Almost perished. Almost disappeared without acknowledgment. Never understood. Overtaken by more versatile cousins from other regions.
Terra Alta is located at the southernmost tip of Catalonia. Some way inland. Oppressive heat in the summer, nights to shiver. The red and white versions of the Garnatxa grape have won the most ground here. The white Garnatxa wines are highly regarded but are also made in other Catalan wine regions. The red wines are somewhat in the shadow of Priorat and Montsant where there is also a lot of Garnatxa and where the quality is usually a bit higher. You notice the difference in the price.
So what makes Terra Alta unique? Opinions differ on that.
Morenillo is a local and fairly unknown grape variety from Terra Alta. In the XNUMXs, this grape was in danger of extinction. According to the Sanmarti-Ferrer family, Morenillo contributed so much to the identity of the region that it was not allowed to die out at all. So they decided to plant grapes on an empty plot facing north. Morenillo was a face not to be lost.
These vines are now over 20 years old and in recent years quite serious wine has been made from this grape, supported in a blend by big brother Garnatxa.
And then there was the year 2018. The vision became even stronger. If Morenillo is really a face of Terra Alta, then the wine must also be made for 100% from this grape. No compromise. The buttocks exposed. This is what it is.
Is it what people are used to? New.
Will it be easy to sell? New.
But oh, how delicious it is and what a pleasure it is to taste something that has such a story behind it.