21-01-2013

The wines & oil of Gratavinum

Photo by Vinologue

It was one of those longer days of working on the Priorat guide that had us visiting several wineries in the morning. The afternoon though, had been cleared for Gratavinum several weeks previous though as they wanted us to visit while they were pressing their olive oil. Initially we were reluctant to wait, but after tasting more of the olives and their golden oil from the Priorat region, we really started to looking forward to it.

Perched out of the steep hills of Gratallops, the view from their vineyards is one of those rare ones that allows you to take in a great panorama of Priorat. From the start, they farmed all of their vineyards organically, gaining full certification in 2009. In 2012 they started the process to gain biodynamic certification as well. They’re also one of the few wineries that only dry farms all their vineyards, using no water other than what falls from the sky. The purpose for this being that it forces the vines to grow their roots deeper and produce more intensely flavorful grapes. It’s easier to do with old vines as their roots are already deep, but they apply this to their younger vines planted in 2004 as well.

Their cellar on the other side of Gratallops from the vineyards. It’s a curious location as you actually have to pass through la Vilella Baixa on a road that passes an old watermill to get there. But it’s there that they have their compact, productive winery as well as their olive oil press.

Photo by Vinologue

It’s quite important to note that they are only one of two independent olive oil makers in all of Priorat. What they produce is unadulterated, brilliant oil that literally shimmers like gold when you look at it straight out of the press. Naturally, the flavor is of as high a quality as their wines.

2piR 2008 has a nose of red fruits and a touch of fennel and other herbs from the vineyard. It’s strong in the body but quite balanced overall with a good deal of character that pulls through right in to the finish. It’s aged for 12 months in a mix of French and Hungarian oak. 14.5% 20€

GV5 2008 starts out with a nose of dark fruits with a hint of violet from the old Carignan and a nice, rounded minerality defining it. It’s nice and fresh in the body with a clean elegance that shows off the minerality very well in to the bright, wonderful finish that hints at a slightly buttery texture just at the end. The aging regimen is for 10 months in French and Hungarian barrels. 14.5% 40€