Vinya Mas Vell, Garnatxa - 2017
CONCENTRATED & BOLD
The Southward facing slopes of this single-vineyard Priorat DOQ make for an intensely ripe and fruit-forward wine. Potent but balanced and nicely textured. Dark fruits and balsamic notes, dry Mediterranean herbs, a hint of black olives, and a floral finish. As satisfying as the view from the Mas Vell ridge and its vineyards.
The Garnacha grapes come from the higher part of the Mas Vell vineyard. Located at about 1,470 feet of altitude (450 m above sea level) with a south/southeast-side orientation.
The extreme climate conditions of 2017 (very dry but cooler than normal) has resulted in a slightly fresher vintage that expresses the terroir unlike in previous years.
This is a rare wine, singular in expression, with very limited production. An authentic "Garnatxa" (Garnacha in Catalan) from the Priorat.
Annual Production: 900 bottles (ALBAE Wine Club has access to a limited number of 80 annually)
Type: Tinto (Red)
Finish: Smooth & Long
Grape Variety: 100% Garnacha
Ageing: 18 Months in 80% New French Oak. 600L barrel
Winemaker: Antoni Sánchez-Ortiz
Region: Catalunya, Tarragona
Designation of Origin (DOQ): Priorat
Micro-Climate: Continental with cooling Mediterranean sea breezes, hot summer days & cool nights. 450l average annual rainfall
Elevation: 450 meters above sea level
Age of Vines: 20 years old
Soil: 98% old slate (llicorella) & 2% granite
Viticulture / Farming: Organic Farming - Terroir Driven
• Drink now or keep for up to 8-9 years
• Decant at least 30 minutes before serving
• Pairs with Tapas, Manchego or any cheese (cow, goat or sheep), Ibérico ham, Paté or any Spreads, Poultry, Pasta or Pizza, Legumes or Meat, any stew, as well as the well known Spanish or Catalan dishes. Also most rice-based dishes but not too spicy.
• Ideal at 16/17 Celsius (Note: if you need to lower the temperature of the wine, do it before decanting it and preferably in iced water for about 7 minutes so it reaches a temperature of about 12 Celsius, which will increase to 16 degrees once decanted and at room temperature)
The Priorat, one of only two Spanish wine regions with a DOQ quality designation, lies less than 20 miles (32 Km) from the Mediterranean Sea, which serves as a major stabilizing influence on the grapes grown in its warm, arid climate.
The rugged Montsant massif of Catalonia defines the Priorat both visually and viticulturally. In this unique environment the vines must literally burrow through the crumbled rock in search of water. The Priorat’s dry, rocky soil makes for one of the most challenging landscapes anywhere in the world, but it is that distinctive characteristic that creates such an extraordinary terroir.
After hand-sorting the best bunches on the field from the upper part of the vineyard, and later sorted again in the winery, the grapes were cold-soaked for 2-3 days before beginning their slow fermentation in open-topped barrels and tanks. Gentle punch downs were performed several times daily in both tank and 600L barrels. Macerations lasted a long period, more than 30 days for an optimum flavour and tannin extraction. The free run wine was racked and the skins and stems were gently pressed, being returned to their original maceration barrels for ageing. New and 1-year old French oak 600 litre barrels were used for 18 months to host the wine before bottling, without fining or filtration.
Toni Sánchez-Ortiz has worked extensively within the context of producing world- class wines; both as a winemaker and as a viticulturist in the renowned appellation of Priorat. Paying tribute to the origins of this region, he has specialized in working with Garnatxa and Carinyena, being awarded best red wine from DO Tarragona during his stint with Cellar La Boella. He has also worked in New Zealand, Australia, California and Germany. Toni is well known for creating remarkable wines with a unique personality, and a detailed focus of expression on particular varietal and site. He lives with the conviction that great wine results from an intimate knowledge of the land. Which stems from his additional experience in vineyard management and his climate warming thesis as a PhD graduate from Universitat Rovira i Vilgili. Here he spearheaded an extensive project titled Climatic Warming and Grape and Wine Composition in the Priorat DOQ. This research and thesis continues to deepen both his knowledge and his skills as a winemaker.
9.56 Points - La Guia dels Vins de Catalunya
92 Points - Guía Peñín
91 Points - Decanter