Els Jelipins

Penedès Sumoll-Garnacha Blend

9.524 ratings
9.32 pro ratings
Penedés, Catalunya, Spain
Sumoll, Garnacha
Paella
Top Notes For
Laissez Fare

Els Jelipins 2009 (a very kind gift from, and shared with, @J_A_A). Made by Gloria and Berta Garriga in the hills Penedès. Based around the Sumoll grape, with a slightly different blend each year (depending on which rows of vineyards they decide to take fruit from). The fruit is hand-picked over a number of sessions — always early in the morning and in small cases. It ferments with the natural yeasts, without temperature control, fining, or filtration and only a touch of sulfur added right before bottling. Open-top barrel fermentation and some wax-lined oval amphorae are used, along with lengthy aging in big barrels. Each bottle is painted by hand – the design is different each year, but always includes the symbolic heart.
This has to be one of the most distinctive, intriguing and confounding red wines I've ever tasted. The first thing you notice is the cloudy ruby color. A mysterious scent leads to strong flavors of green herbs (almost medicinal) on the palate: is it tarragon or dill, or both? Elderflower perhaps? Maybe fresh olive too. Underlying this is an ever-changing red fruit core (cranberry, tart cherry), with the odd streak of wet rocks and a zippy freshness. Totally raw and wild. Impossible to pin down and paradoxical.
Ultimately, this wine was indomitable. We paired it with a full-flavored Iranian stew (ghormeh-sabzi), then with vegetarian Indian curry. The wine went remarkably well with both, though I wouldn't say it 'paired' well. You could always taste the distinct flavors of the wine, and it didn't interfere with the food, but they didn't really enhance each other either. Essentially, even robust food flavors could not tame this cloudy, 'little-looking' red wine.
After all of this, I will not say that I am gagging to try this wine again, as I'm not really sure I love the flavor profile overall … but it did grow on me over the four days we had it open. And the wine was possibly even better on Day 4 than it was on Day 1. I would definitely be happy to try it again, though, as there is no doubt it would challenge palates, ideologies and spark conversation. This is a 'real' wine, with no pretense and oodles of individuality.

Els Jelipins 2009 (a very kind gift from, and shared with, @J_A_A). Made by Gloria and Berta Garriga in the hills Penedès. Based around the Sumoll grape, with a slightly different blend each year (depending on which rows of vineyards they decide to take fruit from). The fruit is hand-picked over a number of sessions — always early in the morning and in small cases. It ferments with the natural yeasts, without temperature control, fining, or filtration and only a touch of sulfur added right before bottling. Open-top barrel fermentation and some wax-lined oval amphorae are used, along with lengthy aging in big barrels. Each bottle is painted by hand – the design is different each year, but always includes the symbolic heart.
This has to be one of the most distinctive, intriguing and confounding red wines I've ever tasted. The first thing you notice is the cloudy ruby color. A mysterious scent leads to strong flavors of green herbs (almost medicinal) on the palate: is it tarragon or dill, or both? Elderflower perhaps? Maybe fresh olive too. Underlying this is an ever-changing red fruit core (cranberry, tart cherry), with the odd streak of wet rocks and a zippy freshness. Totally raw and wild. Impossible to pin down and paradoxical.
Ultimately, this wine was indomitable. We paired it with a full-flavored Iranian stew (ghormeh-sabzi), then with vegetarian Indian curry. The wine went remarkably well with both, though I wouldn't say it 'paired' well. You could always taste the distinct flavors of the wine, and it didn't interfere with the food, but they didn't really enhance each other either. Essentially, even robust food flavors could not tame this cloudy, 'little-looking' red wine.
After all of this, I will not say that I am gagging to try this wine again, as I'm not really sure I love the flavor profile overall … but it did grow on me over the four days we had it open. And the wine was possibly even better on Day 4 than it was on Day 1. I would definitely be happy to try it again, though, as there is no doubt it would challenge palates, ideologies and spark conversation. This is a 'real' wine, with no pretense and oodles of individuality.

2 people found it helpfulJan 23rd, 2015
Joe Carroll

Owner/Wine Director Spuyten Duyvil, Fette Sau, St. Anselm & Gotham Artisanal Provisions

8.9

Super nice but it would be even nicer without the acetone/va on the nose and palette.

Super nice but it would be even nicer without the acetone/va on the nose and palette.

1 person found it helpfulJan 21st, 2015
Kyle Zeman

Throwback to when the days were new

Throwback to when the days were new

May 17th, 2020
Tom Dare

2013 is crisp, with earthy tomato notes. I say drink it early to get the balance, it is a killer Grenache that is a must try!

2013 is crisp, with earthy tomato notes. I say drink it early to get the balance, it is a killer Grenache that is a must try!

Nov 25th, 2018
Kyle Zeman

10/10

10/10

Aug 6th, 2017
Kenneth A. La Barre

Discovered last Summer, finally found it in USA. The best.

Discovered last Summer, finally found it in USA. The best.

Mar 18th, 2017
Patrick McKee

Amazing! Like burgundy, balances delicacy and earth. Ruby; subdued earthy nose of red berry (emerged with time), must and leather; light body with prominent VA, good acidity, very natural tasting, long finish with light tannin

Amazing! Like burgundy, balances delicacy and earth. Ruby; subdued earthy nose of red berry (emerged with time), must and leather; light body with prominent VA, good acidity, very natural tasting, long finish with light tannin

Dec 18th, 2016
Michael Piaker

28 October 2016. The Four Horsemen, Brooklyn, NY.

28 October 2016. The Four Horsemen, Brooklyn, NY.

Oct 28th, 2016
Kyle Zeman

A tinge light in color, nose rose petals and some meatiness , taste pure berries, really good refreshing acid, slate. Amazing wine, could drink this all night

A tinge light in color, nose rose petals and some meatiness , taste pure berries, really good refreshing acid, slate. Amazing wine, could drink this all night

May 14th, 2016
Les Doss

Best one of these I have opened. Clean and fresh for low SO2 wine. Nose is underbrush and Pernod-like. Bright cherry and anise flavors. Mint and rosemary. High acid profile was totally unexpected. Some VA and a wild edge to this. It changes in the glass quite a lot. The alcohol is very noticeable.

Best one of these I have opened. Clean and fresh for low SO2 wine. Nose is underbrush and Pernod-like. Bright cherry and anise flavors. Mint and rosemary. High acid profile was totally unexpected. Some VA and a wild edge to this. It changes in the glass quite a lot. The alcohol is very noticeable.

Mar 20th, 2016