- Spain: Priorat
What a great wine it is! Amazing quality although less known than Rioja however by no means cheaper.
HOW TO SERVE
- Decant: 1 – 2 hours
- Serve at: 16 – 18 °C (61 – 64 °F)
- Glass type: wide bowl which resemble Burgundy/ Pinot Noir glasses
FOOD & CHEESE
- Spicy food, roasted and rich dishes, paella, steak, goose, duck
- Manchego, blue Stilton, Herreño, Garrotxa
Priorat is a region in Catalonia, Spain known for its full bodied red wines. In recent years Priorat wines have become very popular among wine lovers although as a wine region it had been around for a long time. In fact, this region has been producing wines since Roman times but it was only in the 80’s – 90’s when producers started to focus on creating quality wines. Priorat gained the DOQ (Denominacio de Origen Qualificada) status in 2006 and is the second out of the only 2 regions in Spain to have been awarded this status, the other one being Rioja.
The reason why Priorat produces such great wines is because of the perfect combination of climate, soil and modern wine making. The hero grapes found in most blends are Garnacha (Grenache) and Cariñena (Carignan) followed by smaller doses of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and a small percentage of white grapes. There are no specific requirements when it comes to the percentage of Garnacha or Cariñena in Priorat blends.
Due to the nutrient poor soil, the yields are very low and concentrated which adds to the quality of the wine. Priorat wines usually have fruit flavors, a lot of minerality and high alcohol levels with 13.5% being the minimum level of alcohol required.
Priorat wines are not cheap. Expect to spend anything from $40 to $1000 on great quality. Having said that you can also find very decent Priorat for up to $30.
Examples of some great producers are: Alvaro Palacios, Clos Mogador, Clos Erasmus, Scala Dei, Costers del Siurana, Mas Doix, Mas Martinet, Clos Figueras.
Priorat region & grapes
- Continental with long, hot, dry summers, cold winters and little rainfall during the year
- Rocky and mountainous area
- One of the hottest and driest areas of Spain
- Perfect for Garnacha
- Called Llicorella in Catalan
- Red slate soil with mica that preserves heat and reflects sunlight
- This type of soil allows the roots of the vines to reach deep underground where there is water and nutrition
- Vineyards are planted on steep slopes and terraces