Bodegas Mas Alta Artigas Priorat 2017  Front Label
Bodegas Mas Alta Artigas Priorat 2017  Front LabelBodegas Mas Alta Artigas Priorat 2017  Front Bottle Shot

Bodegas Mas Alta Artigas Priorat 2017

  • WS94
  • W&S93
  • RP91
750ML / 0% ABV
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  • JD94
  • JS90
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Winemaker Notes

Bodegas Mas Alta, located in the village of La Vilella Alta, is a project headed by three enologists: Michel Tardieu, Philippe Cambie, and Bixente Oçafraim. Of all the cuvées produced at Mas Alta, Artigas has the highest percentage of Garnatxa (about 70%), with Cabernet Sauvignon and old-vine Carinyena making up the balance. From steeps slopes of schist in a warm terroir, Artigas is a silky and rich wine aged in French oak barrels – 1/3 new, 1/3 second fill, and 1/3 third fill.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 94
Wine Spectator
The entry level cuvée, the 2017 Artigas is mostly Grenache blended with 10% each of Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon. This medium to full-bodied beauty delivers loads of sweet raspberry fruits as well as notes of cedar, dried flowers, and chalky minerality. With ripe, silky tannins, beautiful overall balance, and a great finish, this is another incredible value from this estate that will offer loads of pleasure over the coming 7-8 years or more.
W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
Michel and Christine Vanhoutte assembled an 86.5-acre estate after the Belgian couple moved to Vilella Alta, a village in the hills of Priorat. They enlisted Michel Tardieu and Philippe Cambie to help build their cellar, and, more locally, Bixente Oçafrain, to make the wines. Artigas focuses on garnacha (70 percent), with cabernet sauvignon and old-vine carignan, the blend combining bitter red fruit notes and sweet red berry flavors in a cool, floral balance.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Tasting two vintages of the red blend Artigas showed the differences between 2017 and 2018 quite clearly. The 2017 Artigas, 80% Garnacha and 10% each Cariñena and Cabernet Sauvignon, feels riper and has harder tannins even though it's more polished and integrated by extra time in bottle.
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Bodegas Mas Alta

Bodegas Mas Alta

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Bodegas Mas Alta, Spain
Bodegas Mas Alta Bodegas Mas Alta Winery Image
Based in the traditional village of Vilella Alta, Bodegas Mas Alta is the culmination of five Belgian partners' common desire to produce a great wine. This dream is now taking shape thanks to the advice of Michel Tardieu and Philippe Cambie, and as the result of the work done by a passionate team every day.

Choice of vineyard is crucial for the production of highly expressive wines that combine character and elegance. We have planted some 35 hectares of vines since 1999 on land classified as being part of the DOQ Priorat, carefully selecting the plots in so doing. In fact most of our vineyard is planted at altitude, on slate. Depending on the plot's characteristics, we either plant varieties traditional to this region – carignan and grenache – or varieties such as cabernet sauvignon or shiraz. These young vines, whose potential quality is already very promising, represent the future of Bodegas Mas Alta: We also purchase grapes from local winegrowers, often from the village, to make our wines. These winegrowers are the custodians of Priorat's traditional heritage.
In fact the essence of our vintages – old vines – comes from these winegrowers. Vines aged 50 years and more naturally produce fewer grapes, the first step towards quality wine...
Their deep, well-established roots thus enable them to achieve full maturity, consistency, less dependence on climatic conditions. It is without question the ultimate, pure expression of the terroir.

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Tiny and entirely composed of craggy, jagged and deeply terraced vineyards, Priorat is a Catalan wine-producing region that was virtually abandoned until the early 1990s. Its renaissance came with the arrival of one man, René Barbier, who recognized the region’s forgotten potential. He banded with five friends to create five “Clos” in the village of Gratallops. Their aim was to revive some of Priorat’s ancient Carignan vines, as well as plant new—mainly French—varieties. These winemakers were technically skilled, well-trained and locally inspired; not surprisingly their results were a far cry from the few rustic and overly fermented wines already produced.

This movement escalated Priorat’s popularity for a few reasons. Its new wines were modern and made with well-recognized varieties, namely old Carignan and Grenache blended with Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. When the demand arrived, scarcity commanded higher prices and as the region discovered its new acclaim, investors came running from near and far. Within ten years, the area under vine practically doubled.

Priorat’s steep slopes of licorella (brown and black slate) and quartzite soils, protection from the cold winds of the Siera de Monstant and a lack of water, leading to incredibly low vine yields, all work together to make the region’s wines unique. While similar blends could and are produced elsewhere, the mineral essence and unprecedented concentration of a Priorat wine is unmistakable.

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.

STC670845_2017 Item# 821121

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