Much of Priorat's excellent 2001 vintage is made in such tiny quantities that the various styles appear in the UK only in restaurants or at select wine merchants.

Much of Priorat's excellent 2001 vintage is made in such tiny quantities that the various styles appear in the UK only in restaurants or at select wine merchants.

Maintaining his reputation as one of Priorat's top producers, René Barbier's Clos Mogador (£36, Theatre of Wine, 020-8858 6363), combines opulently spicy blackberry fruitiness with a firm backbone of tannins and acidity for the long haul. Alvaro Palacio's own 2001 L'Ermita stands out, as it should at £165 a bottle. Even so, it's sold out, but the 2001 Les Terrasses (£13.75, Corney & Barrow, 020-7265 2400) offers a taste of Palacio's seductively perfumed and succulently cherryish fruit.

Among other top Priorats, the 2001 Lo Givot from Celler del Pont, around £30 (Gauntleys of Nottingham, 0115 911 0555, Corney & Barrow), combines sumptuous raspberry and mulberry fruitiness in a heady concoction. The 2001 Fra Fulcó (£35, Gauntleys) is ultra-modern in style, with a veneer of toasty oak over black-cherry fruit richness. And from the fine 2000 vintage, Closa Batllet (£23.99, www.virginwines.com) is an intense expression of sweetly ripe fruit combining notes of almond and blackberry.

Other 2001 wines that showed well in a tasting, but are not yet available in the UK, are: Clos de L'Obac, Costers del Siurana; Roquers de Porrera, Cellar de L'Encastell; Gran Clos, Cellar Fuentes; Mas Doix; Vall Llach; Cims de Porrera Classic; Clos Garsed; Cartoixa Reserva, Cellars Scala Dei; Clos Martinet, Mas Martinet and Clos Fonta, Mas d'En Gil.

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