Mas d'en Gil Bellmunt Priorat 2011 Front Label
Mas d'en Gil Bellmunt Priorat 2011 Front Label

Mas d'en Gil Bellmunt Priorat 2011

  • RP91
750ML / 0% ABV
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  • RP90
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Mas d'en Gil's most direct expression of Priorat, from vines averaging 14 years old. Primarily Garnacha together with Carinena and Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 10 months in used French oak. Remarkably clean and fresh for its weight with evolving spice notes, lingering fruit and minerality on the balanced finish.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The village red 2011 Bellmunt has benefited from time in bottle, something most of the Priorat reds for this level don't have (you have to give it to them). It's an assemblage of Garnacha ( 60%) Cariñena ( 20%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (20%) that fermented in stainless steel and matured in different-sized, well-seasoned oak barrels and vats. I haven't found many 2011s with red fruit aromas, and even less when they have such percentage of Garnacha that had a tendency to show riper aromas in that warm vintage, so this is exceptional. The medium-bodied palate shows the polishing of the bottle aging, fine tannins and good acidity. It was bottled in March 2013. This represents very good value in Priorat.
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Mas d'en Gil

Mas d'en Gil

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Mas d'en Gil, Spain
Mas d'en Gil Winery Image
Mas d'en Gil is the historic name of a preeminent 312-acre estate in Priorat with a winemaking history of over 300 years. For most of the twentieth century it was known as Masía Barril, purchased in the 1930s by Rafael Barril, and was among the three principal progenitors of modern Priorat along with Scala Dei and de Müller. Under these auspices, Classical Wines had introduced the estate's wines to the US market in the 1980s. Thus we celebrate a 'homecoming' of sorts.

The Rovira family of Vilafranca del Penedés, with long experience in the Spanish wine trade, acquired Masía Barril in 1998 from Rafael Barril's widow Magdalena and proceeded to conserve and upgrade the vineyards and facilities, reapplying the original name. The estate is farmed organically and includes multiple crops and forest, with vineyards constituting just 30% of the surface area.

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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.

WWH139526_2011 Item# 148347

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