A visit to the Clos Mogador

In the late 1970s, René Barbier III and his wife, Isabelle Meyer sought out a new path in Priorat. Starting in an old warehouse outside of Gratallops for a cellar, with several friends they began replanting terraces and recuperating old ones to eventually have their first release in 1989 as Clos Mogador. This name comes from a novel written by an aunt named, Élisabeth Barbier called, “Les Gens de Mogador” (“The people of Mogador”) which chronicles the rise and fall of a family from near Avignon in France on an imaginary estate called, Mogador.

Photo by VinologueLike many of the Big Five original wineries in Priorat, Clos Mogador didn’t offer public tours officially. But they changed their minds a little while back when then realized that while not giving tours to the public, they were given tours all the time anyways and why not make it a more structured aspect for fans of their wines. While working on our new Priorat guide, we tagged along for a tour that was given by René Barbier III. It started out with piling in to one of the minibuses that they have to drive around the vineyards. It was a windy day and while the scenery was brilliant and the sun perfect, we and this group of Brazilians mainly huddled in the minibus while René talked about the history and what they’ve been doing with their resplendent terraces over the years.

Once back to the winery, we followed along for the tour of the cellar going through their various production rooms where they’ve been making vintages for the last two and a half decades. It’s a medley of different systems that have all had their place at various points throughout the years. They’re always wanting to try new things as shown by a couple of concrete “eggs” in one corner for aging.

Photo by VinologueWe finished up with their rather striking barrel aging room that’s set against the slate bedrock and then René took us upstairs for the tasting. It was a great mix of their various wines, including the “Vuit” project that’s comprised of eight people making wine in Priorat who come together to make this one wine. Below is the review of their flagship wine and for the rest, check out their very extensive profile in the guide.

Clos Mogador 2008 is the first and so far the only certified “Vi de Finca” in Spain, a similar certification to that of Grand Cru in France. It has dark, sultry fruits with a touch of prune to it in the nose. Light on the palate and elegant as hell, it dances across the fruits elements. The body is meaty, nearly chewy, but stops just short before bringing up the lingering acids in the finish with floral, violet hints coming in to play as it decants. 14.5% 60€