What: Vi de Taula, Conca de Barbera.
Where: Blancafort, Tarragona, Catalonia.
When: Since 2008.
Jordi Llorens is an eighth generation farmer who started making wine in 2008 and commercialised his first natural wines with the 2012 vintage, partly encouraged by his near neighbour in the Conca de Barbera region, Joan Ramon Escoda. Where the wines of Escoda bubble with energy, those of Jordi express a pure calm.
He’s based in Blancafort, a small, quiet, ancient village, off the beaten track, and surrounded by hills and forest in the beautiful Conca de Barbera region 15km from Montblanc.
Jordi’s family have been farmers of vines and other crops like almonds, olives and livestock since 1779. Jordi himself has been involved with a passion in sustainable farming initiatives for many years.
He farms around 16 hectares of vines in 6 different locations and produces around 12,000 bottles, mostly native Parellada and Macabeu, some Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, in several different locations around the village at various elevations from 400 to 650m all on basically limestone soils. He practises bio-dynamics in the vineyard and cellar and the results of very visible when visiting his vines where the soils look rich and alive, the vines green and full. The elevations, and proximity to the Mediterranean, mean that hot days are balanced by fresh nights. Jordi lets grasses and flowers thrive in order to promote bio-diversity for soil health, balance in the vineyard, and complexity in the wines.
His cellar was from 2008 to 2017 a garage in the back streets opposite the family home, a tiny space, rammed with several tanks and amphora and barrels, through which we squeezed to taste the wines. In 2017 he built a new cellar replete with 10 underground clay jars mostly used for the white wines and which will bring some new aspects to the wines.
He works minimally in the cellar, using only natural yeasts to ferment and no additives whatsoever, no sulfites, nor processes like filtration. Hygiene is paramount and his wines always express fruit purity, elegance and finesse, as well as complexity, subtlety and freshness.
Jordi wears the calm and cool resistance of an old farming family. He’s ever polite and courteous. Yet he’s also fully engaged, curious, vocal in expressing a love of his craft, most particularly in the vines, and increasingly excited by the results he’s mastering in the cellar, ever learning. He’s finally a very enjoyable dinner companion.