PREMIUM

First taste: Torres Mas de la Rosa 2016

Julie Sheppard reports from a preview tasting of Torres’ new limited-production Mas de la Rosa 2016 from Priorat, with tasting notes available exclusively to Premium subscribers.

Spanish producer Torres has launched a new wine from Priorat. Made from a tiny 2ha parcel of vines grown at 500m in the Mas de la Rosa Valley in Porrera, Mas de la Rosa 2016 is ‘a very personal project’ for Miguel Torres Junior, who explained: ‘Sometimes my family didn’t even know about this wine!’

Miguel discovered the Mas de la Rosa finca while he was looking for plots of old Priorat vines to use in Torres Perpetual, the producer’s old-vine bottling from the region. The site, farmed by grower Manolo del Aguila Ruiz, is a steep slope, with Priorat’s signature licorella slate soil. ‘This is very heroic viticulture – everything has to be done by hand,’ noted Miguel.

The final wine is a field blend of Garnacha and Cariñena, from vines planted in 1939-1940. Fermented in stainless steel, with slow extraction, it then spends 16 months in new French oak.

The 2016 vintage was characterised by a dry winter, then a rainy start to spring, but low rainfall in late spring and summer. Temperatures in summer were not particularly high, leading to delayed maturation by August, though warm weather in early September accelerated the sugar concentration in the grapes. ‘The high altitude of this site gives freshness and acidity,’ added Miguel.

Only 1,957 bottles and 67 magnums of Mas de la Rosa 2016 have been produced, with an allocation of 60 bottles for the UK, available via importer Fells, with an RRP of £300 per bottle.

Tasting Torres Mas de la Rosa and other wines: