Clos Mogador Priorat 2018  Front Label
Clos Mogador Priorat 2018  Front LabelClos Mogador Priorat 2018  Front Bottle Shot

Clos Mogador Priorat 2018

  • RP98
750ML / 14.5% ABV
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750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This very particular vintage, with an atypical profile, throughout the Priorat without any other comparable year, is summed up by its freshness, its balance with good acidity. We immediately find the aromas of the garrigue of the estate, the vapor of the rain falling on the hot slate, the bitter black olives dear to the whole family. Being at the beginning of its life, the primary aromas, especially on red and black fruits, are the most present. Combining intensity and finesse, this vintage is a freeze-frame of the biotope of the plots that surround Clos Mogador. The styles of vinification which evolve on more flexible maturing, in foudres, make the wine more accessible, more digestible for tasting when young.

By its depth and finesse, this wine calls for gastronomy. Throughout its life, it will marry perfectly with the animals and wild fruits that one finds around the Domaine, in particular game. These are the oppositional accords, these magnificent accords between the raw side of the meat and the sensation of freshness of the wine on the palate, this minerality that makes you salivate. At first, we prefer wild poultry, like a pigeon in a crust of aromatic herbs. Then, if you let this nectar evolve, game accompanied by black olives or melanosporum truffle will make a perfect match.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The flagship 2018 Clos Mogador is a blend of 45% Garnacha, 29% Cariñena, 16% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon that fermented with natural yeasts and showcases their philosophy—slow fermentations with long maceration and long aging. It matured for 18 months in 2,000-liter oak vats and 30% in 300-liter oak barrels. There was a lot of rain in 2018, and the vineyards were extremely happy and everything seemed very easy; in fact, René Barbier told me it was perhaps too easy... It's an atypical year: It has a gentle profile, and the wines are not as concentrated as those from 2013 (the last rainy year before 2018)—they are more elegant and nuanced. This should develop beautifully in bottle.
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Clos Mogador

Clos Mogador

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Clos Mogador, Spain
Clos Mogador René Barbier Winery Image
René Barbier led the original Priorat movement, proving that exciting and unique fine wines could be made in this forgotten corner of Spanish Catalonia. At Clos Mogador, he nursed back to life abandoned old vineyards planted on steep schist hillsides, where the ancient Grenache and Carignan vines had learnt to struggle against the aridity by sending roots 25 metres down in search of water and nutrients, yielding less than 10 hectolitres per hectare of intense, concentrated and supercomplex juice. The estate became firmly established as the number one address in the appellation, with a bulging press book to back this claim. But Clos Mogador is much more, a thriving ecosystem and a celebration of biodiversity, a blueprint for living "terroir."

Robert Parker once said of Clos Mogador that the wines are "stunning examples of what Spain can produce but so rarely does". This is more true now than ever, because compared with the large numbers of ambitious "alto espreccion" Spanish wines that have come on stream these last few years, Mogador has not just concentration and complexity, but also energy, vitality and a genuine soul.

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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 red 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 resulting in a wide variety of red wine styles. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a red wine blend 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.

How to Serve Red Wine

A common piece of advice is to serve red wine at “room temperature,” but this suggestion is imprecise. After all, room temperature in January is likely to be quite different than in August, even considering the possible effect of central heating and air conditioning systems. The proper temperature to aim for is 55° F to 60° F for lighter-bodied reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller-bodied wines. How much does this matter?

How Long Does Red Wine Last?

Once opened and re-corked, a bottle stored in a cool, dark environment (like your fridge) will stay fresh and nicely drinkable for a day or two. There are products available that can extend that period by a couple of days. As for unopened bottles, optimal storage means keeping them on their sides in a moderately humid environment at about 57° F. Red wines stored in this manner will stay good – and possibly improve – for anywhere from one year to multiple decades. Assessing how long to hold on to a bottle is a complicated science. If you are planning long-term storage of your reds, seek the advice of a wine professional.

FBR127616_2018 Item# 723383

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