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One of only two Spanish wine regions to hold the country's top-tier DOCa classification (similar in prestige to Italy's DOCG designation), the Priorat, in Catalonia, Spain, is known for its powerful, robust red wines that are characterized by ultra-ripe fruit and terroir-driven characters from the region's soil, known as llicorella, which is made from partially decomposed slate and quartz, as well as the wide temperature variations in the region. The lushness of Priorat reds is also attributed to the dominance of the Garnacha varietal and the abundance of old vines in the region (old vines have low yields, but the fruit is ultra-ripe and concentrated).
The Sangenís family, proprietors of Celler Cal Pla, have been making wine for 8 generations. Seventh generation owners Jaume and Mercé were instrumental in shifting the family's focus away from bulk wine production by purchasing their property just outside of the village of Porrera in the southwestern part of the Priorat in 1988. They revitalized the vineyards by resuscitating old vines and planting new ones. Their son Joan, armed with an enology degree, became winemaker and helped to formally establish the winery in 1996. Currently, the family farms 20 hectares of vines ranging in age from 15 to over 80 years old.
Today's offer is a blend of Garnatxa Negra, Carinyena, and Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the "Mas en Compte" vineyard; the vines are farmed organically and are between 15 and 60 years old. The grapes are hand-harvested and fermented in concrete vats with natural yeasts, followed by 14 months of aging - 30% of the juice in French oak and the remaining 70% in foudres. Silky and rich, it abounds with flavors of black and blue fruits, with accents of violets, wet stone, and just a hint of vanilla-tinged oak.
92 points, Jeb Dunnuck
"Coming from the Porrera region of the Priorat, the 2016 Mas d'En Compte is a blend of 50% Grenache, 40% Carignan, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, all from a single parcel, that was mostly de-stemmed (there are 30% stems) and aged 14 months in used French oak. It’s a beautiful wine that has a pretty, perfumed bouquet of violets, rose petals, road tar, and blueberries. This carries to a medium to full-bodied, elegant red that has good acidity, ample fruit, and a great finish. Its tannins are nicely integrated, everything is in the right place, and it’s one heck of a wine. Drink it any time over the coming decade." (4/3/19)
Producer Name: Cellar Cal Pla
Old/New World: Old World
Country of Origin: Spain
Quality Designation: DOCa
Grape Varietals: Garnatxa Negra, Carinyena, Cabernet Sauvignon
Product Type: Wine
Wine Style: Fuller Body Red
Winemaker: Joan Sangenís
Pack/Size: 12/750 ml
Container Type: Dark Green Bordeaux Glass Bottle
Closure Style: Natural Cork