In the work of Diccionari dels Noms dels Ceps i Raïms from Xavier Favà and published by the Institute of Catalan Studies in the year 2001 the entry about Morenillo says that is an ingrained variety and documented in the region of Terres de l’Ebre an above all in villages like Gandesa and Vilalba dels Arcs.
Morenillo is a native variety from Terra Alta, recognized as a variety since the end of 2018. However there are several wineries have started to bet for this variety almost forgotten and lost becoming as a symbol of innovation and quality. The wineries, Piñol, Bàrbara Forés and Vins del Tros have been the pioneers in the recovery of this variety and other wineries have followed the way such as Bernaví, Celler Cooperatiu Gandesa and Lafou. Most of these wineries coincide to tell that the peasants took out the vineyards of Morenillo because it had irregular production and little colouring. It is a late variety that the most producers picked up mixed with other varieties and nobody gave it importance and it doesn’t appear that it had been vinified separately.
The bet of this wineries offering an interesting and high quality products with this variety can serve to enlarge the production and the interest for it. Over the years we will know if this variety will be the genuine red variety that will position Terra Alta in the markets as in the case of White Grenache in white wines.
The characteristics of Morenillo in the field are:
It is said that there are between 10 and 20ha of Morenillo vineyards distributed among Gandesa, Batea and Vilalba dels Arcs. New plantations have now appeared.
The grains of this grape are blue lead.
Morenillo in the cellar:
Low yield in grape must.
Excellent balance between alcohol and acidity.
Good intensity of fruit (red ripe fruit), balsamic and spicy notes.
On the mouth it is silky with soft tannins.
In summary, we can observe its low and irregular yield caused that this variety had been aimed disappearing completely,although thanks to the efforts of several winemakers have discovered more than interesting elements for its winemaking.
Here’s a list of bottles which are made by Morenillo:
Finca Morenillo from Celler Piñol (100% Morenillo)
Mather Teresina from Celler Piñol (30% Morenillo)
21 Ventuno from Bernaví (70% Morenillo)
Puresa Morenillo from Celler Cooperatiu Gandesa (100% Morenillo)
Lo Morenillo from Vins del Tros (100% Morenillo)
Lo Moreno from Vins del Tros (100% Morenillo)
Negreita from Bernaví (50% Morenillo)
El Templari from Bàrbara Forés (70% Morenillo)
LaFou El Sender from LaFou Celler (10% Morenillo)