The wines of Priorat have soared to international fame in the last 10 years, and this area is, without doubt, producing some of the highest quality red wines in the whole of Spain – in fact, alongside Rioja, it is the only Spanish wine region to have been granted the DOCA (denominacion de origen calificada), the highest quality recognition in Spain.
About Priorat Wines
Priorat shot to fame a few years ago, when the international scene first discovered its intense, powerful, long-lived red wines, made primarily from the Garnacha grape, with some Carinena. It’s a region, on the eastern coast, located close to the city of Tarragona, just south of the Penedes region.
Priorat has almost single-handedly changed the perception of Spanish winemakers outside Rioja and Ribera del Duero, proving that, even outside traditional areas, if the focus is on quality and individually produced wines, they will be recognised internationally, hence refocusing the mindset of many – this is clearly demonstrated by the prices that some of these wines command in today’s market.
Priorat’s location, soil structure and microclimate is unique, which has helped the production of these unique, world class quality wines. The region is remote and rocky, the soils are slate and quartz (known as licorella), which means the vines have to dig deep to get nutrition and water. The climate is hot in the summer, but protected as the region nestles in the shadow of the Montsant Mountain.
The wines are almost entirely red, dense, complex and concentrated, and whilst the Garnacha (or Grenache) is better known for lighter, juicy reds, Priorat has proved just what the grape is capable of, in the right place, and in the right hands. Reds are usually matured in French or American oak for between 6 and 24 months.
Recommendations On Priorat Wines
Mas d'en Gil Coma Vella 2008/09
"Soft and supple with bags of Spanish personality, this is a delicious wine to be drunk with roast meats or game."
- Waitrose Expert
Torres Salmos 2010
"The brilliant Torres winemaking family keep coming up trumps. Priorat, a beautiful, desolate area in eastern Spain is home to this new blend. Quite rich but very fruity, this is fantastic with red meats."
- Waitrose Expert