Gobe's friends

In the early eighties little Josep Barceló, still too young to read, would identify the peg to hang his coat on at his Priorat school by a drawing of a mushroom (“rovelló”) over it. In his childish speech, he would not pronounce the “r” sound properly, so his schoolmates promptly nicknamed him “govelló”, later shortened to Gobe.

Gobe grew up among his friends, meeting them also after school to play football (their team was called “La Xusma”, the rabble), and, later on, to share a bottle of wine. In due time, many of them worked in the world of wine; Gobe himself at the Celler de Capçanes, while planning to make wine from a small family vineyard farmed by his uncle.

Sadly, in 2004 Gobe died in an accident. A few weeks later, his friends visited Gobe’s family and suggested making the wine Gobe dreamt of, as a common effort, in a non for profit way, as a tribute to his memory. The twelve friends, with the help of Gobe’s uncle and brothers, would endeavour to make Gobe’s wish come to reality.

And so it did.

Amics del Gobe (Gobe's friends) was on its way.

The vineyard is in the Montsant DO, at a height of some 300 m: 1 hectare of sandy soil with 80-year old Carinyena and some new Garnatxa, farmed organically. Grapes undergo a first selection in the plot, are gathered in 12 kilo boxes and taken to the Venus La Universal winery, where a second selection is made before starting the winemaking process.

After destemming and 20 days of contact with the skins, the wine goes to second year 300 l French oak casks, where it stays for twelve months.

The wine itself is a good example of Montsant red. Dark cherry colour, with slightly tinted legs. In the nose red and black fruit, not overripe, with tobacco and balsamic notes. Not too much wood, letting the fruit shine. Tannins still noticeable, good structure in mouth, with a long finish. A very pleasant, straightforward, drinkable wine.

The output being around 1’000 – 1’800 bottles, it is not easy to secure one. I got mine in a visit to Gratallops, in the Bonviure wine and delicatessen shop, where Jaume Balaguer showed me his small winery (more on that on another post) and other small gems he has.

What is the future of this initiative? In the short term, the 2009 vintage will start to include some wine from the Carinyena planted in 2005. This will allow to eventually increase output to a maximum of 3’000 bottles. And with the support of winelovers, Gobe’s friends intend to go onforever; a support not so difficult to give, because at around 10 EUR per bottle the quality / price ratio is excellent.

Any of you interested in further details can join the Gobe group in Facebook or have a look at the video in Vintaix (see links below).

Perhaps from somewhere Gobe still looks after his vineyard…



  1. Hi,

    this is Jaume from Bonviure wines shop. Thanks about your comments!!!!

    See you next on the next "Fira del Vi de Falset"

  2. Hi Jaume, you're welcome!

    Remember we will be at the Piró for the pairings on 30th evening.

  3. No coneixia aquesta història i és trista i emotiva.... Gràcies per compartir-la.