Celler Clos Dominic, Forty Licks in DOQ Priorat

209/365 – Catalonia – DOQ Priorat – Porrera – Celler Clos Dominic – Clos Dominic Vinyes Altes 2007

Forty Licks…….,

Vinyes Altes 2007

Clos Dominic Vinyes Altes 2007, 75% Carignena and 25% Garnacha

Intense red color with fine violet tones. Heavy and dense tears. Very good aromas, complex and powerful. Integrated, aromas of wood. Provides good varietal character. Initially, the aromas appear closed, there are soothing and expressive minerals (lots of slate). When the wine opens up, the very expressive black fruit next to the spicy notes explode. All accompanied by the mineral feel, everything appears at the same level and nothing takes over, so the balance is perfect and the harmony is total.  A powerful wine that fills the mouth. Silky, broad, full of fruit, spicy sensations (sweet chocolate at the end) it displays a good mineral and toasted background. Balanced acidity, rounded, giving it a balmy freshness. Very long and persistent finish. A wine that gives great pleasure!

Dominic at Clos Dominic!

Dominic and Paco have both soul and passion and this shows clearly in the wine produced at the backstreet garage/bodega in Porrera. But who needs a huge elaborate winery when the wine comes from the vineyards. One of the best vineyards of Priorat belongs to Clos Dominic and, as simple as that, this is the reason for their extraordinary wines. Soul and passion!

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It all started in 1986, when Dominic and Paco acquired their first vineyards. Borrowing money from friends and family they continued by getting a hold of “La Tena” vineyard which is now the core of the production of Clos Dominic wines. Paco is the vintner and Dominic is the wine maker, nowadays together with their children.

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It’s a a family affair and the boss here is Dominic, that’s for sure. When I have visited, I have met both on several occasions, but I have gotten to know, the well spoken and very humoristic, Paco better! I dare say he’s the funniest wine maker in Priorat!

Paco the vintner inspecting the vines!

The first time I came to try some of their reds, my arrival was announced by friends in Priorat that are family friends of Clos Dominic. That day they had a group of wine lovers from France visiting and as I arrived they were in the midst of tasting some wines. I was noticed by both Dominic and Paco as I came down to the cellar stairs and immediately received as a long time acquaintance.

Paco with a friend outside the cellar!

I was offered a glass of their white, of which I took a whiff and in that stride asked to have a case put on the side for me. Paco told me, almost laughing, that he only had two bottles left. So it had to be the two then! Much later that same afternoon, the French group decided they also wanted to buy, not only the reds, but also the white! To late! I am still smiling today, when I think of this wine loving moment. But it goes to prove, the small wineries here don’t have abundance of bottles just lying around.

Barrel room at Clos Dominic!

I was told, and I guess the story is the same all over Priorat, that 80% of all wines produced here are exported. So when a nice one, different one, one with soul comes along, you’d better make up you mind quickly or suffer the consequences, like the French had to do. Out of the two I managed to get, one is still safe and sound, but not much longer. I don’t save wine, I enjoy it in the glass!

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Clos Dominic Blanc 2009, Garnacha Blanca, Macabeu, Pedro Ximenez, Picapoll Blanc and Riesling

Dominic_blanc

Bright yellow to gold colour with nice fatty tears. Very aromatic nose with clear barrel notes. Toasty, smoky and spicy with fruit as secondary. The entry is wide with aromas of vanilla and toast. Followed by aniseed. It is crisp and balanced, has personality and long after-taste. I have never come across any white like this one, just look at the grape coupatge! It is simply a different wine and maybe that’s why I like it like I do. You need to love powerful whites to enjoy this one! Only 300 bottles are produced so first come…….

172 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle

Clos Figueras/Cal Batllet, Come rain or come shine in DOQ Priorat

104/365 – Catalonia – DOQ Priorat – Gratallops – Cal Batllet – 5 Partides 2009, Gratallops Vi de la Vila

Come rain or come shine….

…, happy together, unhappy together, wouldn’t it be fine? Clos Figueras winery in Gratallops hosted an event today, consisting of cellars from Priorat and Monsant, as well as there being several artisanal cheese producers from all over Catalonia. Only the weather could have been better, as it rained quite heavily all day. The rest……, wine and cheese! Can’t go wrong!

