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« 2 quickTakes: one hit/one miss | Main | Whence Catawba? »

26 April 2005

Primo Priorato

DoprioratoPriorat, in Northeastern Spain, is one of the country's most unique D.O.s. (now DOCa - thanks Steven!)  It's quite small (1,820 ha) and has been focused on an international style and international grapes for some time.  Priorat is essentially a stone-ringed amphitheater for grapes.  In other words the grapes get a lot of sun and get to chill at night.  All this equates to bold, intense red wines.

I was lucky enough to try my very first Priorat red this past weekend.  It is made by the Pasanau family.  My only regret is that I didn't wait four or five more years before opening the bottle...

Pasanauprio_1The Skinny
Pasanau "Finca La Planeta" '01 ($48)

  • Origin: Northeastern Spain's D.O. Priorat
  • From "La Planeta" vineyard - 3 hectares over slate soil
  • 80% Cabernet Sauvignon 20% Garnacha
  • Dense, inky purple in color with a cherry-red rim, fading to pink
  • Bold scents of cooked blackberries and blueberries, caramel-vanilla spice, and subtle prune/fig undertones.  There's also a slight aroma of red grapes..
  • Concentrated, full-bodied, and long lasting.  Pasanau is full of big, round tannins floating in flavors of vanilla, cedar, pepper, and red & black berries.

****.5 (4.5 stars out of 5)

Even though this is one intense mutha, I found it to be Empanadas-friendly.  I plan to buy another bottle and hide it for five years.  A little ageing will make this an amazing vino.


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Steven Tolliver

Great article on this outstanding Priorat wine. Just one minor point of correction, Priorat is now one of two D.O.C.'s (denominacion de origen calificada) in Spain (the other is La Rioja). Checking your links, I see that the official Spanish wine promotion site is spreading misinformation. ¡Que vergüenza!


Thanks Steven. As I was writing, I hunted high and low for confirmation that Priorato is now DOCa. Unfortunately I don't read so well in Spanish and the Wines from Spain site didn't have the most up-to-date info.

I'll correct it shortly!



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