With Mas de la Rosa Vinyes Velles 2016, a new exclusive wine of remarkable elegance, Familia Torres captures the essence of the deepest Priorat. It is named after its place of origin, a beautiful site near the village of Porrera. Familia Torres owns the 80-year-old vineyard, whose 1.9 hectares are planted with traditional free-standing vines. They grow on costers, steep slopes where the vines' roots seek out water and nutrients amid layers of dark copper-colored outcrops of llicorella schist.
“It is one of the most charming places in Priorat, a sheltered, secluded vineyard that opens up to visitors like an amphitheater. This is undoubtedly our greatest gem, a vineyard that has everything it takes to make a great wine,” states Miguel Torres Maczassek, part of Familia Torres's fifth generation. “In making Mas de la Rosa,” he goes on to say, “We wanted to let the vines express themselves, emphasizing their purity and uniqueness without interfering.”
Reaching almost 500 meters at its highest point, the vineyard is only accessible by a narrow, winding, unpaved road. It is home to 5,800 old vines of Cariñena and Garnacha, with a few interspersed vines of Picapoll Negre. All vineyard work is done manually and with utmost care to preserve the landscape and the integrity of the fruit. “We observed the enormous potential of this vineyard for years, because we used to buy its grapes for our wine Perpetual,” Miguel Torres explains, “We would vinify the lots separately, and these always stood out, which is why, in 2016, we decided to make a wine exclusively from this vineyard.”
Historically, Mas de la Rosa is one of the first estates in Porrera to make wine, as evidenced by old stone presses in the area, and it is documented in the book Crónica de Porrera 1865 by Josep Simó i Serres. In the book, Mas de la Rosa is described as “a good farmhouse located three-quarters of an hour from what is now the village.” According to the author, the name Mas de la Rosa refers to the wife of a former owner in the mid-18th century, who went mad and “burned the house to the ground.”
Mas de la Rosa 2016 is the work of winemaker Jordi Foraster. The careful winemaking process included gentle extractions and 16 months barrel aging in French oak to preserve the true expression of the terroir. The result is an exceptional wine of exquisite finesse and fresh style, which benefits from the fact that the vineyard lies in a cool area and faces east. The row orientation allows for long, well-paced fruit maturation. In the summer, the vineyard is shaded from the early afternoon on, thus protecting the clusters from direct sun exposure. In terms of vintage, 2016 was a relatively normal year in terms of rainfall and temperatures, which were not particularly high during the summer.
Familia Torres only produced 2,059 bottles of Mas de la Rosa, which will be allocated to high-end restaurants in 15 countries on a quota basis. Foreign markets, including Canada, Germany, England, Japan, China, Hong Kong, and the United States, will receive 80% of the production. This is Familia Torres's most exclusive wine to date, and its market launch comes amid international acclaim, including 94+ Parker points and 94 points in the British magazine Decanter.
Familia Torres in Priorat
Mas de la Rosa is Familia Torres's first DOQ Priorat wine from an exceptional single vineyard, a project initiated by Miguel Torres Maczassek of the family's fifth generation. In his wines, he seeks the expression of a landscape, a specific sense of place, along with freshness and elegance. Familia Torres makes two other Priorat wines, Perpetual and Salmos, which originate from vineyards in different parts of the region that, in the case of Salmos, are mostly owned by the family.
Familia Torres planted its first vineyards in the region in the late 1990s and currently owns 25 hectares in El Lloar, where it also has a winery, and 50 hectares in Porrera. The family recently acquired 15 hectares in the Els Tossals area, where it is planting an experimental vineyard on a small parcel. At 746 meters, it will be the highest-lying llicorella schist vineyard in Priorat. This is a long-term project conceived in response to climate change.
Mas de la Rosa Vinyes Velles 2016 recommended price: 370 euros