What to expect from the wines of Catalunya, eh? Well, this is not exactly going to be the most extensive blog post in the world! It could be, but as I’m limiting myself to just a few paragraphs I’m going to have to cut this one right down to just the wines I’ve got for my tasting. Perversely enough, they’re all from Priorat DOQ.
I’m actually genuinely sorry to all the lovers of Terra Alta, or Penedes, or even Empordá. I did mean to pick something up from there but a couple of the wine shops I went to had sold out in the week! Hopefully it’s people following my blog and they’ll give me some discounts next week! 🙂
Anyway, back onto Priorat. Priorat, if you look at the map (number 9), is inland and up in the hills. These hills give the grapes great access to the sunlight, and the soils round there act as mini radiators, trapping the warmth of the sun and reflecting it back at the vines. Coupled with the fact that the soil’s really low in nutrients for the plant, you get fully ripened grapes, but in low yields. Expensive way of doing things, but get it right in the cellar and you’ve got a top wine on your hands!
The big grapes round these parts are Garnatxa (Grenache) and Cariñena (Carignan). The first one gives lots of alcohol (although a bit less in the modern style), but plenty of intense red fruit due to the low yields in Priorat. The later gives black fruit, acidity (refreshing-ness), tannin (adds to the body of the wine), and deep colour (from the thick grape skins). It’s then all about the blend!
Expect full bodied and fruity. Just make sure you don’t have to wake up too early in the morning!
Other Posts in NWTW #54
Photo: The ruins of Scala Dei Priorat from http://www.minube.com/fotos/rincon/110034/505785
Map: Priorat is Area 9 on this map from http://catalanwinesusa.com/catalan-dos/