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All wine, most of the time

White and red Mogadors

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Priorat 2011, Nelin, Clos Mogador ($65.00, 12159140)
The number and proportion of grape varieties in this blend vary from vintage to vintage, though Grenache Blanc always dominates. The 2011 is 52% Grenache Blanc, the balance being mostly Macabeo with a little Viognier and Escanyavelles (or Escanyo Velles, about which I have found no information, not even in Wine Grapes or the new, fourth edition of the Oxford Companion to Wine). The farming is organic. Fermented with native yeasts in oak barrels and wooden vats. Matured 16 months in 1,200-litre oak vats and 600-litre lined concrete vats. Bottled in December 2012. About 8,000 bottles made. Reducing sugar (per winemaker): 1.2 g/l. 14% ABV. Quebec agent: Divin Paradis.
A nose as surprising as it is complex and savoury: game (!), “toasted sesame” (quoting another taster), seaweed, vineleaf, “white miso,” white flowers, golden raisin, resin. Rich and elegant on the palate, weighty but not heavy. The pure fruit – ripe but not sweet – is lightly infused with minerals and herbs, buoyed by welcome acidity. Finishes long and faintly honeyed. Impeccable. (Buy again? Irrespective of price, sure. In real life, it’s a little rich for my budget, especially when equally interesting, similarly styled blends can be had for significantly less from the likes of Domaine Matassa.)

Priorat 2010, Manyetes, Clos Mogador ($89.00, 12159131)
Organically farmed Carignan (90%) and Grenache (10%). Matured 16 months in assorted oak barrels (half new, half second-fill). About 7,000 bottles made. Reducing sugar (per the winemaker): 0.2 g/l. 14.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Divin Paradis.
The nose is dominated by volatile acidity, which, despite two hours’ decanting, does not blow off. Through the VA veil one catches glimpses of red and black fruit, slate and dark spice. In the mouth, it’s full-bodied and intense, finely if tightly structured with lithe tannins and sleek acidity. The dark mineral core and buttressing oak are mostly cloaked by dark fruit, albeit less so on the finish. Breadth and length it has in spades but depth is only hinted at. Monolithic, brooding, even a little sullen for now though the potential is not in doubt. Virtually demands a few years in the cellar or, failing that, carafing hours in advance. (Buy again? If price is no object and if the superlative and even pricier flagship isn’t available, sure.)

MWG July 16th tasting: flight 6 of 6.

Though the conceit of serving flights comprised of a white and a red from the same producer was interesting to put to the test and undoubtedly provided a novel set of clues for those tasting double blind, several tasters said they found it difficult to return to the white after tasting the red.

Written by carswell

October 4, 2015 at 15:19

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