Let’s discover the DOCa Priorat (spanish appellations called “Denominación de Origen”). In this article you will learn:
- The characteristics of the Priorat DOCa’s terroir
- The characteristics of the Priorat DOCa wines
- And my favorite Priorat wines!
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PRIORAT DOCA’s terroir
Located north of Tarragona in Catalonia, this mountainous DOCa is one of the most qualitative in Spain. As a reminder, two DOs in Spain have the higher rank of “Denominación de Origen Calificada”: Priorat and Rioja.
The Priorat Qualified Designation of Origin covers an area of 17,629 hectares, of which 2084 are planted with vines and cultivated by more than 114 wineries (2021 figures).
It has a Mediterranean climate with continental influences. Its vineyards are located between 100 and 750 meters above sea level. Its best soils are called Llicorella. These are layers of red slate containing particles of mica that sparkle in the sun and favor the ripening of the grapes, while retaining enough water to feed the vine.
Because of the mountainous location, the harvest is almost exclusively manual. There are very old vines: the yields are low but this contributes to the beautiful complexity and intensity of Priorat wines. These characteristics mean that Priorat wines are rarely cheap.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE priorat WINES
In this DOCa, the wines produced are predominantly red wine (95%) followed by white wine (4%) and rosé wine (1%).
The red wines of the Priorat are generally produced from Garnacha tinta (red grenache) and cariñena (carignan). But also varieties such as cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah, tempranillo (called there “Ull de llebre”) are allowed.
The red wines of Priorat have the characteristic of being generally of intense purple / garnet color. They are powerful, complex wines, usually with a high alcohol content. They are known for their balance and elegance.
The characteristic aromas of Priorat red wines are usually black fruits (plums, blackcurrants, blackberries), ripe red fruits, spices, licorice, violets, and woody notes (due to the aging in oak barrels).
The white wines of Priorat are generally made from the following grape varieties: White Grenache, Macabeo, Pedro Ximenez, Viognier, Pansal (Xarel.lo)… Generally, Priorat white wines are fresh white wines, with a nice structure in the mouth, volume, smooth wines and aromas from the aging in oak barrel.
MY FAVORITE WINES OF THE DOCA PRIORAT
Personally, this is one of my favorite DOs in Spain: Below there is a selection of wines from Priorat (in red and white) that are among my favorite wines.
RED WINES FROM PRIORAT :
Les Crestes, Mas Doix
Embruix, Vall Llach
Camins del Priorat, Álvaro Palacios
WHITE WINES FROM PRIORAT :
Bellmunt, Mas d’en Gil (I really like their red wines as well such as Coma Vella)
Joan Giné, Buil & Gine
Ritme, Acustic Celler.
And you, do you know the Priorat region? Do you like their wines? What are your favorites? Leave me a comment.