Five Sips from Catalonia

Interested in trying the wines from the Priorat region of Catalonia, in northeastern Spain? Here are five worth tasting:

1. The 2007 Morlanda ($48) offers ripe black fruit with hints of anise and cedar, coupled with lively acidity, and it's well distributed.

2. Most Priorat reds are blends, but there are a few wines that are 100 percent of a particular grape. The pricey 2009 Ferret Bobet Seleccio Especial ($100, available later this year) is all carinena. It's dark, dense and concentrated, with loads of black fruit, spice, wild fennel, great acidity, and firm but approachable tannins.

3. Mas Martinet makes a 100 percent garnatxa wine, the 2009 Els Escurcons ($70), which offers ripe red fruit, some nice spice and a lot of freshness.

4. Reds dominate in Priorat, but Clos Mogador produces a rich, fleshy white: the 2010 Nelin ($55), which displays white peach and apricot, a hint of honey and considerable minerality.

5. Not all the wines of Priorat are that expensive. One great buy is the 2010 Bodegas La Cartuja ($19), an elegant wine with spicy black fruit and mineral.

-- Laurie Daniel



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