Pins Vers, Magic Carpet Ride in DOQ Priorat

322/365 – Catalonia – DOQ Priorat – El Molar – Celler dels Pins Vers – La Fuina 2004

Magic Carpet Ride……,

……, Well, you don’t know what we can find. Why don’t you come with me little girl……, On a magic carpet ride into the magic of Priorat. Yeah, this is the place to be and if you have never experienced the excellence of this appellation, you should try and get a bottle of red from Priorat and see where it takes you. Maybe on a Magic carpet Ride? Once again, join me and explore yet another small winery!


La Fuina 2004, Cabernet Sauvignon 45%; Garnacha Negra 35% and Cariñena 20%


A superb wine from start to finish, a Priorat wine very much to my taste. Rich deep purple color, opaque. Plenty of mature dark cherry, satiny nose with weight. Slightly earthy. Nice coffee aromas and some truffles. Great tannic structure. Powerful body, very long after taste, leaving a mouthful. Besides spices, there’s dried apricots and shortbread. Good attack and persistence. Celler dels Pins Vers is located in the village El Molar, founded in the year 2002 by 5 people closely bound to the Priorat wine world. Four of the members have family ties to this area and are dedicated to the wine-growing sector and the fifth member is an oenologist, working as an oenologist in the area since 1998. “Pins Vers” means Pine-Tree (Pinus pinea), conifer from the pinacies family, which are distinguished by having a round top and an oval pine-cone which gives eatable fruits called pine-nuts.


The climate is Mediterranean with certain tendency to continental nature, dry summers and practically absent rainfalls. The property vineyards are of schist soil (named llicorella in the Priorat region) and coaluvial stony soils; sedimentary soils, formed with a mixture of calcareous materials, river pebbles and eroded slate. The varieties Carignan and red Grenache grow on llicorella soils; Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are cultivated on a sedimentary soil with mixture of llicorella and calcareous materials.


The old Carignan vines are grafted in Rupestris de Lot; red Grenache with R-110 and Cabernet Sauvignon with R-110 and 161-49 root-stocks. Carignan vines are more than 50 years old while Grenache and cabernet vines are from 15 to 25 years old. The Plots have small surfaces and the vines are planted in wide terraces or on slopes called “costers”. Some 20% of Carignan vines are cultivated according the traditional method and there is no trellis system, the vines grow as bush vines. With the other 80% grapevines, a vertical shoot positioning trellis system is being used. The vines are pruned in a bilateral cordon, reaching to a vegetation height in the trained vine of 90 cm.


The grapes are weight in the boxes before being deposited into the de-stemming machine, afterwards, the pomace is pumped to the fermentation tanks. Selected yeast are added and alcoholic fermentation starts, it lasts 10 or 15 days according to variety and vintage. The must and peels soaking lasts between 20 and 35 days. Finally, the wine is racked and the paste is pressed. Spontaneous malolactic fermentation takes place and it lasts approximately one month. During winter, and in a natural way, the tartaric stabilization occurs. In February, French oak barrels are filled and the wine is being aged during 12 months. The wine is bottled in April and is kept for reduced ageing in the bottle during 8 months up to a year before labeling.


La Fuïna is the name of one plot in El Molar village. La Fuïna (fouine in French, marten in English, garduña in Spanish and also fagina in Catalan) is a small mammal belonging to the family of mink and marten (Martes foina), that weights between 850 and 1700 grams and that measures 0,5 meters with a long tail which nearly doubles his body length. It is distinguished from Marta (Martes martes) by a spot on the front throat part. Its habitat is spacious, it prefers the mountain but it can also be seen near inhabited areas, while Marta is much more restricted to the Pyrenees area. Fuina prays on small mammals, birds, eggs, but it also eats  fruit and honey. It is a very silent animal with corpuscular habits; it is difficult to find it in its natural habitat.


La Fuina 2006, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon: 40 % Red Grenache: 20 % Carignan (Samsó)

Cherry colour with slight purple hue. Aromas of truffles and ripe fruit, blackberry jam and plums. The secondary aromas offer spices and pepper, oxygenating the wine adds a few more touches of toasted hazelnut and minerals. On the palate the wine has a good attack and a tannin complexity, persistent, which fills the mouth forming a structured and balanced wine.

