Cal Batllet - Marc Ripoll, Spain

Marc Ripoll returned to his family vineyards to change their fortunes. The family had been reduced to selling their harvests to the local co-operative, but he set about renovating the dilapidated winery and now Cal Batllet is regarded as one of the leading estates from their village of Gratallops.

Marc is part of the new generation of winemakers in Priorat who are reclaiming the region for their own. Focusing on a style that puts the local terroir as its heart and looking to create wines of elegance and refinement, light years away from what made Priorat the darling of the American critics. An organic approach in the vineyard and use of wild yeast and barrel fermentation all come together to create wines expressive of the individual sites they come from. The 90 year old bush vines planted in steep hillsides on slate soil all create personalities of their own, none more so than the nearly extinct Escanyavella grape which produces a wine full of sublime texture and fruit.

Viticulture

The autochthonous Escanyavell, Cariñena and Garnacha vines are mostly ancient, some almost a century old, and planted on fairly steep slopes in slate soils which is reflected in the style of the wine which are strong and full of personality. He has managed to combine the need for manual winemaking methods with modern winery practices to produce wines of class and presence. Most of the work is carried organically and with respect, and whilst the wines are not certified, a large percentage of the vineyards are certfied as organic.

Winemaking

An organic approach in the vineyard and use of wild yeast and barrel fermentation all come together to create wines expressive of the individual sites they come from. A minimal intervention approach is taken in the winery, with respect for the terroir, mostly unfined and all unfiltered.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Organic approach and some certification in the vineyards although the wines are not certified.
  • Wild yeast and barrel fermentation all come together to create wines expressive of the individual sites they come from.
  • Cal Batllet is regarded as one of the leading estates from their village of Gratallops.