Wine Guide
Like many things that are small, Priorat is beautiful. And we don't just mean the terrain. Located a little south of Barcelona, if the question is big, bold, red wines then Priorat is the answer. Terrain is rugged and dry, climate is sunny, and wines are so unique that Parker has given his perfect 100 at least to wines from the region on at least three recent occasions.

Despite the region’s winemaking roots that stretch back to 1163, Priorat was sadly neglected throughout much of the 20th century, due both to the fascist regime of the time and the annihilation of vines by phylloxera in the 19th century. Priorat’s vineyards dwindled from 5,000 hectares (and remember, this is a small region of fewer than 20,000 hectares) to just 1,500 acres in 1989.

However, all that changed with the arrival of René Barbier, who introduced French techniques and grapes to the forgotten region. Together with his team of passionate winemakers, oenologists and advocates, they created the five “Clos”, i.e. walled vineyards such as in France. These original famous five labels, Clos Mogador, Clos Dofí (now Finca Dofí ), Clos de L’Obac, Clos Martinet, and Clos Erasmus all received intense attention both at home and abroad. Outstanding wines and high scores naturally followed. Priorat is now planted with over 1,900 hectares and has over 100 wineries (and nearly 600 growers). Bravo to Barbier, whose Lazurus effect changed the face of Spanish winemaking forever.