have been, this has created a region of Spanish wines with a French twist in them!

In the case of Mas Diox, the bodega which makes Les Crestes, I was lucky to get on their books. They were using a smart, Piccadilly-based wine importer for their wines, they’re old-school. But their wines weren’t being promoted enough. I was young and passionate about their wine and they agreed to meet me. This is a serious vineyard selling fine wine, some around the £100 price level.

In the meantime they had been looking around for another importer, and they appointed O.W. Loeb, another very established wine merchant and after that they wouldn’t sell to me any more.quotes2


Goes well with roast beef and ribeye steaks.

Available from Ralph’s Wine Cellar at £26.99


Our favourite wine for the year is still the Trapezio ++.