New Parker points for Catalonia

In the latest Parker wine ratings, Luis Gutiérrez has analysed Catalan wines in three different sections: Priorat, the rest of the Catalan DOs, and Cava.


We will begin by discussing the first section, dedicated to Priorat, one of the most improved regions, according to Luis. The magic wine was Clos Erasmus 2013, the only one awarded 100 points and an unprecedented vintage in Priorat for its balance and freshness. Among the highest scorers continues to be Clos Mogador 2013, with 98 points (one of the best in terms of the price-quality ratio), and the classics L’Ermita 2014 and the plots of Terroir al Limit. As a outstanding entry in the Olympus of Priorat’s great wines was Nit de Nin 2014 with 96 points.

In addition, the edition highlights the incredible improvement of the Mas d’en Gil winery under the eye of Marta Rovira. The descendent of this family of wine-producers has taken the reins of the winery and is pushing the vineyards as well as the production of the wines forward. She has returned to basics, to the old technique of making wine in ‘fudres’ and bigger barrels with less new wood. Their Clos Fontà 2011, 94 points, and Belmunt 2013, 91 points, are examples of their excellent work.

Another matter to note is the 3D map they are producing in the region, similar to the one of Barolo in Italy. This demonstrates the clear commitment to the valuation of the plots and the diversity in the territory, recognising the many orientations and altitudes that result in the different and unique wines from the same DO. The dedication is obvious, and they will soon begin cataloguing the wines according to a pyramid, from the village wines to the single-estate wines.

Luis Gutiérrez perceives the rest of Catalonia unequally; in Penedés and Montsant, he glimpses a shift towards wines with personality. On the other hand, he criticises the other regions for being anchored in the past and not looking to the future, with over ripe grapes, lots of new wood and many foreign varieties.

In Empordà, as a point of reference and an example to follow, he highlights Vinyes d’Olivardots.

With respect to Costers del Segre, he emphasises Raul Bobet and his winery Castell d’Encús. Their vineyards are planted at high altitude in Pallars and Vall Fosca and their traditional production methods awarded them Luis Gutiérrez’s distinction, naming the Thalarn 2015, 95 points, as the best Syrah on the Peninsula.

Montsant has two important wineries and wine-producers in this edition. One is Joan Asens from Orto Vins and the other, Rene Barbier (the son) and Sara Pérez from Venus la Universal. Orto Vins produced Les Talledes de Can Nicolau, 94 points, a black Picapoll from an old vineyard planted by his grandfather, with huge personality and subtlety. Venus la Universal produced the recently released Venus Blanc, planted with the autonomous variety Cartoixa and produced without any additives, with 94 points. Also, the red Dido, 93 points, has been awarded a good score. As an icon wine, Espectacle 2013 has 96 points.

In Penedès, he stresses the movement of young people and natural wines, which makes us reconsider the traditional producers in the area. Alemany i Corrio with their Sot Lefriec, 94 points, and Principia Mathematica 2015, 91 points. Amós Bañeres with their natural wines Vinya Oculta 2013, 92 points, and Missatge en una Ampolla 2015, 91 points. Mas Candí with Quatre Xarellos 2014, 91 points, and their natural wine Cabòries 2015 with the same score.

The DO Cava is the last to be analysed and has the worst scores. According to Luis, there are no young, energetic projects and he only highlights five interesting wineries: Gramona, Loxarel, Mestres, Recaredo and Raventos i Blanc. These are different from the rest because they give special attention to the vineyard, putting particular emphasis on caring for it. In addition, he highlights the poor image of cavas due to mediocre wines being sold at low prices, therefore giving a negative focus on single-estate cavas. Gutiérrez considers it necessary to sort out the bottom of the pyramid and not the top, owing to the brilliant cavas that are well distinguished.

Turó d’en Mota 2005 continues at the top with 95 points, this single-estate cava has the maximum distinction in the DO, and their Reserva Particular 2015 is close behind with 94 points. Another single-estate cava following in the wake of a great winery such as Raventos i Blanc, is Manuel Raventós Negra 2010 with 94 points. Loxarel 109 2005, the sparkling wine within the Clàssic Penedés was awarded 93 points and Gramona and their Celler Batlle 2006, 93 points.


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