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Sangenís I Vaqué
by
Kathy and Terry Sullivan

Sangenís I VaquéSummary: Sangenís I Vaqué is a family winery in the village of Porrera that focuses on red varietal wines. Wine tastings take place in the winery to the side of the production area. A family member led our tasting.

Sangenís I Vaqué, a family owned and operated winery, is located in the quaint village of Porrera. This is a multi-generational owned and operated winery. At Sangenís I Vaqué, we met Maria Sangenís I Vaqué and her father. The name for the winery is from a combination of Maria’s parents names. Maria led our tour.

Sangenís I VaquéDuring the exploration of the winery, grapes were destemmed and pumped into large underground vats. The vats were lined with ceramic tiles. Fermentation takes place in the vats. Over the vats, red clay tiles have been laid. The Garnacha and Cariñena grape varieties are co-fermented. After fermentation and maceration, the wine is racked into barrels. Maria showed us the barrel room with barrels stacked three high.

Today the winery produces 25,000 bottles of Piorat DOQ wines. Sangenís I Vaqué exports 80 percent of its production with most wines going to Switzerland, United Kingdom and Denmark.

Sangenís I VaquéWinemaking

Sangenís I Vaqué focuses on red varietal wines including Cariñena (Carignane), Garnacha (Grenache) with some Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The red grapes are fermented for two to three weeks and undergo maceration for one week. The grapes are pressed and malolactic fermentation takes place in the vats. The concrete vats are below ground with sizes up to 10,000 liters. The wines are not fined or filtered. Maria crafts a white wine.

Vineyards

Sangenís I Vaqué has 13 hectares of vineyards. Vines are 25, 40 and 50-years-old. The winery sources some white grapes to meet their demands.

Sangenís I VaquéWines

The winery does not have a dedicated tasting room. After the tour several chairs were set up around two barrels to taste the six wines the winery currently has available. The tasting area is a platform with an old circular stone that was used to crush olives for making olive oil. One stone is an image that is also seen on some of the wine bottle labels.

Sangenís I VaquéWe tasted several of the Sangenís I Vaqué wines beginning with the Porrera 2008 produced from Cariñena and Garnacha grapes. The wine was a dark ruby color with a sienna hue. The 14.5% alcohol wine offered notes of red cherry and minerality. The wine was medium to full-bodied and had tannins. The wine was crisp and fruity. The retail price of Porrera 2008 is 9€. Dara 2008 was a blend of Cariñena, Garnacha and Merlot. Dara is Catalan for “now.” The wine is meant to drink now rather than aging for years. The dark ruby wine with a sienna color offered notes of red cherry with a hint of vanilla. The crisp, smooth wine was full-bodied with tannins. The retail price is 11€.

Sangenís I VaquéWe were surprised that some of the wines tasted were over ten years old. The winery has made wine for so many generations, that they can age the wine in bottles for years before releasing to the public. Vall Por 2004 was a blend of Cariñena, Garnacha, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Vall Por means “scary valley” a reference to the location of the vineyards. The wine spent 12 months in French and American oak. The wine was a dark ruby color with a sienna hue. The wine offered notes of cherry, blackberry, and cassis with a hint of spice. The full-bodied wine had bold tannins and retails for 14€. The Coranya 2001, a full-bodied wine, was a blend of Garnacha and Cariñena. This dark ruby wine offered cherry and spice notes with bold tannins. The wine was 15% alcohol and retails for 27€. The oldest wine tasted was the Clos Monlleo 2000, named to honor the paternal family that has made wine for 150 years. The wine was a blend of Cariñena and Garnacha. This wine was aged in new French oak for two years. The 15% alcohol wine was a dark ruby color with notes of black cherry and spice. This full-bodied wine had bold tannins and retails for 42€.

Visit the quaint town of Porerra and some of the town’s wineries. Contact Sangenís I Vaqué in advance for a winery visit.

Sangenís I Vaqué
Plaça Catalunya, 3
43739 Porrera – Tarragona
+34 977 82 82 52

 

Article written October 2014


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