Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Priorat, one of Spain’s most inspiring red wines made in an isolated zone in catalunya inland from Tarragona (see map under spain) that is one of the country’s only two to qualify as a doca. (Its Spanish rather than native Catalan name is Priorato.) In the 1990s, a true revolution engulfed the region, where production methods for Priorat had barely altered since the 12th century when the Carthusian monks first established the priory after which the wine is named. Priorat is one of the world’s few first-class wines to be made from Garnacha (grenache) and Mazuelo/Cariñena (carignan) vines. The age of the vines and concomitantly extremely low yields, which average just 5 or 6 hl/ha (0.3 ton/acre), undoubtedly contribute to the intensity and strength of Priorat.