2018 Clos Mogador Gratallops Priorat DOCa Spain
This very particular vintage, with an atypical profile, throughout the Priorat without any other comparable year, is summed up by its freshness, its balance with good acidity. We immediately find the aromas of the garrigue of the estate, the vapor of the rain falling on the hot slate, the bitter black olives dear to the whole family. Being at the beginning of its life, the primary aromas, especially on red and black fruits, are the most present. Combining intensity and finesse, this vintage is a freeze-frame of the biotope of the plots that surround Clos Mogador. The styles of vinification which evolve on more flexible maturing, in foudres, make the wine more accessible, more digestible for tasting when young.
By its depth and finesse, this wine calls for gastronomy. Throughout its life, it will marry perfectly with the animals and wild fruits that one finds around the Domaine, in particular game. These are the oppositional accords, these magnificent accords between the raw side of the meat and the sensation of freshness of the wine on the palate, this minerality that makes you salivate. At first, we prefer wild poultry, like a pigeon in a crust of aromatic herbs. Then, if you let this nectar evolve, game accompanied by black olives or melanosporum truffle will make a perfect match.
The flagship 2018 Clos Mogador is a blend of 45% Garnacha, 29% Cariñena, 16% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon that fermented with natural yeasts and showcases their philosophy—slow fermentations with long maceration and long aging. It matured for 18 months in 2,000-liter oak vats and 30% in 300-liter oak barrels. There was a lot of rain in 2018, and the vineyards were extremely happy and everything seemed very easy; in fact, René Barbier told me it was perhaps too easy... It's an atypical year: It has a gentle profile, and the wines are not as concentrated as those from 2013 (the last rainy year before 2018)—they are more elegant and nuanced. This should develop beautifully in bottle.
Rated 98 Points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate