Priorat is home to some of Spain’s most renowned reds. They’re big, intense and based on the Garnacha grape (a.k.a. Grenache). Here, some of F&W’s favorite producers.
Applying his Bordeaux training to Priorat Garnacha, Álvaro Palacios created a wine in 1993 that would become a modern icon of Spain: L’Ermita. That, along with his first wine, Finca Dofí, established him as one of Spain’s great stars. Today Palacios also crafts affordable high-quality wines, such as Camins del Priorat.
Celler Vall Llach
Spanish singer Lluís Llach founded this Priorat winery with partner Enric Costain in the 1990s, supplementing the 60- to 90-year-old Cariñena and Garnacha vineyards with new plantings. The winery’s premier red, simply called Vall Llach, is followed by Idus de Vall Llach and entry-level Embruix de Vall Llach.
A pioneer in making wine with organic grapes since 1996, Mas Igneus draws upon three estates as well as contract farmers for its red and white Priorat wines. The seemingly cryptic names of some of the wines refer to the type of oak, age of barrels and months spent in barrel. For example, FA206 was aged in French Allier oak and spent six months in two-year-old barrels.
Although the newest Torres wines include Celeste (Ribera del Duero) and Ibéricos (Rioja), this venerable family winery is firmly rooted in Catalonia. Its Sangre de Toro line, with its famous plastic-bull bottle ornament, was launched in 1954; the Coronas label recently marked its centenary. Today the winery continues to expand its range under a fifth generation of the Torres family.