Garnatxa Darling Wine Flight & Diner
Spain may be famed for its Tempranillo, but there is another, more widely-planted variety that often slips under the radar despite it being one of the most famous grapes in the world: Garnacha.
This full-body and fruit-forward character wine, which often shows strawberries and raspberries – red fruit – as their calling cards, is a grape that unfolds many different “personalities”depending on the soil and climate conditions of where has been planted.
This is why in this tasting we’ll focus on these differences. Being so widely-planted, as well as grown in the most diverse type of soils, the styles of Garnacha wines are incredibly varied. The key grape growing regions in Spain for this grape are: Campo de Borja, Cariñena, Calatayud (all three of which are in historic Aragon), Navarra, Montsant and Priorat. And within these wine regions there is a vast array of soils (schist, granite, clay, chalk-limestone, and stony-gravely) that imprint a distinctive aromas and taste profile to the wine :
In this wine flight, we’ll wander from the red fruit, quite light, jovial and usually drunk young Garnachas to the more spicy, dense, dark and very rich with ageing potential on.
We’ll be pairing the grenaches with raw salmon, boards of charcuterie and cheeses:
and we will finish with a traditional ‘pa amb vi i sucre’ (bread, wine and sugar) but we replace the bread and use ‘carquinyolis’ dipped in sweet wine.
What’s a D.O. ?
“Designation of Origin”
- Established In 1932,
- Similar To AOC From France.
- Enforces Regulation And Standards (Type Of Grapes, Minimu Aged Time, Etc)
- 12 D.O.'s
- 2 'global D.O. 's
- Enforces Regulation And Standards (Type Of Grapes, Minimu Aged Time, Etc)
Priorat is a Denominació d'Origen Qualificada (DOQ) for Catalan wines produced in the Priorat county, in the province of Tarragona, in the southwest of Catalonia.
The DOQ covers 11 municipalities. It primarily produces powerful red wines, which came to international attention in the 1990s. The area is characterised by its unique terroir of black slate and quartz soil known as llicorella.
It is one of only two wine regions in Spain to qualify as DOCa, the highest qualification level for a wine region according to Spanish wine regulations, alongside Rioja DOCa.
Priorat is the Catalan word, the one that appears most often on wine labels, while the Castilian equivalent is Priorato.
The name, Priorat has been linked to wine since ancient times. The region’s soil, climate, the lay of the land and the hard work of the men and women who have made wine using traditional methods, now helped by new technology adapted to current needs for quality, have all resulted in a unique and exclusive product: Priorat wine.
The Cartoixa (Carthusian Monastery) of Scala Dei represents the birthplace of wines and wine-making in the DOQ Priorat region. The Carthusian monks brought from Provence in the 12th century the knowledge and techniques to develop a winegrowing culture that established itself firmly and has evolved over the centuries.The Carthusians’ lands made up the historic Priorat area which today forms the DOQ Priorat wine region.
The story goes that King Alfons el Cast sent two knights to survey the country in order to find an ideal place for the Carthusian Order, from Provence, to settle in Catalonia. When they arrived at the foothills of the Montsant mountain range, they were struck by the beauty of the area and asked a shepherd about it. After he had done this, the shepherd told them about a supernatural occurrence that had happened in the middle of the valley a long time before. From the highest pine tree a staircase had appeared along which angels ascended to heaven.
The knights told the king about the story and he offered the region to the Order. The Carthusians, now established in 1194, built an altar dedicated to Santa Maria where the tree was. The story gave name to the monastery and created an iconography strongly rooted to the region.
The Carthusians of Scala Dei dressed in white wool with a hood that covered their shaven heads. They planted vineyards and made wine in the monastery, adopting a life of work and spirituality. Priorat wine could well be a mystical wine.
Today, the ruins of the Carthusian monastery provide a breath of mystery and attract visitors. Above these ruins, different geological layers overlap to the top of the mountain, playing with a varied palette of colors, from grey, ochre and yellow to brown and red, so forming this mystical stairway that reaches up to the blue of the sky and the white of the angels in the clouds.
For nearly 1000 years, nine small villages have been settled among the slopes of slate that lie scattered at the foot of the Sierra del Montsant. Their inhabitants, winegrowers during all that time, shaped the land with slopes. After the Law of Mendizábal (1835), thanks to a great effort and the growing development of the vineyard, the vine growers rediscovered their dignity. This enormous change has generated an extraordinary culture, a source of prestige in this country. Among many examples, the chapter ‘How to plant vineyards in Scala Dei’ from the ‘Book of Vassals’ of the 17th century, or the anonymous text ‘Manual of viticulture of 18th century Porrera’ are magnificent testimonies. In the latter text the wisdom of man living in harmony with nature and knowledge is reflected upon.
