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Clos Figueres Priorat 2013

  • RP93
750ML / 0% ABV
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Intense black fruit bouquet and licorice scent follows the Mediterranean forest aromas, with some spicy and minty notes well integrated.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
The 2013 Clos Figueres could very well be the freshest and more elegant vintage of this wine to date. It's mostly Garnacha and old-vine Cariñena with just a touch of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon fermented in new 500-liter French oak barrels where it matured for some 14-16 months. It combines the Mediterranean aromatic herbs (rosemary, thyme, lavender) with some rusticity that transported me to the landscape of Priorat and enough freshness to nicely balance the concentration and the tannins. It's a fresh Priorat with character and elegance.
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Clos Figueres

Clos Figueres

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Clos Figueres, Spain
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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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Priorat

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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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Other Red Blends

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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.

GSW4439_2013_2013 Item# 353713