A Vinous Voyage: The 25th Anniversary of Mas d'en Gil - An Unforgettable Wine Tasting Event in Amsterdam04-12-2023
We were invited to join Okhuysen and Marta Rovira Carbonell in celebrating the 25th anniversary of Mas d'en Gil from Priorat. During the event, we had the opportunity to learn more about its history and taste their wines. We would like to thank Okhuysen for the invitation. At the event, we sampled several of their current wines as well as some of the older vintages. It was a great experience to taste and compare these different vintages side by side.
Introduction to Mas d'en Gil from Priorat and Marta Rovira Carbonell
Mas d'en Gil is a well-known winery located in Spain's Priorat region, famous for its production of exceptional wines. Since 2008, Marta Rovira Carbonell has been leading the vineyard as a dedicated viticulturist, consistently creating outstanding wines. Marta works alongside her sister and father, making it a collaborative effort. Marta's commitment to excellence and her deep respect for the land and its history have earned her a respected position in the global wine community. Under Marta's guidance, Mas d'en Gil showcases the rich wine heritage of Priorat, emphasizing the region's unique geological features, elegant acidity, and centuries-old vineyards, all nurtured by its climate.
The Historical Significance of Mas d'en Gil in Priorat
Mas d'en Gil, located in the hilly terrain of Priorat, has a long history dating back to the Roman era. This region is well-known for its llicorella (slate) soil, which has played a key role in producing excellent, strong, and high-quality wines. The vineyard's historical significance is deeply connected to the region's winemaking tradition and the evolution of viticulture.
In 2008, Marta Rovira Carbonell took over the management of the vineyard from her father, introducing a new era of progressive biodynamic winemaking while preserving its ancient customs. Under her leadership, Mas d'en Gil has become a prominent symbol of Priorat's wine culture and a supporter of working biodynamically for a better environment now and in the future. It is important to note that healthy vines cultivated using biodynamic methods tend to have improved acidity. Another advantage of biodynamic practices is that they enhance the resilience of vines and other plants to climate changes, especially in warmer and drier weather.
The story of Mas d'en Gil is a fascinating account of resilience, innovation, and unwavering dedication to producing high-quality wines that capture the essence of Priorat. Marta's unique approach to viticulture and her commitment to organic farming have made a significant contribution to the vineyard's lasting legacy and reputation.
The Masterclass - A Deep Dive with Marta Rovira Carbonell
The 25th anniversary celebrations of Mas d'en Gil included a masterclass conducted by Marta. This wine tasting session provided a unique opportunity for sommeliers, press, and enthusiasts to directly learn from Marta. The session offered an immersive experience, covering a comprehensive understanding of the winemaking process, the characteristics of Priorat wines, and the importance of organic and biodynamic practices for current and future wine production. You could truly taste the story of Mas d'en Gil in these wines - they were fresh, vibrant, with a present acidity that made them perfect on their own or paired with food. Marta's extensive knowledge and personal stories added a personal touch to the masterclass, creating a memorable experience for all participants.
The Grandeur of the Wine Tasting Event in Amsterdam
The wine tasting event in Amsterdam was a memorable experience. During the masterclass, we had the opportunity to taste both current vintages and some older ones. After the masterclass, we enjoyed a lunch featuring current vintages alongside much older ones. It was a great chance to truly appreciate the distinct flavors of Priorat, with Marta providing expert commentary. Here are some personal highlights from the event.
Highlights of this event
- Coma Calcari 2019 My favorite wine from the tasting! It has a light yellow color in the glass with aromas of ripe and juicy fruit like apricots, apples, melon, nectarines, white flowers, and fennel. It reminds me of a fully ripe Riesling. On the palate, there are flavors of green and red apples, melon, nectarine, and apricot with plenty of herbal notes and medium (+) acidity. This wine is made exclusively from Garnatxa Blanca, which is a challenging grape to harvest. It requires precise timing. Marta describes this period as a time when she may not be the most approachable person.
- Coma Blanca 2017 This wine is elegant and of high quality, with a smooth texture and a balanced level of acidity. It is made from a combination of 40% Garnatxa Blanca and 60% Macabeo grapes, which are grown on 70-year-old vines in soil composed of 'llicorella', pebbles, and sand. When poured into a glass, it displays a deep yellow color and releases aromas of honey, concentrated apple, nectarines, and spices. On the palate, it presents flavors of ripe apple, stone fruit, vanilla, and coconut, with a medium (+) level of acidity.
