Rather like an egg yolk and its white, DOQ Priorat wraps nearly all the way around the DO Montsant, and it’s hard not to see these two winemaking regions as closely linked. Indeed, nestled within the confines of Priorat county, they do share a great deal in common. However, there are also many differences between them, a common assumption being price. Overall, the Priorat wines are more expensive than the wines of Montsant, but when looking at the individual wineries, you can see a different picture emerge. So, given that the annual Fira del Vi weekend recently took place in Falset, it’s time to look at one wine from each appellation that blows away a lot of the stereotypes.
DOQ Priorat. Celler de l’Encastell - Marge 2013
This cellar is based in the village of Porrera. Marge (meaning ‘terrace wall’ in Catalan) is its introductory wine, and this vintage is flat-out fantastic. Rich, red forest fruits, vanilla cream, wild herbs and crushed, fresh slate. Alcohol runs a touch high in the body, but with big fruits, full tannins and a very healthy acidity that carries through the long finish. €16
DO Montsant. Celler Comunica - La Peluda 2014
After renting space for some time at another cellar, the owners of this project finally established their own digs in 2014, and they’ve also released some new wines, such as this one made from Garnatxa Peluda or ‘hairy’ Grenache. Rich ruby colour, red fruits in the nose with a touch of chocolate, stony granite and floral violet notes. Light and balanced in the body with lively fruit in the mid-palate as well as the lingering finish. €17
Miquel Hudin is a sommelier originally from California but now based in Barcelona. He founded the Vinologue series of wine books www.vinologue.com.