Archive for May, 2009

The showman of Clos de l´Obac

May 20, 2009



written by Michael Oudyn

The Costers del Siurana winery is located in Gratallops, province of Tarragona, Catalonia. It was the first of the four mythic new-wave DOQ Priorat wineries that revolutionized the region in the 1980s. Alicia Juanpere of Catacurian Gourmet Food and Wine Vacations  said that Carles Pastrana, the owner and public face of Clos de l´Obac, was “the best of the winery”. Carles—animated, eccentric, opinionated, and playful—didn´t disappoint. After an interesting tour of the facilities, we adjourned to the tasting room with its beautiful stained glass ceiling and its fantastic views of mountains and white slate vineyards of the Priorat. Here the fun began.

Carles started off dumping on legendary Gratallops wine l´Ermita.   This $600/bottle, 97-points-from-Parker red systematically loses blind (more…)

AOQ Priorat and AO Montsant

May 15, 2009
Priorat, through a glass lightly rose

Priorat, through a glass lightly

written by Michael Oudyn

My friend Ricard Domingo and I are on our way to Falset.  About a two-hour drive south of Barcelona this town of 5000 inhabitants is this week´s center of the Spanish wine world.  We will be spending three days tasting, talking about wines, and whatever else might pop up at the Mostra de Vi, a wine fair for D.O. Montsant and D.O.Q. Priorat.

We are reminiscing about wines in the good old days and how far Priorat has come.  In the 1950s Ricard worked in his father´s bar in Barcelona and some of their best wines came from the comarca (county) of Priorat.  They were not the D.O.Q. Priorat wines of today; they didn´t even have labels.  Horse carts delivered the wine in 60-liter bullskins or 120-liter wooden barrels.  No preservatives (more…)