This young designation was already renowned and prestigious before being acknowledged as a D.O.
Red wines are Mediterranean wines: well balanced, with deep aromas, full-bodied – maybe slightly less than its neighbor Priorat – and they can become really velvety after a short aging period. Until recently, many wines were the traditional generous wines, mellow and oxidized, sweet wines and the local “vin blanch”.
The D.O. is at the South of Tarragona Province and it comprises 1,200 hectares of vineyard distributed in 12 different municipalities surrounding the Priorat D.O., except on the East side. Vineyards stretch along spectacular hillsides, among olive trees (which produce an excellent olive oil), forests and bare mountain peaks. Soils are of limestone over a granite and slate base. The medium height of the vineyard is 360 meters, although height increases at Serra de Montalt, to the South-East and Serra de Montsant to the North-West.
There are three main varieties of white grapes: Macabeo, white Garnacha and Pedro Ximénez; and five red varieties, including local red Garnacha, Cariñena and Ull de Llebre, and foreign Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Traditional vineyards and the most ancient ones are freely planted with the vines in goblet, while the most recent ones use trellises. In both cases, they follow a unique framework model, with 1.4 meters in between vines and 2.8 meters in between rows. Harvest usually starts during the first week of September.
Very good: 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005.