Spain is hotbed of both traditional and modern wines, a viticultural playground for all levels of wine interest from the casual wine drinker to collectors of rare and world-class wines.
We are very proud to introduce you three of these world-class wineries; Mas Doix (sounds like “Mass Doitch”) from Spain’s Priorat region; from Toro, Bodegas Maurodos and from Castilla y León, Bodegas Mauro.
We expect arrivals to begin in November, no payment is necessary until we arrange your delivery. Feel free to forward this to anyone you know who also loves wine.
I look forward to hearing from you,
If you are not familiar with the wines and region of Priorat here are the “CliffsNotes”. Priorat is a Catalan (DOQ), not far from Barcelona. This DOQ status places it at the highest quality level in Spain, the only other being Rioja. In Rioja this designation is known as a “DOCa”.
Primarily the region produces powerful red wines from old-vines of Carignan and Grenache. What makes the region so special is the unique soils known as llicorella. This is black slate and quartz that are stratified, variable and dry. They say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and these vines drive their roots deep to find water and food and the resulting grapes are hyper-intense.
It is a region with a fairly recent ascent to stardom, yet wineries like Mas Doix have their roots in the long ago past and the vineyards here are rich in old vines. In fact the story begins in 1850. Wars, economics and phylloxera prevented 150 years of unbroken vintages, but in 1998 the Doix & Llagostera families revived their estate.
Today they are leaders in quality and their wines are becoming more and more sought-after. We are truly excited to offer you three wines to reserve, including the viticultural treasure that is the “1902 Centenary” Carignane 2012.
Mas Doix “Salanques” Priorat 2013
$72.95 per bottle, cases of 6
The Salanques vineyards are situated at a height of 350/450 meters above sea level on steeply sloping hillsides, of the characteristic slate soil “llicorella”. The Grenache and Carignane vines are between 70 and 90 years old, the Syrah are younger. The blend is 65% Grenache, 25% Carignane, 10% Syrah and the wines ages for 14 months in French oak barrels.
“Intense purplish red colour, very bright purple rim, medium-high layer and thin, well stained tears. Notable intense aromas of ripe and fresh red fruit on the nose with hints of raspberries, red currants and red cranberries, soft toasted oak, fresh balsam, mountain herbs (thyme), red peppercorns, feelings of red fruit and cherry candy, soft and fresh minerality (licorella soil) that is intermingled with hints of fresh schist. Good attack on the palate with a fresh and pleasant astringency, good medium-bodied course, with amplitude and a strong nerve that gives character. Punchy, ripe red fruit and very tasty, the toasted oak is well marked and somewhat hard, rough tannins, powerful but it shows a narrow, lightweight profile, good intensity and great persistence. Rather long final aftertaste of ripe and slightly licoricey red fruit and a smoked and minerally aftertaste. A great vintage, punchy and strong.”
92+ points, elvi.net, March 2016 (Translated from Spanish)
“Bright violet colour. An assertive bouquet; scents of ripe dark berries, violet, incense and smoky minerals are joined by a zesty allspice nuance. Offers palate-staining blackberry and bitter cherry flavours that become sweeter and more lively with air. The long, sappy finish shows excellent clarity and mineral cut, with sneaky tannins and a strong echo of vibrant dark fruit.”
92 points, Josh Reynolds, Vinous.com, Jan 2016
Mas Doix “Doix” Priorat
Costers de Vinyes Velles 2012
$162.95 per bottle, cases of 6
“The 2010 Doix Costers de Vinyes Velles is a blend of 55% Garnacha and the rest Cariñena from very old vines planted on schist (llicorella) soils in the village of Poboleda, where the family originated and the winery and vineyards are located. The 2012 was fermented in stainless steel with neutral yeasts and matured in new 225-liter French oak barrels for 16 months. Only the best grapes tolerate such oak treatment, and although there are still some oak-related aromas the wine has swallowed down the barrique; such is the power and concentration of the juice here. The palate is XL, intense and powerful but with very good balance, freshness (2012 can be a great vintage for Priorat) and chewy tannins. It is a superb, powerful Priorat. 5,500 bottles were produced.”
95 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, June 2015
Mas Doix “1902” Centenary Carignan 2012
$386.95 per bottle, cases of 6
A rare and exciting wine is the “1902” Centenary Carignan which is made from 100% Carignan from vines planted in 1902. Only 3 barrels are made and each bottle is individually numbered.
Two-thousand twelve is said to be one of the best vintages in Priorat in the last 10 years. It was a very dry year with very slow growth of the grapes, providing intensity and thickness of skins to the tiny fruit. A hot summer was relieved by refreshing rains at the beginning of September. Harvest was completed under perfect conditions. The wine spends 16 months in new French oak barriques.
Great Carignan is easy to enjoy because of it’s pronounced spicey fruitiness and moderate tannin and alcohol (14%). If you like to drink aged Cabernet blends or wines from the southern Rhone, this may be just your kind of wine.
“Still closed in the nose, with clove, pipe tobacco and slate. Very elegant, with a silky texture and extreme finesse. Tasty, yet fruity, but with the mineral notes to sharpen and prolong it.”
18.5/20 points, Elmundovino.com, April 6, 2016
Vinous.com has yet to review this 2012 and 2011 wasn’t bottled, but to the 2010 they awarded 94 points and the following description:
“(All Carinena, aged in new French oak for 16 months): Deep ruby. Vibrant, mineral-accented red berry and cherry aromas are complicated by notes of licorice and Asian spices. Lively and precise, offering intense raspberry and bitter cherry flavours that put on weight with air. Powerful yet lithe, even graceful, finishing with outstanding clarity and length and chewy tannins that make a late arrival.”
