Mas Doix “1902” Centenary Carignane 2015 [1/cs]

mas doix 1902
Spain Priorat
Carignan / Mazuelo
Type: Red Table Wine
Vintage: 2015

On a trip to Priorat in 2017, we were struck by how Carignane, a grape not often discussed in North American wine circles, was treasured among winemakers, with the best cuvées receiving the lion’s share of the best old vine fruit.

 

Years ago, the Catalonian government initiated a pull-out program endorsing farmers to rip out their Carignane and plant Grenache and other preferred varietals. Carignane is vigourous, and under certain vineyard practices, can produce a large quantity of fruit at diminished quality. As a result, much Carignane was made into “jug wine”. It gave the grape a poor reputation.

 

When crop load is controlled, however, or when vines are very old, Carignane produces rich, round, full-bodied, vibrant wine with soft tannins and bright acidity. The best can age gracefully. These are special wines worth pursuing.

 

“1902” is arguably one of the best of the best. This wine, 100% Carignane from 117-year-old vines is a centrepiece for the cellar. Aged 16 months in new French oak and bottled unfined and unfiltered, only three barrels were produced. Bottles are individually numbered.

 

“2015 saw a return to dry and warm years like 2012, and the 2015 1902 Centenary Carignane was saved from the heat wave in July by 60 litres of rain in June. The de-stemmed grapes fermented with neutral yeasts in stainless steel, and the wine matured in three brand new French oak barrels for 16 months. The technical data lists almost seven grams of residual sugar, which surprised me. It’s ripe, full-bodied and powerful, concentrated and juicy. It’s a very powerful and heady Carignane, with a polished texture. It feels tender and young. 864 bottles produced. It was bottled in April 2017. I had the chance to taste a bottle of the never-released 2005, an experimental vintage from a year that could have some similarities with 2015, and the wine felt very balanced and still young, not showing any heat.”
96 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, April 2018