2010 Clos Pissarra, El Riu, El Molar
The name Clos Pissarra is derived from the Catalan word for slate, as this is the soil that covers the regions of Montsant (sacred mountain) and Priorat (priory), that lie about 85 miles southwest of Barcelona.
Priorat has quickly established itself as the premier wine region in Spain, producing wines of great intensity and concentration but yet remaining elegant and balanced. The most highly regarded sites comes from the villages of Bellmunt del Priorat, El Molar, El Lloar, Gratallops and Porrera.
Montsant has found a most comfortable niche, being described as a softer, more approachable version of Priorat, and a great value. The most highly touted sites in the appellation are found in the villages of Falset and Capcanes.
We do not belong to either the Priorat or the Montsant appellation system as we found the current process to join either one cumbersome, bureaucratic and not necessarily conducive to producing fine wine. A number of other high profile producers are now following in our footsteps in this regard. Thus we are neither Montsant or Priorat and instead are simply Clos Pissarra. Each of the vineyard bottlings does name the town where that vineyard lies and the grape varieties that make up the wine.
Clos Pissarra, El Riu (Carignan), El Molar
El Riu (meaning “The River” in Catalan) is a 1 hectare vineyard (2.5 acres) in the town of El Molar in Priorat. We purchased this property at the end of 2004. This is an unusual vineyard in Priorat, as it sits on a slight slope above the Siurana River and although it is full of slate as is typical in the region, there is also a lot of gravel here, which is quite uncommon. The vineyard is planted to Carignan (Samso) vines that are over 100 years old! Yields are less than half a ton per acre.
A hot and dry year but without any heat spikes produced big, fresh, classic wines of huge intensity yet well-balanced.