Since his teens, Mariano Garcia has been around great wines. The son of a vineyard worker at Bodegas Vega Sicilia, Spain’s most famous winery, he studied at the School of Winemaking and Viticulture in Madrid and by age 24 was the head winemaker for the estate. Always pushing further for Vega Sicilia, he developed two more world-class wineries, Alion in Ribera del Duero and Pintia in Toro.
Today he and his sons direct Bodegas Maurodos and Bodegas Mauro, which is introduced further down.
Like Priorat, Toro is a newly famous and exciting region, though viticulture dates to antiquity. Located on the Duero river, west of the Ribera del Duero appellation, the reds are exclusively made from Tinta de Toro or what other areas call Tempranillo. The appellation makes flashy, masculine, dark reds that would appeal to any new-world wine drinker.
Bodegas Maurodos Toro “Prima” 2014
$25.95 per bottle, cases of 12
This 2014 is not yet rated by the popular press, but Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate has rated the previous vintages with scores of 90 for the 2013, 89 for the 2012 and (89-90) for the 2011. This is a very consistently great value.
Wine Advocate’s description of the 2013 is: “Bright ruby-coloured, the nose is cooler, earthy and showing fresh herbal aromas with red fruit and more mineral notes as it opens up in the glass, where graphite, peat and some notes made me think of a classical wine from Bordeaux. The palate is medium-bodied, with very fine tannins and good acidity; it is very elegant, balanced, fresh and easy to drink.”
Toro “San Roman” 2012
$58.95 per bottle, cases of 6
“The polished texture masks depth and muscle in this powerful red. Shows blackberry, anise, tar and mineral flavours, with spicy and floral highlights. Firm tannins and fresh acidity lend good balance. Expressive, in an austere way. Drink now through 2027.”
95 points, Wine Spectator, August 2016
“This is one of the finest young renditions of San Roman that I’ve ever tasted, and that is really saying something, as this is my single favourite of all the wines of Toro (despite the fact that it is not the most expensive). The colour remains strikingly dark at three years of age, with very concentrated pigmentation that suggests the wine will — when tasted — prove to be hard at best and impenetrable at worst. But that isn’t what happens at all. Far less overtly oaky than some earlier renditions of this wine that I’ve tasted, it is already showing an uncanny combination of succulence and structure, with dark cherry and berry fruit that displays great power but also a purity and tenderness that permits immediate enjoyment if the wine is aerated and paired with (even moderately) robust food. This will develop in positive ways for a full decade, and savoury accents are already emerging around the edges, but it is already completely convincing.”
95 points, WineReviewOnline.com, Nov 2015
“….They have reduced the amount of the new oak here. The aromas are very mineral of red clay, iron, a mixture of plums, black and red cherries and again something earthy, elegant and complex, developing meaty notes with time. The palate is medium to full-bodied, fresher than 2011, with very fine tannins and very good acidity. This is a superb version of San Román.”
94 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, October 2015
Castilla y León
Castilla y León is the region which encompasses Ribera del Duero, Rueda, Toro, Bierzo, Arribes, and Tierra de León. It is the largest autonomous region in the country and if any region could be considered “definitively Spanish” it would be here. The region contains 8 UNESCO heritage sites, innumerable castles, ancient military fortifications and religious sites.
Bodegas Mauro was established by Señor Garcia in 1978 and at the time the Ribera del Duero appellation didn’t exist. When it was established in 1982, the boundaries were limited by governmental provincial boundaries and this is why they is not part of the Ribera del Duero D.O. Because of this they are not subject to the appellations rules for viticulture and viniculture and this flexibility has allowed them to make wines that are considered among Spain’s best.
Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León
$58.95 per bottle, cases of 12
Mauro is a blend of Tempranillo and Syrah. It is structured, balanced, silky and packed with ripe fruit. This is an excellent introduction to the stylish wines of Castilla y Leon from a top winery.
The 2014 isn’t yet reviewed, but the 2013 received 92 points from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: “The floral and cool-climate, balanced and fresh 2013 Mauro is a lot less extracted and oaked than in some vintages in the past; it is a lot more transparent and precise. The wine is round with very good freshness, and lighter than other vintages. The palate is fresh and with great balance and acidity.”
Mauro V.S. 2012 Gran Selezione 2012
Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León
$119.95 per bottle, cases of 6
The V.S. or “Vendimia Seleccionada” is a wine for ageing, one that displays enormous concentration, complexity and elegance. It is is a “special selection” of Tempranillo from two plots of older vineyards, one in Transpinedo and another one Tudela de Duero (La Oliva), which is aged for 36 months in barriques. 80% of these are French oak and the other 20% are American. This is a classic blend of barriques.
Like in Priorat, 2012 is considered to be one of if not THE best vintage in the region in the last decade. No reviews are in as yet, but in another great vintage, 2010, this wine received 97 points from Wine Advocate. That review is as follows:
“Spicy and mineral, subtler and more elegant, this 2010 has a gobsmacking balance with lots of tannins, concentration and acidity, but all of it in great harmony. I see the 2010 as a modern version of the 1996, which remains the hallmark for this bottling. It will be fascinating to taste them side-by-side in some years, as the 1996 is still fresh and young. It should have a long life in bottle. And of the best VS ever. At this quality level, the price looks certainly attractive. 25,000 bottles.”
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