New Release: Mas Martinet’s 2014s

New Release: Mas Martinet’s 2014s
In the words of Mas Martinet, 2014 was “exuberant”. Following 2013; a cooler-styled, rain-refreshed vintage after the drought years of ’11 and ‘12, the team were steadied for hot weather to return in 2014. Like buses though, Priorat vintages seemingly arrive in twos, and the 2014 summer proved another energetic, revitalising season, yielding clear-cut, beautifully supple wines. In this dry, extreme region, a rainy year is relative, and achieving ripeness is still rarely an issue, particularly with yields as low as these. According to Roger Valls, the primary concern in 2014 was not temperature, but fungal diseases. He recalls that the terraced vineyards were verdant and explosive - beautiful to the eye - but combined with higher than average rainfall, canopies that would usually shade more fragile grapes became humid, and intense work was needed to keep pressures at bay.

At harvest time, the grapes were clean and healthy. Fermentation was slow, taking longer than usual but capturing more aroma in the process. In the end, alcohol levels were normal. What sets 2014 apart is its unusually low pH; imbuing the wines with freshness and precision. The finished wines combine attractive fruit and clear varietal flavours, underscored by Priorat slate and salt as always. The single crus are marked by subtlety and elegance - vintage conditions met with a careful hand. Each cru is comprised of different blends and terroirs, vinified according to the wine’s intrinsic personality. Els Escurcons (100% Grenache, from one of the highest vineyards in the region) is fermented and aged entirely in clay Amphora and glass demijohns, Cami Pesseroles (predominantly 100 year old Carignan, with Garnacha from a much lower vineyard) is co-fermented and then aged in barrel, while Clos Martinet (Grenache, Carignan, and a touch of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot; one of the original five Clos from the late 1980s) sees a mixture of concrete, clay amphora and 2000L fuders.

These are some of Spain’s most thoughtful, complex and age-worthy single vineyard wines.

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