Mas Doix – 1902
For anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of visiting Mas Doix (pronounced doash) up in Poboleda, it’s a worthwhile trip. You’ll get someone in the family who will show you around and odds are that it will be Valentí who is both a charming and gracious host. My first experience when researching the first edition of the Priorat book in 2012 had Valentí take us up in to the hills just outside of the village to see their old vineyards and then share a bit of coca while running through a tasting their current vintages ending with the top of the line, Doix which a 55/45 blend of Carignan and Grenache.
At the time, it was one of those visits you wish didn’t end and we left with a wonderfully orchestrated symphony of flavors on our palates. Shortly after this they decided to release their “1902” top-of-the-top wine. This is a selection of the three best barrels of the Doix with only 850 bottles made each year. The name comes from the year that the old vineyard was planted which at the time of this writing makes it 113 years old. Not too shabby and even less so by the fact that it’s old vine Carignan which, at this age is unlike anything you’re accustomed to tasting.
With the release of the second edition of the book imminent, I realized that a personal visit to get a hit of this wine should be in order. Finding Valentí during the recent Poboleda Vins event he relented and we sat down in the tasting room when he had a moment between guests. Naturally the wine didn’t disappoint which is a general theme of the Mas Doix wines. The price however isn’t something for the feint of heart clocking in at 200€ a bottle. This definitely puts it out of my general drinking reach as well as for many other people but if you do indeed have the means or want something very special, it’s worth checking out.
It’s important to note that Valentí “insisted” that I taste the Mas Doix 1999, 2001, 2007, and 2010 vintages as well. I don’t see this option on their visit options but if he offers, pounce quickly and open your mouth wide for some “wow”.
Aromas of cocoa powder, orange peel, chocolate, and forest floor. Rich in the mouth and full with bold tannins, yet still elegant and fresh. A marvelous selection of an already marvelous wine.
100% Carignan 15% 200€
Ancestral Wine Cellar - Khikhvi 2014 95
First harvest of Khikhvi. Light apricot notes, peach skin, lemon peel. Citric in the mouth, fresh, lively acidity, vibrant. Very holistic, full and deliciously good.
100% Khikhvi · 12% · 30GEL
Petriaant Marani - Khikhvi 2015 94
Bruised red apple, touch of lemon peel, limestone minerality, and some white pepper notes at the back of it. High acidity and full in the mouth. Luscious, involving, elegant wine.
100% Khikhvi · 14% · 25GEL
Domaine Augustin - Adéodat Blanc 2016 93
Lemon and white peach, strong kick of salinity, and toasted notes. Very fleshy and full on the palate, peach notes more prominent as well as Meyer lemon, medium plus acidity and a lengthy finish.
100% Grenache Gris · 14.5% · 20EUR
AA Badenhorst - Secateurs Red Blend 2012 93
Forest bramble with ripe red fruit, touches of cherry, ripe red plum, tiny bit of prune, cumin, anise, black licorice, wet cement mineral note, underlying fig jam. Crisp medium plus acidity, medium tannins, medium plus length, medium alcohol, overall medium plus body that’s ripe and lively but super fresh and balanced at the same time. Bit of rugged wildness to it but doesn’t get out of hand. Easy to drink but with just enough underlying complexity so that it stays interesting.
56% Syrah 27% Cinsaut 6% Grenache 4% Cabernet Sauvignon 7% "Others" · 13.5% · 12EUR
Domaine Treloar - Motus 2015 93
Dark ruby, minor rim. Big, mighty bouquet of red cherry and other brambly forest fruit, vanilla, almond blossom, orange peel, and cocoa. Rich and full on the palate with a wealth of tannins still integrating, leading into a crunchy, lingering finish.
80% Mourvèdre 10% Syrah 10% Grenache · 14% · 14EUR
Domaine of the Bee - Cuvée 2015 93
Ruby with minor garnet rim. Rich red fruits with an underpinning of ripe plum, orange peel, licorice, cocoa. Broad, round tannins with a touch of toast and sweet cocoa in a long finish. Manages to stay very light on the palate despite the higher alcohol.
50% Grenache 50% Carignan · 15% · 25EUR
Tchotiashvili - Khikhvi 2014 93
Apricot, yellow peach, orange peel, and a touch of honey. Quite complex aromatically. Orchard fruit much more prevalent in the mouth with young apricot notes. Rich and elegant, touch of astringency in the finish.
100% Khikhvi · 13.1% · 28GEL
Domaine Augustin - Adéodat Rouge 2015 92
Medium ruby. Fresh red cherry, raspberry, and young strawberry, lifted and breathy, saline tinge along with light stoniness and rosemary and garrigue. Fresh red fruit on the palate, medium acidity but still light on the palate, fresh, and while the alcohol sticks out a little, holds and excellent, long finish.
Grenache Carignan Mourvèdre · 14.5% · 20EUR
Domaine Fontanel - Prieuré 2014 92
Dense ruby with brick flecks. Crisp red fruits, lifted by a waft of volatility making for a light nose with a spicy licorice and leather component. Crisp and lively with red cherry fruit in the mouth and a nudge over medium acidity. Nice, lingering finish.
50% Syrah 25% Grenache 25% Mourvèdre · 14.5%
Cave Abbé Rous - Cornet & Cie Blanc 2016 92
Peach, orange peel & blossom, honey, dried apricot, and a hint of green apple. Very nicely balance in the mouth, green apple notes more prevalent, medium plus acidity and a lengthy finish. Fresh, lively, very pleasing wine to drink.
60% Grenache Gris 25% Grenache Blanc 5% Marsanne 5% Roussanne 5% Vermentino · 14.5%