Celler Cal Batllet, Una Lacrima Sul Viso in DOQ Priorat

218/365 – Catalonia – DOQ Priorat – Gratallops – Celler Cal Batllet – Artai 2010

Una Lacrima Sul Viso…….,


Artai 2010, 43% Cariñena 29% Garnacha 22% Cabernet Sauvignon 4% Merlot 2% Syrah 

Another Super Catalan from Priorat, from the basic range of the producer but yet so big! Has a great freshness and even though it is a lively wine it is not all over the place. Cherry red rim. The nose is floral and fresh, lots of fruit, spices and minerals. The palate is powerful, but with freshness, ripe fresh fruit, mineral, composed, cool, and balanced. Easy to drink, another great one from Marc at Celler Cal Batllet. This one is hard to beat, when it comes to price/quality comparison! Get it if you can!!!

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Cellers Ripoll Sans was established in 2000 when Marc Ripoll, a young man in his early twenties, returned to the Priorat to restore his family’s winery in the village of Gratallops. Prior to his arrival, the harvest from the family’s estate vineyards was sold to the local cooperative. Over the last years, Marc has restored the old winery and built Closa Battlet into one of the top estates in the region.


While preserving the historical structure of the winery, Marc has updated the building to incorporate modern winemaking techniques, though always in small volumes and in a highly manual way. Its production is based on grape selections from its estate vineyards, some as old as 90 years, cultivated on hillsides with slate soil. The wines made in this way have their own unique personality stemming from the endeavour to convey all the special features of the terrain.


Its production comes exclusively from the growing of the family-owned vineyards, some as much as 100 years old, cultivated on hillsides with slate soil placed in Gratallops and Torroja del Priorat. The grape varieties grown here are the local Carinyena and Garnatxa in reds mainly, and the old Escanyavella in whites.

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It was during the 10th vintage, the 2009, when it was decided to move from the wine range of Closa Batllet and Petit Batllet, to elaborate all the wines under the distinctive “Vi de la Vila”, clearly committed with a philosophy of terroir wines, expressing all the personality from each village where they have their roots: Gratallops and Torroja.



163 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!


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!


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.


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!


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!


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).


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!


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!


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