68 to go!



Softly, As In A Mornings Sunrise in Catalonia!

248/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Terra Alta – Batea – Celler Piñol –Mather Teresina 2008

Softly, As In A Mornings Sunrise…………..,

Mather 2008

Mather Terasina 2008Mather Teresina 2008, 40% Garnacha Negra, 30% Cariñena and 30% Morenillo

Celler Piñol produces wine in the wonderful D.O. of Terra Alta in your favourite new wine destination, Catalonia! Amongst others they make the Mather Terasina, one more Catalan Wine to add to my list of Super Catalans! Enjoy! This is Celler Piñols premiere wine with a limited production of 7,750 bottles. Created from the best of the 2008 vintage, it has a dark, intense red colour that looks stunning in the glass. A complex, aromatic, spicy and fleshy wine, with well rounded tannins, a hint of blackberry and a subtle smoky finish. This is a silky, stylish, full bodied wine; elegant and powerful and with a lingering aftertaste. The perfect balance of ripe fruit and French oak. Now, let’s have another glass!

As you might have well noticed, this blog is all about and only covering wine from Catalonia. Wine, in all forms and shapes, is a considerable part of my life. However, I like to cover the regions in which I work and live. Back to the basics!

Catalan Wine 365 New1

Wine in Catalonia is ancient! The Ancient Greeks, Romans and the Carthusian monks, they have all been here, must be for a reason! It is a leading wine producing land, with exquisite reds, scrumptious rosés and whites which you can drink forever, as well as a multitude of sweet wines. Not to forget, this is where Cava was born!


Huge and well know cellars like Freixenet, Codorniu, Raimat and Torres are at the forefront when it comes to Catalan wine, which are covered by 11 appellations (D.O:s) for wine and one exclusively for Cava. The vineyards have always been an irreplaceable part of the Catalan landscape, as well as its culture. Let’s keep it this way!


The tradition of wine in Catalonia is deeply rooted, in some cases as deep as the vines. Nowadays representing a rising sector, gaining international prestige on a yearly basis. In Priorat, Penedès and Empordà, as well as the other D.O:s, you can find wine that can compete with any wine in the world.


Cava is no longer the poor man’s and woman’s Champaign, but a quality product in its own right available all over the world. More than 200 million bottles of Cava attest to this fact, joined by 180 million for wine.


The D.O:s of Catalonia

In number, there are 11 Denominations of Origin, regulating the winemaking for red, white and rosé wines and then the one, exclusively for the production of Cava.

imatge-do-alellaDO Alella: Though the smallest, it is one of the oldest and most unique. It covers a small piece of land between the Mediterranean shore and the coastal mountains, north of Barcelona. It produces quality wines and is famous for its white wines, in which some are considered the best in the world.

catalunya-mapaDO Catalunya: It is a DO that fosters experimentation, as wines can be produced with a great variety of grapes in a wide range of soils. This DO has been growing significantly in the last few years, exporting more than 40 million bottles to more than 100 countries.


DO Conca de Barberà: It corresponds to a Catalan county with a very old wine tradition, coming from Medieval monasteries in the zone. Since the creation of this DO in 1989, there has been a continuous effort to modernise the cellars and the vineyards. The speciality of this DO is top-quality red wine, which is produced together with white and rosé. Most of these wines use a grape type that is autochthonous from the county, namely Trepat.


DO Costers del Segre: The DO of Lleida and split into the following sub zones: Artesa, Vall del Riu Corb, les Garrigues, Pallars Jussà, Raimat, and Segrià. It employs advanced technology and is famous for its innovation, changing grape varieties and fostering “Ull de Llebre”, Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha, Syrah and Merlot.


