The Astor Wines & Spirits Glossary

Priorato

Priorat is the precocious new kid on the Spanish wine scene. Twenty years ago, this tiny Northwestern winemaking region was all but forgotten. Then, after a handful of winemaking mavericks moved into the area, Priorat began to produce some of the most powerful, complex, and expensive wines on the market. In 2003, Priorat was awarded the prestigious D.O.C. status - a term previously held only by Rioja - and prices and quality levels have continued to soar ever since. Garnacha (called Grenache in France) is the most widely planted grape in the region, with Cariñena (elsewhere known as Carignan) coming in a close second. Most Priorat wines are made from a blend of grapes, including a number of international varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. These are massive, modern wines, often with high alcohol content - yet they never fail to possess poise, structure, and an unmistakably earthy undertone.
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