More on Clos Mogador, René Barbier and the D.O. Priorat

Talking about Priorat, is talking about René Barbier and his wife Isabelle, who own the winery Clos Mogador. René’s great-grandfather, León Barbier, founded a winery in the region of Penedès which he called after his son, René Barbier, the current René’s grandfather. This winery, which is no longer attached to the family Barbier, now belongs to the group Freixenet.

At the endBuy Clos Mogador of the 70s, and after studying and working in Bordeaux and Bourgogne, René, who forecasted the great potential of the terroir of Priorat, where until then only rough wines sold as table wines were produced, settled in a estate close to the village of Gratallops. He got his friends, Álvaro Palacios, Dafne Glorian, José Luis Pérez and Carles Pastrana, to join this adventure and to make his dream come true. In 1989, a year that would be remembered by all of them, they harvested the first vintage. They started producing their own wines in a refurbished old farm, which later became the winery Clos Mogador. They believed in what they had started up, an adventure more mystic than commercial, which has given its fruit over the years and, together with Rioja, has become one of the few Designations of Origin which bear the distinction Cualificada (Qualified).

The family Barbier lives in a place surrounded by the vines from which its wine, Clos Mogador, is produced. It is the only Single Estate Wine in Catalonia. Now, it is the new generation who takes its turn, trying to quantify and qualify the different terroirs found in Priorat. That is why René Barbier, the son, Sara Pérez, José Luis’ daughter, along with Álvaro Palacios, Eben Sadie and Dominik A. Huber have started a project in which the wines produced are called after the name of the village where they have been elaborated. Some examples are the wines Gratallops and Torroja.

Barbier’s vines are some of the oldest found in the new plantations –the Cabernet Sauvignon is aged of almost 30 years. There is also a small plot of Grenache and Carignan aged of more than 80 years. The wine elaboration and the control of grape-ripening are undertaken by René, the father, and René, the son, Fernando Zamora, oenologist and lecturer at the University of Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona, and Roger, the cellarman. Therefore, it is thanks to a consensus of ideas and actions that year after year more satisfactory results are achieved. A selective harvest is conducted manually. Each variety is harvested at its best ripening point and transported in 10 kg cases, to avoid the possible damages suffered while being transported. In the winery, the fascinating transformation from must into wine begins. The grapes go through two selection tables so that the best quality is achieved. Fermentation takes place in different containers: 225 l barrels, foudres (large casks), concrete vats and dietary fiber containers. Each of them has different properties and, depending on the grape variety, will contribute to a better elaboration and to obtain the best final product. In the barrels room, moisture, temperature and silence are dominant. The wine will stay in oak barrels for a minimum of 18 months for stabilisation.

The final product is Clos Mogador, considered one of the ten best wines in the world in several occasions. It is a wine with a powerful, mineral, intense and complex character and one of the most prestigious and highly respected wines for ageing in the D.O.Q Priorat.

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