Clos del Portal (Estate Wines), Entre dos Aguas, DOQ Priorat

70/365 – Catalonia – DOQ Priorat – Priorat – Clos del Portal, Estate Wines – Tros de Clos 2010

Entre dos Aguas…..

……., mixed emotions today, as one of the greatest guitar virtuosos, and wine lovers, of all times has left us and is playing his guitar in another place. Rest in peace Paco! Life is to short, so make sure you live it to the fullest, whatever that might entail! Be passionate, make the most of it and don’t forget to smile and love, everybody and everything! A salut to Paco with a memorable glass of wine!

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Maybe there are better ways to live life? I just feel good about the way I am living mine. Sun, great food, walk with the dogs and wonderful wine. Had a truly enjoyable wine tasting yesterday with a great bunch of wine lovers in Barcelona. Some of the usual suspects were there, together with some new prospects!

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One of the new members is a passionate host within the community of EatWith! People with a passion for food and wine, cooking at home and inviting, in most cases, total strangers and preparing a dining experience in their own home. Yes, you’re right, couldn’t but join in and am now contemplating my own hosting of such an event! Let the passionate cooking begin!

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The work of Alfredo Arribas begins in the DOQ Priorat during 2001. The Clos del Portal, estate wines project is located in the heart of Priorat, between the villages of El Lloar and Bellmunt, rising from the valley of the Siurana River to the foothills of the Sierra del Montsant.

Alfredo Arribas, architect come wine maker!

Alfredo Arribas, architect come wine maker!

Throughout the years they have been recovering abandoned coster terraces, working with the diversity of grapes and clones present on these sites and outlining an advanced model of viticulture.

The architecture of the cellar integrates it nicely into the landscape!

The architecture of the cellar integrates it nicely into the landscape!

Before long, their estate wines have managed to stand out as a clear example of the latest generation of Priorat wines, in pursuit of elegance and subtlety. Made with meticulous perfectionism, interpreting the extreme terroir, austere soil and climate, showing the way of the future for this wine growing area. Alfredo Arribas runs the winery with the support of Joan Asens.

One of Celler Clos de Portals many vineyards!

One of Celler Clos de Portals many vineyards!

Clos Portal has 40 ha. of small plots. All of them bordering with each other, out of which 14 ha. are vineyards, half of the vineyards are coster and the remaining are terraces. The importance of the mineral soil, licorella slate base with subtle variations of different soil components that confer complexity to the whole, is the key factor of great harmony of these treasured wines made from different varieties and vineyards.

The label designs are amongst the coolest I have ever seen!

The label designs are amongst the coolest I have ever seen!

Grenache, Carignena, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Monastrell are the grapes grown along with some experimental varietals. They work on the basis of organic viticulture and are in the process of conversion to organic farming altogether. Estate wine meaning that all wines are produced with their own grapes, harvested manually, rigorously selected, cluster by cluster in the vineyard and not buying additional grapes.

The full range of wines from Alfredo Arribas, Portal del Priorat

The full range of wines from Alfredo Arribas, Portal del Priorat

Since 2009 the Tros de Clos are made from Carignena grapes, growing on a coster vineyard which turned 100 years in 2011. Wines that are subtle and very long, full of intensity and freshness. The production is limited to 30,000 bottles. Negre de Negres , Somni and Tros de Clos are the three wines of the estate, each of which has its own personality.

Each vintage gets its own label, so year to year they are easily identifiable!

Each vintage gets its own label, so year to year they are easily identifiable!

Tros de Clos 2010, 100% Carignena

This is a keeper! One of many exceptional wines from Priorat and probably one of the 20 best Spanish wines I have ever tried. This is what wine tastes like if the conditions and grapes are perfect and taken care of in the best possible way. 7-10 additional years in the bottle will tell the story. Can it get any better?

The colors is opaque with violet rim, almost the colour of dark slate. Aromatic character, fresh, mineral, with floral notes. Cassis, cherry, dried plum and mix of spices. Silky and fresh on the palate. A wine transmitting subtleness and elegancy. Intense and full of life!

310 to go!

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