We first discovered Priorat wines during a quick stop in Barcelona some years back. The Priorat region lies in northeastern Spain, just south of Barcelona in the Catalonia province of Tarragona. The signature Priorat red is made with Grenache and Carignon, typically blended with Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and/or Merlot. These Bordeaux-style wines are big, bold and high in alcohol–15%+ is the norm.
I fell for Priorat instantly. In a previous VinoDuo posting I raved about the La Perla del Priorat Noster Templari 2007, giving it a 4.5 on Vivino. I noted the “Beautiful nose with cigar box, smoky oak and black fruit notes. Cassis, black plum, black cherry compote notes on the palate with silky tannins make this a smooth companion for any meal.
While that 2007 wine is likely impossible to find, I’ve got a new Priorat to recommend–the Clos Bartolomé Vernet Priorat 2015 ($30/bottle), which I’ve also rated a 4.5 on Vivino. Clos Bartolemé is a blend of Grenache (50%), Carignan (40%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (10%.) While I typically prefer Priorat with a majority Cabernet Sauvignon and a touch of Grenache for good measure, I was taken in by the Clos Bartolemé’s blackberry and cherry flavors on the palate and its vanilla/cassis finish. It’s pretty tannic, though and needs cheese or a good steak to shine through. We suggest decanting an hour before serving.