DO Empordà: New and old cellars are easily adapting themselves to new technology trends, changing harvest patterns and restructuring vineyards. This DO is seeing new cellars booming in the Northern coast of Catalonia.

do-montsantDO Montsant: It is the youngest Catalan DO, located in the southern part of Catalonia. Despite this fact, it has achieved a good market positioning. This DO includes the sub zones of South Priorat and some zones in Ribera d’Ebre. The soil has a high percentage of mineral salts, which is one of the main characteristics of this region. The cellars are young and modern, producing a small quantity of wine but of a great quality.

logo_do_penedesDO Penedès: This is probably the most famous wine region within Catalonia. It has powerful cellars, always improving their technology and innovating. It has traditionally been associated with white wines, but in the last years it has also started to produce top quality red wines, which have been internationally recognised.

DOPladeBages_ColorDO Pla de Bages: It is a small DO but that produces quality wines. In the last years, wine producers from this DO have put effort recuperating an autochthonous type of grape: the “picapoll”, which is very small and can be either red or white.

DOQ-Priorat-viticultors-del-priorat-1DO Priorat: In the last 15 years, this DO has lived through a revolution, being recognised worldwide and seeing some of its red wines reaching the highest prices in specialised shops all over the world. The DO has new cellars, young entrepreneurs and experts who all work to maintain this DO among the best of the world. Their wines have a unique strong taste, full of peculiarities.

myegoo_dotarragona_oDO Tarragona: It is the oldest Catalan DO, producing liquor wines of great quality, such as Tarragona Clàssic. In the last years, red-wines have joined their traditional white and rosé wines.

terraaltaDO Terra Alta: Many of the cellars from this DO work as a cooperative. Their wines have a singular taste and are reaching great levels of quality in the last years. Their rosé varieties are very fruity, the white have a low acidity and the red have a round body and a dark colour. Finally, there is one DO that needs to be explained aside, the DO Cava.

D.O.CAVA_DO Cava: This DO is shared with 6 other Autonomous Communities within Spain apart from Catalonia. However, 95% of DO Cava’s production come from Catalonia. More than 200 million bottles are sold each year, a number that grows year by year. Cava is famous all over the world. In the past it was sold as a cheap replacement for Champaign, but in the last years top-quality cava has started to be exported and has become famous for its great quality which is at a much more affordable price than the French Champaign.

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle

135 to go!

Cellers d’en Guilla, Games People Play in D.O. Empordà

246/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Empordà – Municipi de Rabós d’Empordà – Cellers d’en Guilla – Vinya del Metge 2013

Games People Play……,


Vinya del Metge 2013, 90% Garnacha Roja and 10% Garnacha Negra

A rosé wine with an elegant sparkling colour and lingering mouth. A different rosé from the Empordà. It has an attractive pale pink, slightly salmon, colour. On the nose it is fresh and lively, with primary aromas of the varieties, the Grenache is showing of in a very filling way. The mouth is balanced and very enjoyable. A rosé wine that I wouldn’t mind having a few bottles of on stock, as it might come in handy for the late summer evenings, as a pre dinner glass of wine. Manual harvest in boxes of 20 kg. The grey Grenache comes from La Vinya del Metge in Mollet de Peralada, the red Grenache from La Guilla in Garriguella. Maceration for 48 h for the grey Grenache and 12-24 h  for the red Grenache. Great price/quality comparison!


Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle

137 to go!

L’Olivera Cooperativa, Better Together in D.O. Costers del Segre

245/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Costers del Segre – Vallbona de les Monges – L’Olivera Cooperativa – Naltres 2013 ECO

Better Together…….,

naltres-2013-eco (1)

Naltres 2013 ECO, Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha Negra, Trepat and Touriga Nacional

All the vineyards are Ecologic and all the grapes for this wine are hand harvested and placed in boxes of 10 to 12 kg. They are all deposited together in steel tanks, except for the Garnacha Negra which is aged for 8 months on oak. Ruby colour of medium intensity with violet tones. Good clean nose, good intensity. Notes of ripe red fruit (raspberries, blackberries), vegetable touches (oven roasted peppers) and some sweet spices (cinnamon). Huge entry and a balanced palate that is quite fresh. Sweet and ripe tannins that combine harmoniously with the good acidity. Memories of red fruit jam. Lingering and pleasant finish.

