Clos Figueres Priorat 2003  Front Label
Clos Figueres Priorat 2003  Front LabelClos Figueres Priorat 2003  Front Bottle Shot

Clos Figueres Priorat 2003

  • RP92
750ML / 0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The stunning 2003 Clos Figueres, a blend of Grenache, Carignan, Merlot, and small dosages of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, is an elegant, beautifully knit, dense ruby/purple-hued effort displaying a sweet perfume of crushed rocks intermixed with white flowers, blue and black fruits, and a subtle touch of wood. It is a noble, racy effort with medium to full body as well as a lovely texture. As one might expect from someone who has lived in Bordeaux for over a quarter of a century, this is a wine of considerable elegance and potential longevity. Anticipated maturity: 2007-2017.
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Clos Figueres

Clos Figueres

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Clos Figueres, Spain
Clos Figueres Priorat Vines Winery Image
Christopher Cannan purchased Clos Figueres in 1997 on the advice of René Barbier of Clos Mogador. The vineyards cover some 10 hectares. There are about 2500 old Carignan and Grenache vines planted more than 20 years ago for the Clos Figueres label. The remainder, about 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, some Cabernet Sauvignon and Mourvèdre were planted in 1998 and are used for the production of Font de la Figuera. The location is just to the north of Gratallops on terraced slopes of pure schist, the soil responsible for the finest wines of Priorat. From these high terraces, the views are wonderful...in one direction the famous Ermita vineyard and the craggy Montsant mountain range behind it; in the other a long-distance vista featuring the Ebro Valley and more mountains beyond.

René Barbier's team takes care of the vineyards as well as the vinification and ageing of the wines. Clos Figueres now ranks with the best of Priorat, while the second wine, Font de la Figuera, represents remarkable value for the region. Recently, they have also launched production of a unique and exciting white Priorat, based on rich Garnacha Blanca, with 10% Viognier to add lift and aromatic complexity.

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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 hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

JZE652515_2003 Item# 652515

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