After studying oenology at university Ester Nin settled in Priorat in 2000 began working for Mas Martinet. She now works as viticulturist for Daphne Glorian at Clos i Terraces. But in 2003 she began a side project called Nit de Nin, buying a 1.5 hectare high altitude plot of vines growing in blue and black slate on a north facing slope.
Charles Ortiz had moved to the region from Barcelona and owned 18 hectares of vines in Finca las Planetes which he had bought in 1998, the grapes from which he sought to sell, in part to Clos I Terraces. It was at Clos I terraces that Ester and Charles met and out of that gestated the Family Nin-Otiz Label.
The first wine - from Planetes - was produced was in 2008. Now they produce five different Priorats and two wines from further afield in Penedes.
There are no terraced vineyards here. The slopes, located called costers - must as a result be worked by man and mule. High density planting is used for the Carignan used in the partida Planetes cuvee, which they believe gives smaller grapes and allows fo the inclusion of stems during fermentation.
Of the Priorats the two tops level wines are Mas en cacador and Coma d’en Romeu - these both from old vines. From younger vines three different Planetes are made.
There is a recognition that the types of shist in Priorat vary greatly. In Planetes the schist has more iron - giving a deeper wine with spice notes. Under Mas d’en Calcador the shist includes layers of clay and as a result is more friable. Coma d’en Remeu is different again, the shist having and browner tone and containg more silica.
The estate is organic. Grapes are a mix of Grenache, Carignan and a grape that appears to be a blend of the two called Garnacha Peluda. Maceration is a long four or five weeks with carefully sorted grapes, with particular focus on eliminating any raised grapes. Punch downs are once per day. Aging is in 3000L Foudre for the Partida, whereas Nin de Nin is in barrels of varying sizes. Some wine is aged in amphorae.
The superb 2020 Planetes de Nin Clàssic is very elegant and ethereal the finest vintage for this cuvée from four hectares in Porrera which in 2020 the year of mildew was 69% Garnacha Tinta 12% Garnacha Peluda and 19% Cariñena. The grapes fermented with full clusters and stems with indigenous yeasts in 3200-liter oak foudres where the wine matured for 18 months. It was bottled into 9432 bottles in September 2022. Brilliant! The Nin-Ortiz family have built their winery in their Planetes Vineyard in the limit between Falset and Porrera. When the whites are harvested they keep the boxes with the bunches in a cold storage for one or two days then press the bunches and let the must settle and then they fill the barrels the next day. They started experimenting with some skin contact in 2019 (one barrel) and continued with a little more in the following vintages varying the length of the maceration; they started with five and went up to 15 and then the wines are in barrel for eight months. They use barrels from different coopers and ages. The reds are produced in different ways but all the old vines are 100% full clusters; the young-vine Garnacha is destemmed and Cariñena is also full cluster. Each parcel has its fermentation vat the young one in stainless steel and the rest in oak. Indigenous yeasts are used with all the wines and they us as little sulfur as possible. All their vineyards are certified organic and they don't buy any grapes but they don't have the seals for the certifications because it's a lot of paperwork (and money!). They are in the process of getting Cariñena Blanca approved for the Priorat appellation. 2020 was the year of mildew (700 liters of rain!) but they "only" lost 25% of the crop by working a lot in the vineyard; it's a year they say they'll never forget. For them 2020 is not a warm year; the skins were perfect and the wines were super aromatic from the day they started fermenting in the winery. For them it's an exceptional vintage the most Burgundian vintage since they started. 2019 was a warm year a classical vintage that resulted in more powerful wines but a heat wave in August burned some grapes (15% of loss) and it affected Cariñena more than Garnacha. And the same plants that were affected by the heat wave were also more affected by the mildew and it also had a more devastating result on Cariñena than on Garnacha. In 2021 they had 70 centimeters of rain in January so the vines had water and were rested and there was a huge crop. The summer was dry but at the end of August it started raining . . . and the grapes wouldn't ripen. Alcohol levels were down and many asked the appellation to lower the requested limit of 13% in whites 13.5% in reds . . . but they wouldn't allow it. The wines have more acidity and lower alcohol and should age nicely. They work in Priorat and in the Pla de Manlleu zone of Penedès where Nin is from (but there without appellation of origin) and this is how they introduce themselves: "We only work with our own vineyards and bottle by parcels to preserve the identity of the place and soils. We do not buy grapes in order to guarantee that all our wines are made with 100% certified organic grapes. We are part of 'La Renaissance des Appellations' as a qualitative seal of biodynamic viticulture in order to obtain healthy grapes without residues which allows us to make spontaneous fermentations without adding SO2 during the fermentation."