Carinyenes at Porrera

In my last 2010 post I explained my views on public wine tasting events and mentioned some of them I had already attended.
The Priorat and Montsant Wine Exhibition (Fira del Vi) in Falset mentioned there is a major mass attraction that is surrounded by smaller, more selective events that are worth attending. From Friday April 29th to Tuesday May 2nd the wine lovers (that can spare the time and cost) have their hands full with tastings, pairings, presentations and winery visits. I was able to attend a few of them, and in the upcoming posts I will endeavour to tell you about my experiences.

In the village of Porrera, already mentioned elsewhere in this blog, are located some of the oldest and finest Carinyena vines in the Priorat DO. In many cases, they are processed separately from other grapes, and the coupage is made just before bottling. Few Porrera wines, however, are pure Carinyena; usually the blend contains also Garnatxa and perhaps Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah.
Porrera wineries offer a unique opportunity every year at the “Carinyenes a Porrera” tasting. They present their best pure, unblended Carinyena wines before the coupage is done. Of course, in many cases the wine comes directly from the cask, without any bottle aging; however, the potential is there, and is very rewarding to taste them and have an inkling of what the wines in which they take part will be like.

One surprising aspect of this event is that is somehow illegal. Not that tasting wine is forbidden in Priorat; rather what is forbidden is the commercial use of the word Carinyena to name the grape varietal, because there is an Aragonese village, Cariñena, in the DO of the same name. Silly enough, but the wineries usually have to resort to the name Samsó, which is in fact another grape (some say the one named as Cinsault in France) or devise misspellings such as Caranyana. But if you ask the old winegrowers basking in the sun in the village square, they will tell you they have farmed Carinyena vines since childhood…

There were over twenty-five wines from eighteen different wineries; it was not the time or place to take down detailed notes of each, but I can name the ones that pleased me most:
Many wines, but all of them different, as a result of the microclimates of each plot, the age of the vines and the winemaker skill. A feast for Carinyena lovers, showing that this variety, often despised as unrefined, when in proper conditions can yield great wines.


  1. El dia que siguem europeus, ja no tindrem aquestes imposicions... :).

  2. Correcte! Com diu la Dominic, aviat no podrem dir "formatge de cabra"; hi ha un poble que es diu Cabra...

  3. Bona aquesta.... no havia caigut mai en això... :).