When it comes to Mediterranean character, Garnacha Tinta and Cariñena are equals. Both are passionate in spirit and seductive: the pleasing sensuousness of the former; the full-bodied charm of the latter.
Let's start with a brief look at each variety individually. Garnacha Tinta wines display a lovely, vivid red color, generous alcohol content, and aromatic intensity. Of all the red Mediterranean varieties, it is the most widely cultivated around the world. The variety offers sensuous, unctuous tannins that seduce the palate with their warmth and elegance.
Garnacha at the El Lloar (Priorat) estate, a Familia Torres property
Cariñena is a classic variety that is traditional to Mediterranean vineyards. It produces robust wines that are high in alcohol and deeply pigmented, with lush tannins that coat the palate in velvet.
Cariñena at the El Lloar (Priorat) estate, a Familia Torres property
When combined, the two varieties emphasize each other’s characteristics, like an accent on a letter. They grow in the same soil, under the same sun.
On the palate, Cariñena rolls out a velvety red carpet for the characteristic fruit notes of Garnacha Tinta to make their entrance. Lingering in their wake is a subtle trace of terroir-imparted minerality and freshness.
In Priorat, this varietal union steps into the spotlight to shine with particular intensity. Here the tangible and the essential become paradigmatic. And this paradigm has a name: Mas de la Rosa.
Mas de la Rosa, the wine: a blend of Garnacha Tinta and Cariñena
The varieties also coincide in life, growing side by side in the eponymous vineyard, home to Garnacha Tinta and Cariñena vines that are over 80 years old. It is a relationship established over the ages in a corner of Priorat where time seems to stand still. In Mas de la Rosa – the wine – the varieties reveal the defining traits of their identity and preserve their purest varietal expression.
The natural gift of Priorat lies in its slate soils. The abundance of llicorella slate in these poor soils offers particular qualities in terms of winegrowing, as it encourages rainwater to drain through and nourish the roots. The harsh climate conditions of the region – dry, high sun exposure, significant temperature contrasts – result in very low-yielding harvests that really bring out the full aromatic splendor of Cariñena and Garnacha Tinta.
During the sixteen months the wine reposes in oak, time is once again an ally: cradling, caressing, and shaping the future of the young wine, and gradually fusing two souls into one. This is when the paradigm comes to life.