An Introduction to Priorat

Spanish wineI’m really becoming interested in finding great wines that are in the 8 – 15 Euro range here in Barcelona. The fact is that you can get a fairly decent bottle of wine for 5 – 7 Euros, but you don’t really get into it…. it’s just drinkable, but does not have a distinguished taste, and it isn’t a unique experience in any way.

I have certainly enjoyed some of the 5 Euro bottles that I’ve bought, but I am trying to make a grander effort to explore higher caliber wines. That said, with all modestly, I’m not a wine snob at all and my wine palette is fledgling at best. In fact, I’m the first to admit I’ve bought 3 Euro wine at the shop down the street at a local grocer, and that it was really not that bad! But, if that’s the low range, things must simply get better! So each week, I’m trying to find a few bottles that are truly memorable, again generally speaking between 7 to 15 Euro price range.

This week’s wine is: Les Cousins ~ Marc & Adrià L’Inconscient 2010! It´s a Priorat and it´s almost love at first taste for me, because the first thing I noticed was freshness, then very intense dry tannins at the end. The tannins ast Exactly what I love about a good Syrah. 🙂 (I believe this is what my brother-in-law said he didn’t like about wine, though he referred to tannins as especies.)

I was interested in trying this one, as I will hopefully be attending their harvest festival early September. I believe it is for the entire Priorat-Monsant region. Again, I also like the price and the label! This particular blend is a mix of cab, merlot & syrah, according to the label– but 30% Cariñena 25% Garnacha, 20% Cabernet, 15% Merlot, 10% Syrah (todo del pueblo de Porrera), according to another source.

The bottle cost me under 10 Euros at Vila Vinoteca and I would definitely buy another if I could. They have a wide variety there also considering the price range, so I am starting with their lower ends first. (And there are quite a few other vinotecas, both new and modern that I need to visit, often with restaurants, too! I think Cata 1.81, might be their first as they cater the restaurant at the top of Hotel Duquesa and I want to see their terrace.)

Oh yes, and how could I forget? On the menu tonight is Mallorquín tumbet. A perfect pairing? Along with wine exploration, I hope to talk more about the art (or is it a science?) of pairing.

Update: I went to the wine harvest festival in Priorat and learned a tremendous amount about the region, grapes and wine there. Another post on that to come!

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