Home > Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > Two Wines From Catalonia

Two Wines From Catalonia


Bodegas La Cartuja, Image by Friederike Paetzold from Ole

These two wines are located within Catalonia in the northeastern portion of Spain.  Priorat is located in the south-west of Catalonia and is a Denominacion de Oreigen Calificada DOCa wine region, the highest level obtainable and only shared with Rioja.  Emporda is located in the extreme northeast of Catalonia and is a Denominacion de Origen (DO).  Emporda is split two zones the northern Alt Emporda and the southern Baix Emporda, both of which are located next to the French border where the wines are from Roussillon.

Merlot and Cab. Sauv. Vines at Pont De Molines, Image from Castillo Perelada

I highly recommend the Bodegas La Cartuja for it is both an enjoyable wine to drink over the short term and it is strongly priced.  As a project between the Osborne (as in Sherry) family and Alberto Orte and Patrick Mata (the founders of Ole Imports) the goal is to deliver the mineral character of Priorat at an attractive price.  They certainly succeeded!  The Castillo Perelada 5 Fincas is an attempt to make a complex wine bearing the traits of their five different vineyards in Emporda.  This is a solid wine but it shows cracks in the middle.  For that reason, instead of buying a bottle of each wine, you should buy two of the less expensive La Cartuja!

2010 Bodegas La Cartuja, Priorat – $15
Imported by Ole.  This is a blend of 50% Garnacha, 30% Mazuelo, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Syrah sourced from the 24 hectare vineyard La Solana.  This vineyard lies at 250 meters on slopes with soils of volcanic slate and sand.  The wine was aged for 8 months in French oak barrels.  There is a modestly ripe, fruity nose of tart raspberry.  In the mouth there are good flavors of red and blue fruit, brambly in nature,tannins, nice juiciness, and some herbs.  This medium bodied wine continues with stone flavors and juicy acidity.  After a few hours it opens up providing sweet, weightiness and medium tannins in the aftertaste.  This modern wine is a strong value.  Now-2017.

2006 Castillo Perelada, 5 Fincas, Reserva, Emporda – $20
Imported by Perelada Commercial.  This is a blend of 40% Merlot, 20% Garnatxa, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Syrah, and 5% Samso sourced from five different vineyard parcels.  The wine was aged for 17 months in 50% American and 50% French Bordelaise barrels.  Drunk over two nights this garnet color wine has a sappier, roasted fruit nose with Jenn picking up “balsam.”  In the mouth the dusty red fruit shows structure before turning a little coarse and vegetal in the middle.  There are fine+, sweet tannins in the finish along with stones and some licorice.  The empty glass leaves aromas of wood toast and whiskey.  Now-2015.

  1. Hudin
    July 8, 2013 at 5:51 am

    Heh, that Cartuja has really been making the rounds these days. If that’s the cellar that they claim it’s made in (I’ve not tasted it as it’s purely an export wine) then it’s actually Agnes de Cevera.

    -miquel
    Vinologue Priorat

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