Castell Encus / Ferrer Bobet

Producer Focus

Ferrer Bobet is all about respect: respect for the long traditions of vine growing and winemaking in Priorat; respect for the social and economic development of this special region in the south of Catalonia; the mutual respect of two old friends, Sergi Ferrer-Salat and Raül Bobet, both passionate about the world and culture of wine, and respect for wine lovers looking for a Priorat that reflects, with purity and harmony, the distinctive mineral essence of the land that produced it.

Planted with some of the oldest Cariñena vines in Priorat, Ferrer Bobet’s 15 hectares around the town of Porrera consist of dramatically steep, terraced vineyards that are organically managed and located within the highest and coolest hills of the region. Winemaker Raül Bobet is driven by a passion to make distinctive wines, which are unique expressions of Priorat’s terroir, characterised by their ultra-silky tannins and refreshing acidity. His hard work and dedication has resulted in Ferrer Bobet being regarded as one of the most successful new wineries in Spain.

In 2008, the first two wines, Ferrer Bobet ‘Vinyes Velles’ 2005 and Ferrer Bobet ‘Selecció Especial Vinyes Velles’ 2005, were released, made with grapes from some of the oldest vines in Priorat. Porrera is one of the coolest parts of the region, thanks largely to the marked influence of northeasterly winds, with a subtle moderating effect from the Mediterranean and its topography, characterized by some of the highest and steepest vineyards in the appellation. These factors combine to create strong temperature variations between night and day, which guarantee optimal phenolic ripening and the preservation of acidity, freshness and aromas. Likewise, its multiple aspects create a rich diversity of mesoclimates and offer the opportunity to create wines of particular complexity and depth. At Ferrer Bobet, all of this is combined with almost exclusively black schist soils, known locally as “Llicorella”, which are a feature of only the top vineyards in Priorat and play such a key part in the unique personality of these wines

Their Wines

A hugely exciting project from Raül Bobet, following on from his role of Technical Director at Torres. In 2001, whilst searching for land in the foothills of the Catalan Pyrenées, Raül discovered a stunning estate at 1,000m above sea level dating back to the 12th century. Farming organically, he chose to densely plant 23 hectares with Riesling, Pinot Noir, Albariño, Sauvignon, Sémillon, Syrah and classic Bordeaux varieties. 

Soils are mainly limestone, low in organic matter, hold excellent sun exposure, coupled with significant day / night temperature variations, ensuring fine ripeness allied to racy acidity. Harvested by hand in 10kg boxes. Raül was inspired by his discovery of 9 medieval rock fermenters in the vineyards, embedded in the rocky hillsides and cut out by 12th century monks who guarded the Pyrenees frontier from the Moors advance. He restored them back into full working order and now ferments several of his wines in them. Other wines are fermented in either oak barrels or stainless steel. Plenty of blending options exist in order to give fine aromatic complexity. The wines are bottled unfiltered. 

Respect for the environment is central to Raül’s philosophy, throughout all viticultural / vinification processes. The winery is specifically designed so that all transfers of wine are actioned by gravity. The lowest possible impact on the environment is the aim. The results are amazing: high natural acidity, crystalline purity, superb length and mouth feel, with both reds and whites receiving a great deal of richly deserved critical praise.

Raül’s motivation to fashion wines of individuality, expression and ultimate quality never ceases. The experimentation and the discovery of what is or might be possible continues to provide the challenges he craves.

Their Wines