|Grapes||Cab Sauv, Syrah, Carignan, Garnacha|
Made from the younger vines at Bodegas Marco Abella, this is a fabulous entry level Priorat for early drinking. Minerality here to the fore, yummy fresh and bright - yet distinctly Priorat - this is bargain drinking at this level from a rightly 'in vogue' part of the wine world. L&S (Oct 2011)
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Bodegas Marco Abella
The Marco family were already present in Porrera at the time of the first census taken in Catalonia in 1497. In the late 19th century, with phylloxera deimating their vineyards, the family abandoned the region for Barcelona, while keeping their lands in Porrera. In 1898, Ramón Marco Abella was born in Porrera. A man of entrepreneurial spirit and great fortitude, he decided to revive what had once been one of the best vineyard areas in the region.
Just over a century later, in 2001 his grandson David, together with his wife Olivia, decided to take things a step further. To this end they created a three tier winery built some seven metres into the hillside so that the wines can be moved entirely by gravity. After a very successful first vintage in 2004, done part-time - the couple abandoned their professional careers in order to dedicate themselves full-time to their passion, with the aim of making wines which express the authenticity, characteristics and essence of the Porrera region.
Vines are grown on terraces and the steep slopes of the costers hills at an altitude of between 200 and 1.500 m. El Priorat boasts its own microclimate, characterised by very hot summers and cold winters, with the influence of the Mediterranean neutralised by the winds. Annual rainfall does not exceed 400-500 mm. The land is very unfertile and characterised by the presence of slate known as 'licorella'. The area's soil gives the high-quality wines produced in the D.O.Q. Priorat, which have now gained world-wine recognition, a character all their own. Production is based on organic viticulture, and biodynamic methods are adapted to suit the particular environment. Exhaustive controls are performed to ensure the best performance of the vines, using practices such as green pruning and crop thinning. Grapes are selected by hand both in the vineyard and on entering the winery.
A Burgundy 'clos' type quality philosophy is followed, in that the grapes come from three different terroirs and are therefore vinified separately and according to the parcel and variety. The vinification takes place in a combination of cement tanks and open topped wooden fermenters, and uses only natural, indigenous yeasts. These are the best wines from Priorat that we have tasted; expressive, high quality, and immensely drinkable.
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