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Went to a dinner with some Dutch friends yesterday, Cava, a buffet of selected foods, nice chats amongst friends and we got to talking about todays event. They were all quite certain that the rain would be coming down heavily today, and they were right. I tried to point out that it never rains in Priorat, as it has its own micro climate! Boy was I wrong, and the Dutch friends stayed at home! I did not! And now, recalling the wines and cheeses, I’m smiling from ear to ear, it has been yet another great day!

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Catalan Wine is writing daily about one wine from one of the 12 D.O:s in Catalonia, and so far it has been one article a day, which I hope will continue for 365 days! Some articles are comprehensive with loads of details, whilst others are short and almost only covers the wine.

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Today, some pictures of wine and cheese and one tasting note of a wine that I believe will be a classic! Tomorrow, Catalan Wine 365 is visiting the Alimentaria fair in Barcelona during two days, so you can expect additional photos from that wine loving event as well!

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There were 10 cellars represented and underneath you will find the list. The ones containing a link, have been covered earlier and if you wish to read the ful story, just follow the links!

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Clos Figueras, a small to medium sized winery in Gratallops, opened their new vintages, the white was a favorite. Celler Clos 93, the smallest winery in Priorat, with their question mark and olive oil. Celler Jaume Sabate from La Vilella Baixa had the only Vi Ranci (a wine similar to sherry and using the solera principles).

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Clos Dominic from Porrera was represented by the daughter of the house, Ingrid, opening bottle after bottle of their range of three reds! Joan d’Anguera, a innovative small cellar from Montsant. Ficaria Vins from La Figuera in Monsant, Jaume and his wife were pouring their beautiful Pater and Elia wines!

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Clos Batllet, Marc Ripoll Sans, owner and wine maker was happy to get a visit by Catalan Wine! Vinyes Domenech served their Furvus! Portal del Priorat is getting a visit at their winery in the days to come, they make several wines and showed up with Gotes, one from Montsant and the other from Priorat. And finally Orto Vins, with Jordi Beltran, serving their splendid white wine and sweet wine, made me smile even more!

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Cal Batllet, 5 Partides 2009, 100% Carignena, from very old vines!

Aged for 15 months in French oak. 100% new barrels. The barrels are of 225 liters and the fermentation is carried out in open barrels at a maximum temperature of 26 º C, 4 pigiage daily, gentle extraction, long gestation and high control. Respecting the grapes fully! “Gratallops Vi de la Vila” is the new appellation for the wines produced from Gratallops, inspired by the Burgundy philosophy of village wines.

The color is dark ink but not opaque, it is more of a deep purple. Red and black fruit with an overlay of jammy blackberries and red currant. This is a complex wine and the secondary notes were a bit hard to read as they were evolving minute by minute, but ground coffee and underbrush were present most of the time, blue berries and cassis showed up to join the show as well as slight hints of cedar and spices. The mouth receives a harmonious mix of savory ripe fruit, smooth and velvety with a multitude of rich flavors endorsed by time, better by the minute. Have I found new favorite from Priorat? Yes, because they are ALL my favorites!

The name 5 Partides is due to the five selected  sloping vineyard plots, with vines of up to 100 years, located in the outskirts of Gratallops. The wine transmits the personality of the terroir of Gratallops with its mineral complexity, and maturity This is a elegant, smooth wine with a long aftertaste.

The 5 vineyards are; Camp d’en Piquer (250m, slope, E), Coma (300m, slope, NW), Capella (300m, slope, S), Mas d’en Pallarès (300m, slope, SW), Vinyals (250m, slope, S). The 2009 harvest had a hot summer which provided for a great maturity and it shows!

278 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle

Clos Dominic, Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car, DOQ Priorat

46/365 – Catalonia – DOQ Priorat – Porrera – Clos Dominic – Clos Dominic Blanc 2009

Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car…….

