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Priorat - Clos Mogador & Clos Figueras

Clos Mogador
René Barbier led the original Priorat movement, proving that exciting and unique fine wines could be made in this forgotten corner of Spanish Catalonia. At Clos Mogador, he nursed back to life abandoned old vineyards planted on steep schist hillsides, where the ancient Grenache and Carignan vines had learnt to struggle against the aridity by sending roots 25 metres down in search of water and nutrients, yielding less than 10 hectolitres per hectare of intense, concentrated and supercomplex juice. The estate became firmly established as the number one address in the appellation, with a bulging press book to back this claim. But Clos Mogador is much more, a thriving ecosystem and a celebration of biodiversity, a blueprint for living "terroir." Robert Parker once said of Clos Mogador that the wines are "stunning examples of what Spain can produce but so rarely does". Located in Gratallops, the Clos Mogador team work 50 hectares of vineyards, some of which have 100 year old vines. Meticulous care is taken over every aspect of the vinification and ageing process. René Barbier is a pupil of Jean-Claude Berrouet, the winemaker at Château Pétrus. Enormous attention is given to every detail. The wine is manipulated as little as possible, and then only by gravity, with the cool winter temperatures making all forms of clarification unnecessary. The wines of Clos Mogador are simply a must for any serious Spanish wine aficionado.

Clos Figueras
The site of the Clos Figueras vineyard is magnificent with sweeping views over towards the Ebro river valley and the mountains of Bajo Aragon beyond. To the rear looms the massif Montsant mountain range and the famous Hermita hill, topped by an ancient and still inhabited chapel. Clos Figueras ranks with the leading names of the appellation and has the classic 'llicorella' soil, in the famous Gratallops zone of the Priorat appellation.The poor schist soil maintains production at an extremely low level while the vineyards are tended with ecology in mind and as little intervention as possible. Close neighbours include Clos Mogador, Clos Martinet, L'Ermita and Clos Erasmus. The property was acquired in October 1997 by Charlotte and Christopher Cannan on the recommendation of René Barbier. From the original vineyard a small plot of old Carignan vines was saved. The remainder was replanted with Grenache, Syrah, a very small quantity of Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvedre and Viognier. The second purchase included some 2 500 old vines Carignan and Grenache, some of which are more than 60 years old. Later some Touriga Nacional, Grenache Blanc and Chenin Blanc was added. The final blends, with the various grape varieties, are chosen by Christopher Cannan with the advice of Alain Graillot of Rhone Valley fame.

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