In a nutshell: A rich and complex Priorat from a small, quality focused Catalonian estate.
The lowdown: Priorat which sits in an isolated part of Catalonia is the premier wine region of Catalonia from where some of Spain's most highly sought after reds come from. Jordi Masdeu Català is the innovative young winemaker here and is turning out some excellent stuff. Their Vi d'Altura red is blended from Garnacha grapes grown in a number of different vineyards on their estate each with a slightly different mix of soils and aspect. The result is a wonderfully rich, complex, full bodied yet elegant wine full of flavours of dark cherries, blueberries, spice and a nicely smoky minerality. The grippy tannins, are balanced by a clean acidity and it all leads to a long fruity finish.
When to drink: Powerful and quite enticing and though still quite young it's already drinking really well. Pairs well with richly flavoured meats like vension, oxtail and hare.
The small Mas La Mola estate comprises just seven hectares situated around the small village of Poboleda in the north of the Prioriat region. For more than 150 years it's been owned by the Ferrando family, but in recent years the viticulture and winemaking operations have been taken on by Jordi Masdeu Català, a dynamic young winemaker who specializes in top end wines, and Alessando Marchesan, a former sommelier. They have a definite artisanal approach to making wine at the diminutive winery which is tucked away in the streets of Poboleda.
The estate's vineyards are planted in two different areas around Poboleda. There is 40 year old Macabeo vines which are planted on low yielding gravel soils next to a river, which provides vital irrigation to the root system during the hot summers, while their parcels of old Garnatxa Blanca, Garnatxa and Pedro Ximénez vines are planted on the steep Licorella slate slopes between 300 and 800 metres above sea level. This unique slatey soil is said to impart a pronounced mineral character to the wines.