Mas Doix "Les Crestes" Priorat 2019

Garnatxa Blend|Priorat, Spain

Ah, Priorat – that unique, magical place tucked high up in the stratosphere. Towering above the Balearic Sea about 150 km west of Barcelona, the Priorat region sits at over 1500 feet. Carthusian monks settled in these heights in the late 12th century, planting vines in the one-of-a-kind, mica-and-schist-rich llicorella soil. For nearly eight unbroken centuries wine has been made here, yet only coming to international recognition in the last thirty years or so.

Although Celler Mas Doix was founded in 1998, the family behind it traces their wine lineage in Priorat back to 1850. Based in the village of Poboleda, their vineyards boast a high percentage of the treasured llicorella soil, that wonderful blend of decomposed slate and schist responsible for conveying an irreplaceable sense of terroir in its finest wines.

In a tasting of their entire line-up, we found this “Les Crestes” the most distinctive, despite its modest price point (their different cuvées go for up to $250-plus!), with a deep, inky purple in the glass, followed with fresh and pure blue-black fruits, deep plum, minerally earth, pipe tobacco, and a bright, lip-smacking and velvety finish.

The blend of 80% Garnatxa (Grenache) with 10% each Carinyena and Syrah was fermented with ambient yeast in stainless steel, then aged in seasoned French oak for eight months before bottling unfiltered. The result is a pure, unbridled expression of Priorat terroir from a boutique leader in sustainability.

Their wines are tightly allocated, and we managed to grab but a few cases of this – more might be expected in the winter but until then, this is all we have!

Every aspect of Mas Doix’s operation is carried out with low-impact sustainability in mind: the winery itself is carved into the hillside and constructed from the excavated earth, taking advantage of natural subterranean climate control; rainwater is collected and wastewater recycled; and solar power provides much of the energy. Combine this with natural farming techniques, hand-tended every step of the way and you have “Les Crestes,” a ridiculously delicious value prop!

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