11-12-2013

A tale of Two Drunks

Photo by VinologueIn our Priorat book 99.1% of the wines have full DOQ Priorat certification. For those unfamiliar with the strict Denomination of Origin standards, this means that the wines are made from grapes only within the region and vinified at a certified cellar that is located there as well. But, for that 0.8% that don’t have certification, they are still from grapes in the region and produced at a Priorat cellar, but for one reason or another, they don’t have the coveted certification.

This brings us to the story of Dos Borratxos which in Catalan literally means, “two drunks”. It’s a small production wine created by Jordi Sabaté from his family vineyard in Torroja del Priorat. The first vintage of this wine had the almighty DOQ certification affixed to the back, just like his higher end and exquisite Vertical label. After this first year though, it was decided by the DOQ board that this wine wouldn’t be allowed to have the certification. While the wine still fulfilled all the technical requirements and was deemed of high quality, the problem lay in the name and image which are seen as being less than deserving of the DOQ certification. Essentially this means that the name and label don’t maintain the level of “sophistication” needed to be part of Priorat’s superior, high quality brand–of course that’s a bit questionable when you find 4€ bottles at discount supermarkets.

Despite not receiving certification, Jordi continues to make the wine without the DOQ label on the back, but it’s still produced in his certified cellar. He sees the wine as being accessible to a younger wine drinker both in terms of price as well as the design which features the very silly, casual name along with a comic illustration by Enric Rebollo (aka Joso).

While it obviously doesn’t have the depth of say a three year aged 30€ Priorat wine, the blend of mostly Grenache with a small portion of Cabernet Sauvignon is really, really enjoyable and this quality, along with the fact it’s almost impossible to find is why we’re pouring it at our Priorat presentation.

Dos Borratxos 2010 shows aromas of red fruits, a touch of cloves, and a violet aspect (very rare for these Grenaches) that grows as it decants. The body is full of black pepper, spices, and small vanilla notes. Overall, it’s smooth in texture with round, wonderful tannins that lead in to a balanced, fresh finish.
Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon
14.5% 12-14€