Priorat is the other, apart from la Rioja, Spanish DOCa, qualified appellation of origin (in Catalan Denominació d’Origen Qualificada, DOQ in short), located in the province of Tarragona. This is a mountainous area with dramatic slopes; as a result vineyards are often farmed in form of terraces. The climate is hot and dry, with a noticeable temperature oscillations between day and night, plus microclimates tend to vary among its valleys and high plateau, where cold winds from the North are quite common. Vineyards grow between 100 and 700 metres above the sea level, on terrains of predominantly volcanic origin. Samsó (Carignan) and garnatxa (Grenache) are the most popular grape varieties. However, there are plenty of international grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, and also some white grapes like garnatxa blanca, macabeu and Pedro Ximénez.
In Gratallops, you can visit an interesting winery called Celler Devinssi, set up around 2000 by Josep Roca i Benito in the heart of Priorat. It currently produces around 8000 bottles yearly. Except Rocapoll (purely vinified from Grenache), its wine range is focused on bridging local varieties with those of French origin: Cupatge blends Grenache, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Mas de les Valls is made up from Grenache, Carignan and some Cabernet Sauvignon, similarly to Il·lia, a blend of these three kinds of grape.
Il·lia 2007 is very interesting. Aged for eighteen months in French oak barrels, this wine has a red ruby colour with plentiful reflections of dark crimson, consistent in the glass, with a delicious nose, full of red fruit jam, crushed strawberries, aromatic herbs, touches of Indian ink, juniper and balsamic notes. In the mouth, it’s juicy, rather spicy and fruity, with dense tannins and remarkable freshness, brilliant and persistent mineral end. A wine that reflects the land it comes from. It’s warm, articulate and luring, excellent to pair with a roast kid goat.
Celler Devinssi is a truly artisan winery that puts its heart and soul in each wine it produces, a must-see on your wine tour across spectacular bodegas in Spain.
Francesco Vitocco, sommelier with Notizie.it.
Translated from Italian. Original version: http://style.notizie.it/il-lia-d-o-q-priorat-2007-celler-devinnsi/