Clos Mogador is one of the finest wines made in Spain.
A single-vineyard wine, by legal qualification, it is one of the most highly-awarded and celebrated expressions of terroir and wine-making that has ever come out of Spain.
Made as the reserve wine of the estate, this has been one of the flagship wines and chief protagonist in the meteoric rise of Priorat as an entire region. The significance of the achiemevent can't really be overstated; even with the same focus and quality, the project started in 1979 is growing at an evolutionary pace and the produce of the estate is in as high a demand now as it has ever been.
The 2018 vintage resulted in a wine that was a very elemental reflection of the terroir and ethos. Though atypical in its increased freshness and acidity, this is a wine that will live for decades, upheld by that firm, supporting acidity. With depth and finesse, it is a spectacular food wine.
The nose opens with garrigue notes of wild herbs and spice, leading to the broad yet intense and full-bodied palate that is loaded with plum, red and black fruit flavours. You might expect this to be too young to enjoy, but the 'flexible' aging regime allows for the wine to be properly open, even in youth - it's one of the very positive by-products of the family's extraordinary philosophy.
The first hectares of the vineyards were bought by the Barbier family in 1979 and are a spectacular vision of wavy contour lines cut into steep hills over a 20-hectare zone that the family still farm. This variance in exposure to weather elements through direction and altitude means that there is a superb range of vine potential throughout the land that requires expert management. But, like a box of paints, the alchemy is part artistic challenge and part instinct of nature. The success of the wine clearly comes from the land and the Barbier's ability to translate this into magic in the winery.
The approach to the wine making is one of respectful tradition - they still use a manual basket press to ensure the most even extraction from the grapes, for example. Using European oak of various origins, the wine is fermented in small parcel lots on a micro-scale - again, it's so that the clarity of each parcel is maintained and the overarching ethos of seeking out the terroir is preserved. The aging in a combination of 300-litre and 2000-litre oak barrels allows for some oak intensity as well as breathing space for the wine, which, in their view is the last part of the success of the wine.
Priorat is a small region to the south of Barcelona and is one of two Spanish regions (with Rioja) that are DOCa, achieving higher status than the regular DO and DOC on account of the consistently high quality of the wines. Known for its unique soil structure, called Llicorella, the vineyards are a combination of black slate and quartz. The Barbier's vineyards at Clos Mogador are dotted with olive trees, fruit trees and at times some holm oaks and pine trees.
There are 31000 bottles produced each year, which is by all normal comparisons, a tiny volume. It is a blend of 49% Grenache (Garnatxa here), 29% Carignan (Cariñena), 16% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Available in very tiny quantities.
Grape(s): Grenache, Cinsault
Style: Svelte, Structured, Smooth, Round, Rich, Profound, Powerful, Meditation, Intense, Iconic, Full, Fruity, Elegant, Dark, Complex, Broad, Balanced
Best food matches: Wild Boar, Venison, Steak, St Stephen's Day, Soft Cheeses, Roasts, Ribs, Red Meats, Poultry, Pork, Mature Cheeses, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Grills, Game, Fine Dining, Duck, Christmas Dinner, Cheeses, Charcuterie, Beef