Servicing the car is something to be taken seriously! Now, I do know this should be about wine and, bare with me, it will. I have to, however, stress the importance of my car! Friday, two days ago, I managed finally to get the old Peugeot to the garage for servicing, new brakes, tires and full service. All new fluids should keep it going for a while longer. Without the car, no visits to cellars and no stories to write home about.

Had this beauty during a stint in England. Drove it across Europe and to Sweden where I exchanged it for....

Had this beauty during a stint in England. Drove it across Europe and to Sweden where I exchanged it for….

Passion for wine is comparable to passion for cars. during Fridays visit to the garage I remembered, 25 years ago, how I would visit a friend that worked at a Peugeot garage in Sweden and we would talk cars, passion for cars!

.... this beauty which, unfortunately is not being used to much. Al though it did manage to get to Spain from Sweden during winter!

…. this beauty which, unfortunately is not being used to much. Although it did manage to get to Spain from Sweden during winter!

During that time I drove Alfa Romeo, my first Alfa, after which there has been many more and I still have one now, although it is not the work car. Now I don’t claim there’s such a thing as a perfect wine, and there is certainly not a perfect car, least of all Alfa Romeo.

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But…., the soul and the passion is what matters. If a car (like a wine maker) has soul and passion, that can go a long way.  My love and passion for cars will always remain and the memories of the first Alfa will always be present, in one way or the other. Just like the memories of the first wine.

Dominic at Clos Dominic!

Dominic at Clos Dominic!

Dominic and Paco have both soul and passion and this shows clearly in the wine produced at the backstreet garage/bodega in Porrera. But who needs a huge elaborate winery when the wine comes from the vineyards. One of the best vineyards of Priorat belongs to Clos Dominic and, as simple as that, this is the reason for their extraordinary wines. Soul and passion!

DSC_0498

It all started in 1986, when Dominic and Paco acquired their first vineyards. Borrowing money from friends and family they continued by getting a hold of “La Tena” vineyard which is now the core of the production of Clos Dominic wines. Paco is the vintner and Dominic is the wine maker, nowadays together with their children.

581542_652186961465625_1810643373_n

It’s a a family affair and the boss here is Dominic, that’s for sure. When I have visited, I have met both on several occasions, but I have gotten to know, the well spoken and very humoristic, Paco better! I dare say he’s the funniest wine maker in Priorat!

Paco the vintner inspecting the vines!

Paco the vintner inspecting the vines!

The first time I came to try some of their reds, my arrival was announced by friends in Priorat that are family friends of Clos Dominic. That day they had a group of wine lovers from France visiting and as I arrived they were in the midst of tasting some wines. I was noticed by both Dominic and Paco as I came down to the cellar stairs and immediately received as a long time acquaintance.

Paco with a friend outside the cellar!

Paco with a friend outside the cellar!

I was offered a glass of their white, of which I took a whiff and in that stride asked to have a case put on the side for me. Paco told me, almost laughing, that he only had two bottles left. So it had to be the two then! Much later that same afternoon, the French group decided they also wanted to buy, not only the reds, but also the white! To late! I am still smiling today, when I think of this wine loving moment. But it goes to prove, the small wineries here don’t have abundance of bottles just lying around.

Barrel room at Clos Dominic!

Barrel room at Clos Dominic!

I was told, and I guess the story is the same all over Priorat, that 80% of all wines produced here are exported. So when a nice one, different one, one with soul comes along, you’d better make up you mind quickly or suffer the consequences, like the French had to do. Out of the two I managed to get, one is still safe and sound, but not much longer. I don’t save wine, I enjoy it in the glass!

DSC_1145

Clos Dominic Blanc 2009, Garnacha Blanca, Macabeu, Pedro Ximenez, Picapoll Blanc and Riesling

Dominic_blanc

Bright yellow to gold colour with nice fatty tears. Very aromatic nose with clear barrel notes. Toasty, smoky and spicy with fruit as secondary. The entry is wide with aromas of vanilla and toast. Followed by aniseed. It is crisp and balanced, has personality and long after-taste. I have never come across any white like this one, just look at the grape coupatge! It is simply a different wine and maybe that’s why I like it like I do. You need to love powerful whites to enjoy this one! Only 300 bottles are produced so first come…….

327 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle