Spain's Torres has opened a new winery in DO Costers del Segre to provide a permanent home for its recently launched Purgatori wine.

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Torres opened the winery at a ceremony at the estate yesterday (17 September).

The Purgatori property itself dates back to 1770, and it used to belong to the Abbey of Montserrat. According to Torres, misbehaving monks who had trouble following the doctrine were sent to the estate to work under extreme heat and harsh conditions, thus earning the name Purgatori.

The 870-hectare property that includes forest, wheat, vineyards, and ancient olive trees was bought by Torres in 1999. It planted fresh vineyards a few years later.

Extreme heat and well-drained soils mean that the estate has some of the lowest yields in Catalonia.

According to Torres, winemakers working at the group were continually competing with each other to use the grapes from here. Most of the grapes grown at Purgatori initially ended up in the Gran Sangre de Toro.

The new winery is built almost seamlessly next to the old winery and farmhouses.

Stainless steel and custom-built concrete vats, ranging from 50 hectolitres (hl) to 100hl, dominate the winery’s vinification area.

‘Concrete is something we are using more and more,’ said Miguel Torres Maczassek. ‘We feel that it refines the wine, especially powerful wines with quite intense tannins. It leaves the wine a bit silkier.’

The maximum capacity of the new winery is 40,000 cases per year, but Torres said the aim was somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 cases.

Torres has already launched three vintages of Purgatori: 2012, 2013 and 2014. The 2018 vintage will be the first harvest vinified in the new winery.

The wine itself is a blend of Cariñena, Garnacha and Syrah; aged in oak barrels (40% new) for 15 to 18 months.

The portion of Syrah in the final blend has diminished year by year since Torres believes that it can achieve the optimal balance in the future using just Cariñena and Garnacha.

Torres currently has no plans to launch more than one wine from the estate.


See Andrew Jefford’s tasting note on Purgatori 2014:

 


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