Unfortunately, times of harmony and growth are cyclical and often end in disasters, thus, within the history of agriculture, and for all European vines, there is a before and after the phylloxera epidemic. It was a also a disaster for the Priorat region, since, at this time, the explosion of the textile industry in Catalonia swept away the entire workforce to the city and new vines were not planted again, except on a small scale, which, fortunately, is what has remained to the present day.
Thanks to the generation of farmers who are currently between 70 and 80 years of age, who have remained in the land and have continued their agricultural tradition, the Priorat wine culture has been preserved
More recently, it was possible to intervene in a preserved landscape, one that is complex, rich and of formidable potential. It was at the end of the 80s when the opening of a new cycle of prosperity began. This combined wisdom, the landscape and tradition with a new entrepreneurial spirit that had quality and prestige as its main aim.
The rehabilitation of the vines is done slowly making sure they stay true to the history of the land. It is a curious mixture that brings together the evolution of a traditional culture and the remains of an agrarian past and an exuberant nature, along with a respectful and efficient replanting and a charm that is to be protected.
Mas Ramoneda – Boira Blanc de Noirs – DO Costers del Segre
White noir wine made from Garnacha Tinta grapes planted next to the winery 10 years ago, where we want to convey the finesse and elegance of the Garnacha with the bouquet of a red wine.
- Varieties: Red Grenache
- Vineyard Age: 10 years
- Vine height: 460 meters
- Yield: 9500 kg / Ha
- Alcohol: 12.5%
COLOR: Bright yellow with gray tones due to the color of the grape skin
AROMA: Of flowers and white fruit, giving a very fresh touch and at the same time it stands out and a depth and memories of something that is hidden, as reflected by its name, is glimpsed.
TASTE: An entry with a sweet sensation, a happy and friendly passage through the mouth with a round finish expressing all the characters of this white noir wine.
PAIRING: Very appropriate with ham and Iberian sausages, broths, stewed vegetables and all kinds of white meat and fish.
Tradition, the natural process, the vine at every evening behind the window, because it is the grape that sustains us and we give it the adolescent passion and the eye of those who know the perpendicularity of the wine in the bottle. The scented oak, the mystery of the pause in the ferment, the patience of the keys at the door, the cellar, the wise man who hears the voice of wine, because they call him by name,
Mas Ramoneda is a young winery that seeks two lips to feel body on the edge of a glass and savor the nature of its wines: the noble conception of metaphor in the vat. There is always greatness in the transformation of concepts, and the WINE liturgy is the secret of roses, their beauty, their smell, their aroma, their texture, their slow world of flavors.
Mas Ramoneda seeks the ancient value of ambrosia; sometimes, extinguished, and it renews it, it gives it the faith of new rituals, the strength of the rivers that wisely guide the waters to the sea. The WINE from its cellars is a prayer and a heresy, it recognizes the table and closes the parentheses of doubt.
Mas Ramoneda assumes the verb to drink, and shapes other distinguished verbs: libar, paladear, savorar. He never raises his elbow or takes a drink, he arranges the harmony of taste with freshness, silence and good judgment. Surprise the sky of the mouth and continue higher, in the hands of an embrace moved with the earth.
Mas Ramoneda is a newly born winery, with a clean dawn, but by its side there are people with studies and experience to transmit the integral essence of wine to the tables.
There is a place where life opens up like a thought, a place where innocence takes off its shoes and dresses in vine shoots, a place where kites arrive and the murmur of ferment sounds, of good broth. A place where glass scaffolds rise, and alchemy transforms, like a miracle, the vine into life. That place has the accuracy of a name, Mas Ramoneda.
On his farm remains the trace of the ancestor man, as an inheritance: excavations in the stone to step on the grapes. An original winery, with 5000 and 6000 liter oak barrels, and also stone tanks. An oven to bake bread, an oil press and, apart from the manor house, an 11th century hermitage. That is the origin and the cradle of the Mas Ramoneda family, where wine, oil and bread were already made by hand. Caste comes to the greyhound, says the adage.
Finca del Marquesado Valdemar – La Gargantilla – DOCa La Rioja
La Gargantilla, a grenache monovarietal where the notes of red fruits stand out. It is an expressive wine, with nerve and sincere.
VINEYARDS: Plot of 6.7 Has. Preselection of strains and subsequent clusters. Altitude of 580 m. and very stony loam soil.
AGING: 8 months in French Allier oak barrels
TASTING OBSERVATIONS: Beautiful cherry color, very vivid, with a medium layer, with purple sheen.
Intense and fresh aroma, with very marked notes of red forest fruits (raspberries, currants) accompanied in the background by finer notes from the barrel aging.
In the mouth it is fresh, very expressive, with nerve and sincere. A pleasant mid palate, very varietal with hints of flowers and red fruits.
Elegant, with a delicate structure, balanced acidity and a long finish. Silky, elegant and complex. Smooth ripe tannin with a rich, long and permanent aftertaste.
PAIRING: Exquisite with all kinds of cheeses, this Garnacha mainly enhances the cured and semi-cured. Red meats and in cheese sauces. Foie and apple.
La Vinyeta – Microvins Garnatxa Negra Àmfora – DO Empordà
Native varieties, old vineyards and microclimates.
In the past, a strange character roamed the cellars on time. He unfolded his briefcase and, like an alchemist, began shuffling potions and test tubes. The Chemist, everyone told him. A figure that is more familiar to us today, present in every winery, but that we usually know as an oenologist.
The Microvins are monovarietal from old vineyards –some more than a hundred years old– of autochthonous varieties and plots of extreme typicality. Small volumes of wine with a lot of character, experimenting in the production processes, in very controlled conditions and recovering ancestral techniques.
Microvins are small preparations made in 10 small capacity tanks, only 1,000 liters, under very controlled conditions, this Carignan has been aged in chestnut barrels.
Immerse yourself in the wines of this winery touched by the 'tramuntana' (north wind) and let yourself fall in love with the smell of the Empordà.
Located in the heart of the Empordà, in Mollet de Peralada, the La Vinyeta winery is a small vineyard and olive grove with a young spirit, the result of effort and enthusiasm.
The origin of this project can be traced to the nearly two hectares of old vineyards - aged between 55 and 80 - in Carignan and Grenache.
From this moment new plantations are carried out up to the current 30 ha and it is consolidated in 2006 with the construction of the winery.
Year after year, La Vinyeta bears fruit with personal wines, exquisite oil and local products.
Despite being a young winery, it has taken the testimony of tradition, of the legacy accumulated over centuries in the cultivation of old vineyards in the Empordà.
The commitment to nature has made it one of the first wineries to develop with the Integrated Production system, an environmentally friendly crop based on ecological principles and scientific knowledge.
Best Catalan Winery in 2018
La Vinyeta has been chosen as the Best Catalan Winery in 2018 by the Catalan Association of Sommeliers. This entity brings together about 600 sommeliers and member companies of the Catalan territory and has the vocation of agglutinating the sector and promoting the figure of the sommelier.
The recognition has been granted by voting of its members between four Catalan wineries that have excelled this year.
Mas d’en Perí – M’ho ha dit un ocellet – DOq Priorat
Made 100% with Porrera grapes.
Wine suitable for sharing.
M'ho ha dit un ocellet (A little bird told me), the 2017 vintage was born. The Grenache trodden with the most traditional method, with the feet, Macerated in a short but intense way with all the grapes and gently pressed. 6 months aging in stainless steel and is ready to be bottled and direct to the most demanding palates.
Sight, cherry-colored, still with vivid hints of purple from a very bright black plum. Tears dripping slowly down the glass as I move it, she is the sage of my vineyards. On the nose, red fruit, berries and especially a ripe blackberry.
In drinks, great for sharing endless hours with the people you love…
If I hadn’t experienced everything I’ve experienced, my wine would probably be different. Now that’s what I want it to be
Mas d'en Perí
Two rows per terrace, licorice soils, vines formed with a single arm and a very unproductive rootstock, make up my landscape and my life.
Mas d'en Perí is a farmhouse dating from the middle of the s. XIX The previous owner made wines on the farm, and there are still some remains of the old cellar at the Mas. My family acquired it at the end of the 50s and I am the third generation to work the land but the first to venture into making wine.
17 ha make up the farm but at the moment there are only 4 planted. 15 years ago, my father decided to plant Grenache and Carignban. Now with the growth of the project, I have decided to plant 3 ha more of white varieties and a little more Grenache.
I follow a sustainable line and work with the intention of making wines with minimal intervention
Who I am and what I do
I work the field, I make my wine and I try, from the most absolute transparency, to extract the best that the earth gives me. All I have around me are centuries of history, so I can only keep working on what I love so much. I would like to be able to contribute my bit with my viticulture, working on oenology or being able to be happy seeing my wine on the tables of the townspeople. I interpret the territory from the inside. I step on the floors and feel so rooted that the terraces of the vineyard are one of the pillars of my life. Once I'm at the highest point of Mas d'en Perí, I look around, and what I see assures me that nothing can go wrong. The moments that make up my day to day are the most important, enjoying what I do every moment lets me know that I'm on the right track. I still have a long way to go. Do you want us to do it together?
I am a woman, a wine grower from the Priorat. I interpret the vineyard and the landscape in my creations
Things come when they are supposed to come, neither before nor after. The most beautiful stories are often the least expected. I have always been linked to the world of wine. After studying Enology at the Jaume Ciurana school, I collaborated and worked on different projects. We have also cooperated in the zoning of the DO Montsant. As you can see, there is no wine road that can resist. My last project was in a Priorat winery and although I was very happy, a spark was lit. The possibility of becoming part of the family's history opened up before me, taking over Mas d'en Perí. After so many years working in the sector, it was a gift that my family offered me to start a new project. A unique and unrepeatable opportunity appeared before my eyes and I couldn't say no. My time had come.