95 Points, Wine Adovcate

REVIEWS

" ... a blend of 55% Garnacha and the rest Carinena from vineyards planted in 1902 on slate slopes. The wine has the power, concentration and balance of the old vines and is a textbook Priorat with those alluring aromas of wet slate and ripe blackberries.

2010 seems like a very successful year for the wines of Mas Doix which are powerful and reflect their origin but show very good balance. The old vine cuvee is a really profound Priorat." Wine Advocate, 95 Points

WHY WE'RE DRINKING IT
  • VARIETAL
    Red Blend
  • APPELLATION
    Priorat, Spain
  • ALCOHOL
    14.50%
  • SIZE
    750ml

Mas Doix has quickly become one of the benchmark properties of the Priorat, crafting exceptional wines with amazing press. Since 2001, the Mas Doix old-vine flagship cuvee (Costers de Vinyes Velles) has received (8) 94-98 point ratings from the Wine Advocate. Only a handful of producers from the Priorat have claim to this and Mas Doix doesn't look like their going to drop the ball anytime soon.

This needs to be on your "collection mantle" … a masterpiece for the category. Pentrating and powerful with a bevy of aromatics, spice laden fruit and minerality to put your mouth into hedonistic submission. As with the Rhone and Bordeaux, 2010 is a slam dunk vintage in the Priorat. Overall the wines are concentrated and balanced with ample acidity to age gracefully in the cellar.

I tasted this release at the importer's West Coast trade event this past spring. I made sure to taste this early on to access its quality before palate fatigued would set in. It was a hard act to follow. Gorgeous black and inky fruit is laden with rich minerality with gobs of black fruit and brandied cherry elements. Holiday baking spices with star anise brings on the exotic. To say the wine is layered is an understatement. It was one of my top 3-Priorats of the tasting!

The 2010 "Costers de Vinyes Velles" is about equal parts Garancha (Grenache) and Carinena (Carignane) planted on 100% schist soils (black slate). All sourced from a vineyard planted back in 1902 although some of the vines have been replanted. The average age of the vines is between 80 to 105 years of age.

The Priorat has established itself as one of the leading growing regions in the world on par with the Rhone Valley, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Piedmont and probably edges out Spain's iconic Rioja district. I have no trouble turning this wine onto a wide range of collectors from the folks who love the extraction of Napa Cabs and Aussie Shirazes to the collectors that sway to the "Old-World" with allegiances towards Northern Rhone Valley and Bordeaux. At the end of the day, this beauty is in a class all its own! Viva Espana!

THE STORY TO KNOW

Almost all of the cellars in the Priorat are new creations. Behind many of them are venerable families who can trace their history in the region back centuries. Few, however, can claim an ancestor who was an early proponent of the region and its wines. Juan Extrems Doix made wines in Poboleda in the 19th century that won awards in Paris and Barcelona and he is the inspiration for his descendants who revived  this tradition in 1998 – Mas Doix.

Mas Doix is the project of two related families, the Doix and Llagostera who farm 19 hectares  of vines near the village of Poboleda. They cultivate six sites of which three lend their names to cuvées at the estate: Crestes, Salanques and Doix. Crestes is the “youngest” site with a combination of 50 year old Carinyena and Garnacha with 20 year old Garnacha and Syrah. Salanques features 70 to 90 year old Carinyena and Garnacha. Finally Doix, the oldest vineyard at the property, is planted with Carinyena vines dating back to 1902 with Garnacha planted a few decades later that. This is the source for both the Doix and 1902 cuvées. At harvest the grapes are brought to the cellar and fermented in stainless steel tanks with macerations ranging from 18 to 35 days followed by aging in French oak. These are powerful yet elegant wines showing the depth of old-vine fruit.

PERFECT PAIRINGS

Bring on the t-bone steak!