Naltres is a local word used in western Catalonia meaning ‘us’. Naltres symbolises everything they have learned together at L’Olivera through more than 20 years of seeking to produce products faithful to the land that yielded them. Naltres is their first red wine to bear the Costers del Segre designation of origin (subzone of Valls del Riu Corb).


The beginning of love for a wine and winery, is when you realize that there are wine makers out there trying to make a difference of significant impact in the lives of others. How? Help the community, the less fortunate, and at the same time help me as a wine lover to experience some well made wines, while at the same time I am buying the bottle I know, that I too am making an effort to help out. This is certainly the beginning of a beautiful friendship and l’Olivera is going to be visited over and over again. Read the full story here! Catalan Wine 365 writes about wines from the amazing wine making regions of Catalonia, one wine a day for 365 days during 2014! Certainly Better Together!


The history of Vallbona is defined by the presence of the oldest Cistercian convent in Catalonia. The Cistercian order was founded in Burgundy and is dedicated to combining spiritual activity according to the Rule of St Benedict with agricultural development and regional planning. Vallbona is a land of ridges and small valleys that reflect the erosive power of water, which left its mark and shaped the landscape. It is a place of deep soil, with hillsides supported by dry-rock retaining walls. These structures, along with numerous cabins, speak of the area’s more populous, productive past. The retaining walls are a key factor in keeping the soil fertile and using water efficiently; and the knowledge and hard work built up over generations permit us to enjoy an impressive landscape that is now seriously endangered.


The area has an inland Mediterranean continental climate, with nights cooled by the sea breeze, and with minimal rainfall (around 350 mm per year). The altitude (450-700 m) allows for a mild, long ripening period, which is a limitation for certain crops. The natural vegetation is Mediterranean and can be found along the old retaining walls, the ridges and in the abandoned fields.


L’Olivera was born in 1974 when a group of people decided to move to Vallbona de les Monges, in the south of the Lleida region of Catalonia, to work in two areas: providing support for the integration of people with psychiatric disabilities into society, especially those in disadvantaged social situations; and considering productive economic solutions based on local values. Since the beginning this has always been a cooperative formed by multidisciplinary people focusing on local social objectives and economic development.


Right from the start, social action has been at the core of the project. In addition to the production activities and activities for integration into employment, they also organize community activities with the people that they work with, who are mainly people with psychiatric disabilities, especially those in more disadvantaged situations. These people are just as much a part of the cooperative as anybody else and can become full members if they wish. Since 2000, an occupational therapy service has also been in place. This group of eight people organise activities for the development of personal and social skills and work therapy (gardening, environmental maintenance, etc.). There is also a residential home open all year round with accommodation for up to 16 people. Built in 2004, the home has seven members of staff.


Another step forward in the cooperative’s social action was creating the Olivera Foundation. The Foundation was the fruit of 31 years of action, the consolidation of the production project and the new social objectives that has been set over the years. At the Annual General Meeting held in April 2003 it was decided to create the Olivera Foundation alongside the cooperative as a means of ensuring the long-term continuation of the organisation’s work and fostering new initiatives for the social and occupational integration of people with disabilities or at risk of social exclusion in rural areas. So far the Foundation has participated in funding the completion of the residential home and the purchase of an adapted minibus.


The Foundation is also responsible for managing 0.7% of the cooperative’s turnover, which goes into social projects that L’Olivera has some kind of direct contact with in the third and fourth world. In 2008, 2009 and 2010, this part of the cooperative’s turnover will be spent on a new building for people with sensory disabilities at El Mina school in Noukchott (Mauritania). If you love wine, you probably love people, because without people, there would be no wine! In this case, you know you’re enjoying twofold! Make sure your next glass of wine contains one of l’Oliveras wonderful products!


Vallisbona 89, 100% Chardonnay

Vallisbona (Campomonalium de Vallisbona) is the name used on some old documents to refer to the village of Vallbona de les Monges. Vallisbona’89 is the embodiment of the experience since they began producing white wines in 1989. Each year they select the best vineyard parcels and selectively harvest the very best grapes. The wine is then carefully produced in the cellar, where the must is fermented in new French oak barrels and the wine is aged on the lees. The wines from the best barrels are blended and then bottled in a very limited number.

