The most successful harvest from the property since its debut, the 2010 ‘El Mont’ still saw only 142 cases produced. It is rare to find a 100% Grenache in Priorat, but the alluring aromas, focus and purity of fruit from the clay, granite and slate soils of this mountain site produce a uniquely elegant and intense wine. Aromatic and earthy, with a dusty texture, this pure Grenache is more soil-driven than fruit driven, and quite tasty.
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.
The 2010 El Riu is pure Cariñena from a centenary vineyard in the village of El Molar in Priorat, but it is sold without appellation. The vineyard is next to the river ("el riu" is Catalan for the river) and the soil combines the classical llicorella slate with some gravel from the river. It fermented with indigenous yeasts and 10% full clusters and matured in new Taransaud barrels for some 18 months. It has a savory nose with soy-like aromas mixed with Mediterranean herbs and a touch of earth, significantly more developed than the 2010 La Vinyeta, here the wine feels more advanced with more tertiary aromas. The palate feels quite polished, but it keeps the freshness (it has a low pH of 3.2 even if the acidity is not very high at 5.6 grams) and it finishes very tasty. From around one hectare of vines, they only managed to produce 840 bottles that were filled in February 2012.