We couldn’t resist Emmanuel Kemiji’s 2010 Priorat “El Ramon,” named for vineyard manager Ramon Marco. This bottling is made up of three vineyards all within the hilltop town of Bellmunt del Priorat, from 50% Grenache, 20% Carignan, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah. The Grenache and Carignan vines are between 60 to 70 years old and the Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah vines are about 20 years old.
The wine is so supple, young, and utterly drinkable, with notes of game, black pepper, raspberries, savory black plums, and garrigue. Spreading their wings on the palate are notions of black plum, dried raspberry, and savory forest floor, toasted ancho peppers, and earth. This fabulous Priorat with almost 8 years of age on it will bring a smile to the face of any Priorat or Châteauneuf-du-Pape enthusiast!
They didn’t know it, but a summertime wine-soaked lunch would prove far more expensive than they ever bargained for. Master sommelier Emmanuel Kemiji and his friends Chefs Gerald Hirigoyen [Piperade, SF], Sylvain Portay [Ritz-Carlton, SF] and Laurent Manrique [Aqua, SF] emerged from an innocent lunch one day in 2003 with the crazy idea to buy a vineyard in Spain’s Priorat and start a winery. Clos Pissarra was born soon thereafter, and in 2005 additional partners climbed aboard to acquire even more ancient vines in this hot, foreboding corner of Catalonian Spain. These are wines of gorgeous freshness, balance, and perfume—not roasted, heavy, or oxidized.