The wines has a subtle yellow color with green hues. A complex nose with notes of tropical fruit, citrus fruits and toast. A delicate palate that grows in intensity. The smoothness is balanced by the acidity and freshness of the raw material. A lengthy, lingering finish. Pairs well with shellfish and traditional Mediterranean dishes such as cannelloni.

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle

138 to go!

Celler Cal Menescal, Diamond in the Back in D.O Terra Alta

238/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Terra Alta – Bot – Celler Cal Menescal – Avus Negre 2012

Diamond in the Back…….,


Avus Negre 2012, 60% Garnacha Negra, 20% Syrah, 20% Tempranillo

Cherry red colour with blueish hue, purple tones. Spicy tones, as well as oaky touches with subtle notes of coffee and caramel. Very intense and complex aroma, with notes of rip fruit and wild berries. The palate is long and well structured, with strong reminders of the characteristics of red Grenache. Limited production of wine from the best vineyards of Cal Menescal and aged around 10 months in oak. Harvested in small boxes, selecting the best grapes already in the vineyard. Carefully pressed must in the traditional way. Once the fermentation is done, it is deposited in barrels of French and American oak to begin the process of ageing, where it rests for at least 10 months.

Train station in Bot!

Train station in Bot!

The winery of Cal Menescal is located in the town of Bot and this is a  family owned and run property, known as Cal Menescal. According to existing data it was built in the early nineteenth century by the ancestors to the current family members. The transformation of grapes into wine, dates back to before 1860. The existence of a boot (storage tank) with the capacity of 1600 litres, still remains in the old winery, this is a living proof of the wine making tradition of the house.


At the end of the last century, small wineries like this one decided to abandon the practice of making table wines or wines that were of inferior quality to develop the fruit of the grape and make wines of great depth and, as far as it was possible, of better quality. Celler Cal Menescal, does the same during the late twentieth century, when it begins to change and look to the future.


In 2000, they released the first line of wines, which were: Vall Del Raco white and red and Avus White. During the first hard years, they have added new commercial references (Avus Red, Avus Sweet, Vall del Pou White and red), and also changed the brand of the Vall del Racó to Mas Menescal. Simultaneously they have modernized their image and they have begun to commercialize all products under the joint name (lable) of Merce Del Menescal. Under this name they produce and sell: sweet wine, vermouth, mellow wine and one spectacular Balsamic Vinegar. The latter is the latest product to see the light and is now one of their principal exponents.


The winery is located in the region of Terra Alta, in the south-west corner of Catalonia, more than 400 m above sea level. Mediterranean climate with continental influences and their vines are on average 40 years old. This last point, gives their wines a strong personality and in combination with the soil, medium-textured, with a strong presence of the “panal” and “tapaç” provides a marked taste of the land in all the wines.


At present the winery has 17 hectares of vineyards in production, all located in the geographical area of ​​Bot. Situated in different locations, the following varieties are cultivated: White Grenache, Macabeo, Chardonnay,Esquitxagòs, and the reds are Garnacha Negra, Merlot, Syrah, Tempranillo, Carignan and Morenillo. In 2011 their dedication and respect for tradition and the environment led them to certify the vineyard estates as organic.

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle

143 to go!

Tomas Cusine, Call Me Maybe in D.O. Costers del Segre

174/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Costers del Segre – El Vilosell – Tomas Cusine – Finca Comabarra 2010

Call Me Maybe……



Finca Comabarra 2010, Garnacha, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon

This is a complex wine wits a intense and clean nose, with aromas of ripe red fruit, mint, balsamic, pastry and hints of slate, clove and tobacco. Elegant and subtle, soft, satiny and friendly on the palate with good acidity and full-bodied tones of dried fruits, coffee, chocolate, green tea notes. Sweet tannins that make it very friendly and the after taste is long and elegant. The production was very low with only 5,093 bottles made. Lovely wine!

Costers del Segre got a new wine making star in Tomas Cusine as he, in  2003, while the harvest was ongoing for full, decided to putt his efforts into the production of wine. The goal was to elaborate character-full wines capable of reflecting the particular traits of the D.O. of Costers del Segre.


Personal philosophy played an integral part and challenged him to offer wines to the market that are synonymous with personality and elegance. But this is just the beginning of an ambitious long-term project that seeks to fully consolidate the bodega as a prestigious winery by the year 2014.


The winery is located in the village of El Vilosell, in the local district of Les Garrigues, in Lleida province. This area, which belongs to the DO Costers del Segre, meets all of the requirements for growing first class grapes and obtaining wines of the finest quality. The estate is located on the north face of the Sierra de la Llena ridge and at an altitude of between 700 and 740 metres above sea level.


This area falls within the DO of Costers del Segre, and it is border with the province of Tarragona and the comarcas of Conca de Barberà and Priorat. The local climate is moderate, but with a large diurnal temperature range and with annual rainfall between 380 and 600 mm per year. These conditions
 guarantee gradual maturing with quite late grape harvests that are responsible for the wines smooth tannins and very intense color.

Number 13 Plaça Sant Sebastià d'El Vilosell.

In recent years, the winery has planted 29 hectares of its land with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Garnacha, Cariñena, Marselan,
Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc… The winery has also acquired grapes grown under its supervision from other vineyards in the local area.

Cabernet Franc at the vineyard of Comalleret. Planted on the 25:th of September 2008

Tomàs Cusiné has opted for obtaining degrees of maturity that maintain a careful equilibrium between the phenolic and acidic components of his wines. He thereby avoids over-maturing his wines or producing excessive levels of tannins and ensures that his wines are elegant, complex, fresh and longer lasting.


At harvest, the grapes are collected in 200 kg boxes and refrigerated before they are sorted. There is then a cold pre-maceration in tank, followed by a slow fermentation at a constant low temperature, with the aim of conserving
both the rich taste of the fruit and the freshness of the harvest.

Etiqueta i contra Llebre 2009

Once taken from the vats, the wines undergo malolactic and are then aged in 225-litre, fine-grained French oak barrels that are carefully chosen from the stock of leading barrel-makers as François Fréres, Nadalie, Seguin Moreau,
Demptos, Sylvain and Boutes. The production is about 200.000 bottles, and 75% goes on export.

205 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle

Camins del Priorat, For What It’s Worth in DOQ Priorat

152/365 – Catalonia – DOQ Priorat – Gratallops – Alvaro Palacio – Camins del Priorat 2007

For What It’s Worth…..

….., There’s somethin’ happenin’ here. What it is ain’t exactly clear….., well…., not true actually. It is quite clear what’s going on in the Priorat! It is a clear example of a unique wine making area in the world, which to 99% produces excellent wines! Do I sometimes get fed up with heavy, powerful, rich, well made wines from this piece of heaven. Yes, I do! It is just the way it is, even I need a lighter wine sometimes, but not tonight! Enjoy!


Founded in 1989 in the town of Gratallops, Alvaro Palacios winery has 25 hectares of vineyards on slopes (costers) and slate terraces, located between 250 and 600 meters above sea level and planted with the varieties Garnacha and Samsó (Carignena, Carignan), Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot. The annual production is about 195,000 bottles, of which 3,000 correspond to one of the most outstanding red wines from Spain, L’ Ermita.


The winery contains everything needed to produce quality wines, plus a cellar for aging that can hold a thousand Bordeaux barrels. And this is all I’m going to write about Alvaro Palacios winery. Because? Well, there has already been so much written about him, as he was one of the original five that brought Priorat back to life. In stead I’m covering the wine in a little more detail.


Camins del Priorat is made from a blend of 50% Samsó (Carignena), 40% Red Garnacha, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. The vineyards are located on steep slopes and terraces of slate floors in the towns of Gratallops, Porrera, Torroja, Les Vilelles, Bellmunt, El Lloar and Poboleda. The spread means the wine gets the best of Priorat. Even though the appellations is small in size, the diversity is rich and the flavor of the wines can change just with some 10 – 15 km. Many microclimates within the microclimate.


