This 2017 ‘Pissarres’ is a blend of 60% Samso and 40% Garnacha from vines planted in 1950 and 1975 in Finca Sant Marti (Bellmunt del Priorat) and Finca Mas Alsera (Torroja del Priorat) at 350m to 500m elevation. It is a mix of de-stemmed and whole-cluster grapes fermented with indigenous yeast in cement vats. The wine is then aged 12 months in 2,300L and 3,000L Slovenian oak barrels and amphoraes. A lot of hard work went into the production of this wine and it shows. It has that unmistakable Priorat personality with earthy, slatey minerality and very well concentrated, deep, dark red fruit flavors. Yet, at the same time, it offers a subtle elegance and refinement we don't often see for Priorat. We plan to keep it on the shelf for as long as we can, or at least until our thirsty clientele buys it all.
According to the importer, “Costers del Priorat was founded in 2002 as a joint venture between a grower in Belmunt del Priorat and a family from Penedès. Initially, the winery’s focus was limited to working with a single vineyard called Sant Martí planted in 1939. In 2007, winemaker Jose Mas Barberà joined Costers del Priorat.” The estate spans 25 hectares of vineyards spread across four different villages which are all farmed under organic practices following biodynamic principles. The vines are planted primarily to Carignan, or Samsó, which is considered ideal for growing in Priorat because it can withstand extreme temperature variations, drought conditions and the steep landscape of the area. The estate also includes smaller amounts of Garnacha, Garnacha Blanca, Macabeo and Pedro Ximénez. José only uses yeasts from the vineyards for spontaneous fermentation and employs a variety of vessels for aging including amphorae, cement, demi-muids and large oak foudres/casks. His goal is to produce village specific wines from the estate’s old vines and capture the individual terroir of each site.