- Clos Fontà 2017 Refreshingly elegant red wine that is juicy and robust. The wine has a rich ruby color and aromas of concentrated strawberries, red and black fruit, leather, and herbal notes. On the palate, it is herbal and spiced, with abundant ripe red and black fruit, ripe strawberries, and smooth sour raspberries. The wine has a long finish with medium (+) tannins and medium (+) acidity. It's a wine that should be savored slowly to fully appreciate it, as Marta describes it.
- Coma Vella 2 vintages 2006 & 2017
- Coma Vella 2006 is the type of wine that Marta's father made. It is a classic blend with Cabernet Sauvignon that is no longer possible due to the warmer weather. This wine is robust and has warm, rough edges. It has ripe fruit, leather, and tobacco notes in the nose, and the palate offers warm ripe fruit with a slightly jammy character. It also has hints of cocoa, medium acidity, and medium tannins.
- Coma Vella 2017 is a newer style of wine that still maintains the same identity. You can see, smell, and taste Marta's signature in this wine. It is more fresh, full, and fruit-driven. It has a nice ruby red color with a slight purple haze. The aroma is fresh with eucalyptus and ripe red fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, with a touch of apple and oranges. The palate is filled with lots of red and black fruit, herbs, spices, and hints of eucalyptus, sage, and thyme. It has elegant medium tannins and medium acidity, with a vibrant and long finish. This wine allows us to experience the journey of several years and changes, from the wine-making by her father to Marta's own approach. It represents the new era of Mas d'en Gil and Priorat.
- Nus 2016 Sweet wine produced using a Solera blend of Garnatxa blanca and a hint of Viognier. The Garnatxa blanca grapes are harvested in August to maintain acidity, then dried outdoors in the shade. A 5% alcohol is added, resulting in an elegant sweet wine that can be enjoyed by itself or paired with cheese or ice cream. It boasts a refreshing acidity and flavors of currant, ripe apple, with subtle herbal undertones.
The Legacy of Marta Rovira Carbonell in the World of Wine
Marta Rovira Carbonell has had a significant influence not only in Mas d'en Gil and Priorat, but also in the global wine industry. Her contributions to viticulture and winemaking have been widely recognized, establishing her as a key figure in the wine world.
Marta's winemaking approach combines tradition and innovation, and she is committed to implementing sustainable farming practices that set new industry standards. Her legacy serves as proof of her passion for wine, respect for nature, and unwavering dedication to ensuring high quality.
Experiencing the Unique Flavors of Priorat
The wines of Mas d'en Gil accurately showcase the distinct qualities of Priorat. Each bottle captures the essence of the region, from the slate-rich soil to the Mediterranean climate, and the traditional grape varieties that flourish in this terrain. Marta Rovira Carbonell's meticulous winemaking approach guarantees an authentic taste of Priorat in every sip of Mas d'en Gil wine. Whether it's the bold and robust reds or the elegant and subtle whites, each wine pays tribute to the exceptional flavors of the region.
The Future of Mas d'en Gil Priorat
Under the leadership of Marta Rovira Carbonell, Mas d'en Gil has a promising future. The vineyard is committed to sustainable farming, innovative winemaking techniques, and a deep respect for the terroir. With these principles, Mas d'en Gil is well-positioned to continue its tradition of producing exceptional wines.
Looking ahead, Mas d'en Gil will offer more captivating wines that embody the unique character of Priorat and the passion of Marta Rovira Carbonell. The journey of Mas d'en Gil is an ongoing story, highlighting the enduring appeal of Priorat wines and the visionary leadership of Marta.
Conclusion: Reflecting on the Unforgettable Wine Tasting Event
Reflecting on the 25th-anniversary celebrations and the wine tasting event, it is evident that Mas d'en Gil and Marta Rovira Carbonell have made a lasting impact on the wine industry. Their journey, characterized by dedication, creativity, and respect for the land, is truly inspiring. You can truly feel the passion and effort of working with the whole family, Marta, her sister, and of course her father.
Looking ahead to the future of Mas d'en Gil, we can be confident that Marta Rovira Carbonell's legacy will continue to shape this renowned vineyard. Cheers to many more years of exceptional wines and unforgettable experiences.
Once again, thank you Okhuysen for organizing this event, and Marta, thank you very much for sharing your experience and wines with us.
More information about Mas d'en Gil
Find the wines at Okhuysen