After selection of the grapes and maceration, malolactic fermentation takes place in oak vats and is then aged for eight months in French oak barrels and oak vats. I tried this one with marinated tenderloin, which I barbecued and served with a cream mushroom sauce and a potato salad. Worked quite well but I imagine it could work well with a heavy stews or even a rich pasta dish. It was a warm to hot day so I decided to serve it slightly chilled and for me it displayed more of a change as opposed to serving it at “room temperature”. Another 3-4 years in the bottle but hardly more.



Camins del Priorat 2007, 50% Samsó (Carignena), 40% Red Garnacha, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah

Bright cherry red color with violet rim. Rich expression of fresh red fruit (cherries, plums, raspberries) with spicy nuances and an attractive mineral note. The mouth has a friendly entry and is very tasty with good balance. This is a well assembled wine that has a fruity finish and invites a second bottle. Ofrtunatelly it is very price worthy, especially considering it is from Alvaro Palacios.

227 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle


Ficaria Vins, When you’re smiling in D.O. Montsant

48/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Montsant – La Figuera – Ficaria Vins – Pater 2007

When you’re smiling…..

Know one thing! Jaume Roca is always going to receive you with the greatest of smiles. Never have I been to a wine cellar and laughed and smiled as much as when visiting Ficaria Vins in La Figuera. This guy loves people and wine!

Jaume and a friend sharing a laugh, later they would share a few bottles of wine!

Jaume and a friend sharing a laugh, later they would share a few bottles of wine!

The sentiment is felt in the wines produced and, luckily for me and others living here, most of it stays in Catalonia. The production is so very limited, that most is sold in restaurants in Barcelona. Only a meager 20% goes abroad, so I guess the best way to get a hold of a bottle or two, is to come visit Jaume and get some laughs at the same time.

How many of these are you going to pull this year?

How many of these are you going to pull this year?

The norm otherwise for both Montsant and Priorat is that almost 80% is exported. Let’s look at the figures, to compare. The export is at around 76% for Montsant as a whole. For Catalonia the figure is 28% and for the rest of Spain it is around 26%. Does someone know something that they are not sharing with the rest of us?


Ficaria Vins is a very small and family run cellar, they also treat all visitors like family, so be ready to extend a hug once there. It’s really like coming home.


It is basically a garage with some stainless steal tanks, as you enter. The basement is the barrel room, with a very nice display of different soils of the area. Jaume has also gotten a couple of amphoraes wit the ambition of fermenting a small production the old way.


On the second floor they have a small office and a beautiful tasting room, with a view! This is where you eventually will end up, tasting some of the products.


The visit alwasy starts and ends at the bodega, but never will you get to taste any wines if you don’t first vsist the highest vineyards. That;s the very essence of Ficaria Vins and Jaumes pride and joy.

Doesn't look like much, small bushes, few and very low yield but the wines....

Doesn’t look like much, small bushes, few and very low yield but the wines….

The vineyards are actually forming the physical border with Priorat at an altitude of 575 meters and the views are absolutely breathtaking. The few times I have been here, it has been quite windy, otherwise I wouldn’t have minded to taste the wine where it originated.


Garnacha Negra is the protagonist and the other roles are filled by Cabernets Sauvignon and Syrah, which all play a part in the wine Elia. The Pater, how ever, is the shining star of Ficaria Vins and one of my absolute keepsakes!

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I do hope for everyone to one day be able to taste this wine, full of smiles and laughter. Happy days!


Pater 2007, 100% Garnacha Negra

Intense cherry with a garnet rim. High middle layer, slow and fat tears. On the nose red fruits (fruits of the forest) and some black (ripe berries) are the primaries. Toasted intense nose with cool balsamic (menthol), mild spices (peppercorns ), cloves and vanilla mingles with hints of herbs. The palate has a remarkable entry, astringency, powerful start with well marked, but not displeasing or expressive tannins. Spice is clear, ripe fruit in volumes. Good acidity with a long, ripe fruit and smoky aftertaste. I wouldn’t mind waiting with this one, can easily spend another 5 years in the bottle.


325 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle