Clos Passarra Arrels Sangre de Garnatxa 2013
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.
The grapes come from a six-acre vineyard that is owned by chefs Gerald Hirigoyen (Piperade & Bocadillos), Laurent Manrique (Millesime & Café de la Presse), Sylvain Portay (formerly with Alain Ducasse) and Master Sommelier Emmanuel Kemiji (Miura Vineyards). Made up entirely of 25-year old Grenache (Garnatxa in Catalan) vines, the soil is a mixture of clay and licorella (the local name for a soft-type of slate). The yields are cut back to a miserly one and a quarter tons to the acre as is typical of the best vineyards of this region.