2010 Clos Mogador, Priorat
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Rene Barbier (Junior) kindly put together a blend of the five barrels that will go to constitute the 2010 Clos Mogador. It has a stricter, fresher bouquet than the 2009, with great minerality and sparkling precision. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannins and wonderful purity. It exhibits notes of dark cherries, crushed stone, slate and touches of thyme and white pepper towards the finish, which has immense precision and focus. This is going to be a razor-sharp Clos Mogador – do not wait to place your order! Clos Mogador needs no introduction. Rene Barbier was a pupil of Jean-Claude Berrouet and is one of the “founding fathers” in Priorat as part of the “Gratallops group.” I met him for the first time at his home, located at the bottom of a never-ending winding dirt track and surrounded by vines. He was accompanied by his wife and energetic son, also named Rene and married to Sara Perez (see Mas Martinet.) Their 20-hectare dry farmed, vineyard is located on schistous slate and quartz soil (llicorella) and planted with 40% Garnacha (80-year-old vines) , 20% Carinena, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Syrah. The wine is raised in Nevers and Allier oak with minimal intervention.
René Barbier is one of a handful of winemakers who who helped revive Spain's Priorat as one of the founding members of what came to be called the "Gratallops group." He and others, including Alvaro Palacios and Carles Pastrana, began restoring eight vineyard sites high in the Siurana Valley in the 1980s, replanting primarily Garnacha and Cariñena in the poor slaty soils. The wines that resulted have become some of the most sought after from Spain. Barbier's Clos Mogador is earthier, stonier than the others, with the blend including Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon in addition to the aforementioned varietals. And while other wineries in the region often include Syrah in their blends, Barbier's contains the most, perhaps as a nod to his roots in the southern Rhône. Intense and ageworthy, it's amazing you can still buy a wine from this star of Priorat for such a reasonable price when compared to high profile wines from other great wine regions such as Bordeaux or the Napa Valley.