Mas Doix Priorat – winery visit06-10-2021
The winery in the village of Poboleda (Priorat-Spain) was created by the Doix and Llagostera families in 1998, carrying on a tradition that began in 1850. In 1888, the wine of early patriarch Juan Extrems Doix won the gold medal in the Barcelona Universal Exhibition.
Phylloxera caused an abrupt halt and impoverishment in the region, yet some of the first Carignan vines planted after the plague are now used for the extremely scarce 1902 Centenary Carignan. Grapes grown by the founders used to be sold to the local cooperative before they set up their own business.
Poboleda is one of the highest and coolest villages in Priorat. Valentí Llagostera says that the dry cold northwestern winds are responsible for the wine’s high acidity. The grapes mature more slowly and harvest usually starts a week later than in Gratallops.
in 2019 the collaboration between Cliff Lede, a Canadian producer based in Napa Valley (owner of Cliff Lede Vineyards and Fel Wines) and Mas Doix started. They took a 50% stake in the Catalan winery and the inflow of capital made it possible to build a new winery on the outskirts of Poboleda. The new building fits in seamlessly with the stony landscape and the color of the llicorella stones that are so typical of the Priorat region.
The winery owns about 20 hectares of vineyards that are farmed organically with some biodynamic practices. Undoubtedly, the four-hectare Doix vineyard is its most prized asset, with Carignan vines planted in 1902 and 80-year-old Garnacha vines. Syrah is the only international grape they grow —it represents 10% of the blend of entry-level reds Les Crestes and Salanques.
During the visit we tasted a beautiful selection of wines. Also some older vintages. Next to the red wines with varieties like Garnacha, Carignan and some Syrah (used in the blend of Les Cretes) , Mas Doix has expanded its range of white wines. Murmuri is predominantly Garnacha Blanca with three months maturation on the lees in stainless steel tanks, while the more complex Salix combines 20% Macabeo and 15% Pedro Ximénez with the Garnacha Blanca and maturing of the lees in stainless steel tanks and oak barrels.
The wines we tasted:
Grapes from younger vines are used for the Les Crestes. It is a blend of Garnacha with 20% Cariñena and 10% Syrah aged in second year French oak for eight months.
Vintage 2019 (92 RP)
In the glass a bright purple color with ruby red tones with violet edges, good density.
On the medium(++) nose aromas of black and red fruits, plum and cherries, candied, with notes of wood, vanilla, mint and coffee, light spice of cloves, with some freshness.
On the palate dry, medium(+) bodied with medium(+) acidity and present but soft tannins. Flavours are a recall of the ose with a medium length finish.
Vintage 2011 more tart, leather and dark plums. Light smoky. Still kicking.
Vintage 2007 still great
65% from 40 -80 year old Grenache vines, 25% from 80 year old Carignan and 10% from 15 year old syrah. Fermentation of destemmed grapes in stainless steel tanks and wood barrel. 14 months in a new fine-grained barrel of French oak (50% new and 50 % two year old barrel).
Salanques 2018 (92 RP)
In the glass a deep inky, purple red color.
On the medium(+) nose aromas of dark plums, raspberries and red currants with hints of liquorice, young leather, eucalyptus, cedar, vanilla and liquorice.
On the palate dry, medium(++) bodied with medium(+) acidity and medium(+) ripe tannins. Flavours of plums, blackberries, balsamico, lavender and spices. Concentrated and medium(++) length finish.
Still great in acidity and tertiary hints popping out.
45% 80 year old Grenache and 25% from 100 year old Carignan vines. Fermentation of destemmed grapes in stainless steel tanks finished in wood. 16 months in a new barrel of French oak.
Doix 2017 (RP 94)
In the glass a deep ruby red color with violet reflections.
On the medium(++) nose aromas of wild berries, red currants and blackberries with hints of menthol and eucalyptus, cacao, cedar, vanilla and floral notes.
On the palate dry, full bodied with high acidity and slightly astringent but warm tannins. Flavours of berries, blackberries, chocolate, balsamico, toast, aromatic herbs and a beautiful texture. The finish is long with a high potential for aging.
Still great with tertiary notes
1902 - 2017 (96 RP)
Elaborated from very low yielded centenary vines of Carignan, planted in 1902 on hillsides of very steep slopes at an altitude of 350/450 meters above sea level. The grapes are hand sorted both in the vineyard and the cellar to remove overripe grapes.
The wine has a maceration period of 4/5 weeks and afterwards it ages for 16 months in new, very fine-grained French oak barrels.
In the glass a deep dark crimson red color with violet reflections.
On the medium(++) nose aromas of plums, blackberries and raspberries with hints of liquorice, spices, smoke, cinnamon, dried figs, tobacco, cedar, violets and tar.
On the palate dry, full bodied with medium(+) acidity and medium(+) fine grained ripe tannins. Elegant and complex with dark druits, chocolate, vanilla, jam with a great depth. Perfekt wine and better to store in patient.
1903 - 2017 (95 RP)
Only 361 bottles are produced by this ultra-rare, mind-boggling Grenache from 117-year-old vines. The grapes from the extremely low-yielding plants are sorted in two batches, fermented in a steel tank and then aged for 16 months in new French oak barrels before being bottled unfiltered.
In the glass a bright medium(+) ruby red color.
On the medium(++) nose aromas of blackberries, ripe cherries and red berries with hints of smoke, coffee, cocoa, raisins, eucalyptus, herbs and vanilla.
On the palate dry, full bodied with medium(+) acidity and medium(+) tannins. In the mouth creamy and fleshy with ripe yammy fruit, spices with lots of layers in the wine. Keep it away for a few years or enjoy it now with a good decantation.
Murmuri is the first white wine from Mas Doix, a combination of white grapes dominated by the white Grenache of old vineyards and dotted with Macabeo and some other minority variety in the vineyard. The label is from a print created by Josep Subirats in 1985.
Vineyards are situated at a height of 500-600 meters above sea level on hillsides of pronounced slopes, with the characteristic slate soil called "licorella". The grapes come from vines between 20-25 years old, with a small but exceptional average production of 500 gr. per vine.
In the glass a bright citrus yellow color.
On the medium nose aromas of yellow apple, stonefruit and melon with hints of citrus, tropical fruit, white flowers and herbs.
On the palate dry, medium bodied with light creaminess, vibrant acidity and nice freshness. Not a blockbuster but an easy going white Priorat. Very nice minerality and a recall of the nose. Medium and fresh length finish.
Salix 2019 (92 RP)
The 2019 Salix is a new white blend of 67% Garnacha Blanca, 18% Macabeo and 15% Pedro Ximénez. The grapes are picked by hand. Transport to the winery is done in small boxes of 10 kg. The grapes undergo direct pressing. This is followed by the fermentation, which takes place half in stainless steel tanks and half in oak barrels. The 3 months aging on lees is also done in a perfect mix of stainless steel and oak barrels. The annual production is only 1.800 bottles.
In the glass a clear and brilliant straw yellow color.
On the medium(+) nose aromas of ripe yellow apples, honey and lemon with hints of melon, almonds, smoke, spices, light petrol and orangezest.
On the palate dry, medium(+) bodied wtih medium acidity, nice freshness and soft texture. Flavours are a recall of the nose wih a medium(+) intense finish.