Porrera, Capçanes and the Fira del Vi de Falset. Vilamarxant´s Wine Club goes on Tour! Part 1, Introduction and the Tast de Carinyenes.

Given that there were no wine fairs in Valencia over the weekend and that a series of co-incidental offers made a visit to Cataluña and the Falset Wine Fair a real possibility a group of Vilamarxant´s Wine Club decided to take the plunge, drive 350 km North towards Tarragona and the river Ebro to visit the fair which celebrates the wines of DO Priorat and DO Monsant. I freely admit to knowing little of this area or it´s wines other than that they have a reputation for being `hard´ or tannic and expensive.

Miguel Angel Martin, Juan Manuel Goncalvez and Riki Wigley, three `pros´at the tasting.


In fact the area itself  is absolutely beautiful with it´s mixture of hilltop villages and valleys full of neat vineyards trained on wires and by contrast villages buried deep in valleys under steep mountains where the vines cling to the steep rock face in goblet style and where the only way to reach them is by working harnessed to a rope!

In contrast to Valencia the main wine fair is held in Falset but there are numerous other events with tastings held in the other villages which make up the two DO´s celebrations. Many of but not all the peripheral events are ticket only or by invitation. This report of the 2011 fair will cover the three main events we attended, the wines and olive oils and will be published in two or three parts covering as follows:-

  • The Porrera Tasting of Carinyenes Caldos for future blending,
  • The Tasting of Garnatxas at Celler de Capçanes and wines from the Co-operative, and
  • Wines and Oils tasted at the Falset Fair together with a restaurant recommendation.


The wines are generally Carinyena ( also Samsó or Mazueló), Garnatxa, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in various blends thereof. We were invited by `Els Cellers de Porrera´to  a tasting of Carinyenes which would be eventually blended with other varieties to make the finished wines in DO Priorat. The tasting , by invitation, was held in restaurant Lo Teatret and accompanied by a meal which was brought out during the tasting.  Live music throughout was provided by the excellent band  ¨Quartet de Soul¨ who played memorable 60´s and 70´s music by amongst others the Stones, Beatles and Jimi Hendrix!

For the record Vilamarxant Wine Club was represented by myself, Miguel Angel Martin also of Enocata.com, Phil Burr and Tony Dunleavy.

We tasted as follows:- ( all 2009 unless otherwise stated.)

  • Ardevol I Associats. Carinyena 90% Syrah 10% , from Finca Coma de´nRomeu ,destined for a blend  called Terrad´hom in which it will make up 40% of the finished wine. Deep cherry red colouring the glass and with long slow legs, on the nose alcohol, butter, chocolate, black fruits and in the mouth all of these.
  • Balmaprat. 100% Carinyena from 100-year-old vines at Finca La Balma and destined for Dempeus. Deep, black cherry, long legs, on the nose violets, black fruit and in the mouth lovely, intense, violets, full smooth but still youthful. A very long finish with minerals ( graphite) .
  • Celler Cal Pla. 100% Carinyena, from Finca Arbres, 80-year-old vines, and destined for Mas D’ En Compte where it will make up 50% of the final blend. Medium density, less colour but clean, long legs. On the nose minerally, light, and in the mouth, liquorice, and more fruit than expected, nice and fresh. A second wine from this property, from Finca Planots and also 100% Carinyena, and destined for Planots from 105 year old vines was very deep purple with very long legs. On the nose very fresh, hints of terroir and mature fruit. In the mouth picante, very nice fruit, with touches of wood ageing and very smooth.
  • Celler Castellet. 95% Carinyena from Finca Solana de Mas  de´n Pubill and destined for Empit Seleción Samso where it will make up the entire wine. From 60-year-old vines a very nice deep violet, purple youthful colour with long legs. On the nose floral, violets with red fruits. In the mouth, quite closed, not ready.

    Licorella, the slate which makes up the soil in which the vines are planted!


  • CIMS de Porrera, first of the Adria Perez wines from 100% Carinyena with 70+ years of age, Finca La Coma and destined to be 100% of the CIMS de Porrera wine. A medium density cherry red with good legs, nice and light on the nose, floral violet notes and in the mouth, fruity, alcoholic, but with well-integrated tannins. A very well made wine and notes for the 2006 current marketed vintage will appear in the section on the Falset wine fair. We were also treated to the 2004 vintage from this stable, again 100% Carinyena, Finca Les Sentius and 14.5% ABV. A bit more garnet in colour, on the nose soft fruit, in the mouth meaty, round, powerful, good balanced tannins and a warm long persistent finish.
  • Clos Dominic, Finca Tena, a barrel sample 100% Carinyena from 100-year-old wines and destined for Clos Dominic, Vinyes Altes at around 75% of the final blend. Light to medium cherry red, good long legs, quite light on the nose, then intensely fruity, a very easy drinker, soft , fruity which passes easily across the palate. The 2008 Finca Tena and destined for the Clos Dominic Vinyes Altes Seleció Miriam had a little more colour, but equally nice soft fruit on the nose, a little more astringent and not yet integrated on the palate. The 2007 Clos Dominic was 100% Garnatxa by contrast, and 15%ABV. Another medium density cherry red, with long legs, and with soft fruits on the nose in the mouth it is much better balanced, with red and black fruits but a touch astringent at the finish.
  • Domaine Magrez, 2010 100%Carinyenafrom Finca La Plana and from 80-year-old vines, destined to 35% of the final blend of Herència del Padri Sine Nomine. This was also a barrel sample , quite light – medium density cherry red with lots of liquorice on the nose. In the mouth light, good fruit but not ready yet.
  • Familia Nin Ortiz were showing their Carinyena destine to be just 20% of the Nit de Nin  and from Finca Mas D´En Caçador and from 75- year old vines. A youthful purple, which coloured the glass, on the nose very high violet floral notes, sweet cherry in the mouth, full meaty and powerful.

    Wines from Clos Dominic.


  • Ferrer Bobet were showing their 100% Carinyena from 70 yer old vines from various plotsin and around Porrera. This is destined to be around 70% of the Ferrer Bobet Seleció Especial. It is Nice , bright, cherry red colouring the glass, redcurrant and raspberry fruits and vanilla on the nose whilst powerful, meaty, round and with smooth tannins and a long finish.
  • By contrast the Marco Abella 100% Carinyena from Finca Perer is from vines just 11 years old and will make up 60% of the Clos Abella. Another nice medium cherry with medium legs, and youthful, on the nose, red fruits with a touch of chocolate. In the mouth a touch astringent with the alcohol not yet integrated but nice fruit!
  • Merum Priorati showed thier carinyenas from Mas De´n Cubells, and Coma De´n Romeu with respective ages of 72 and 7 years. Eventually this will be around 25% of the Osmin blended with Garnatxa, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. This was medium to full density with long legs, intense on the nose with pine,  and violets, in the mouth slightly bitter cherry fruit, long warm and persistent.
  • Parmi Priorat´s La Coma Carinyena is from 99 year old vines and destined to be La Coma . It was a nice deep youthful purple, with long legs, on the nose violets and red fruits, on the palate, deep fruit, powerful but with nice balance, long persistent mature fruit finish. 
  • Sangenís I Vaque´s wine was a blend of 80% Carinyena, and is destined to be 50% of Clos Monlleo and from Finca Roques Llises.  This was a youthful cherry red, deep colouring the glass. On the nose Morello cherry with red and black wood fruits. In the mouth smooth tannins, very fruity and with a long finish.
  • Trosset-Duran´s Finca Trosset is from vines with an age between 6 and 100 years old. It is destined to become 40% of the blend Trosset de Porrera. A lighter red, still deep but less intense. On the nose red and black fruits, huge violet bouquet and in the mouth, less intense, nicely balanced. 14.5% ABV.
  • Val Llach showed a carinyena from five fincas, Sentiu, Sola, Coma, Arbres and Trosset, from vines with between 40 and 90 years old which will make up 50% of the Porrera in due course. A little more purple than the last wine, also with violets and red fruits on the nose and more integrated, balanced, soft  and elegant.


In Restaurant Lo Teatret, Porrera.

The restaurant is based in the old town theatre from which it takes it´s name and is recommended. They served  a good selection of tapas as starters, including Escalivada with sausage, hamburger with  onion on toasts, Xistorra on toasts, and cured cheese. This was followed by a selection of pizzas, a rice dish with vegetable, and plates of succulent roast pork. All followed up by a selection of puddings including cheese cake, chocolate tart and `coc rapid´.

Guest bodega on the night was Zarate who showed three Albarinos from the Rias Baixas. These were all outstanding in-depth and quality and fortunately available here in Valencia from  Las Añadas de España.

This was a very intense but friendly tasting which showed Carinyena in its youth and gave an insight into how the final wines are assembled. I hope there is an opportunity in the future to repeat this exercise!

Our thanks to the Association of cellars of Porrera for the invitation and hospitality we enjoyed.



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