Celler Clos Dominic, Forty Licks in DOQ Priorat

209/365 – Catalonia – DOQ Priorat – Porrera – Celler Clos Dominic – Clos Dominic Vinyes Altes 2007

Forty Licks…….,

Vinyes Altes 2007

Clos Dominic Vinyes Altes 2007, 75% Carignena and 25% Garnacha

Intense red color with fine violet tones. Heavy and dense tears. Very good aromas, complex and powerful. Integrated, aromas of wood. Provides good varietal character. Initially, the aromas appear closed, there are soothing and expressive minerals (lots of slate). When the wine opens up, the very expressive black fruit next to the spicy notes explode. All accompanied by the mineral feel, everything appears at the same level and nothing takes over, so the balance is perfect and the harmony is total.  A powerful wine that fills the mouth. Silky, broad, full of fruit, spicy sensations (sweet chocolate at the end) it displays a good mineral and toasted background. Balanced acidity, rounded, giving it a balmy freshness. Very long and persistent finish. A wine that gives great pleasure!

Dominic at Clos Dominic!

Dominic and Paco have both soul and passion and this shows clearly in the wine produced at the backstreet garage/bodega in Porrera. But who needs a huge elaborate winery when the wine comes from the vineyards. One of the best vineyards of Priorat belongs to Clos Dominic and, as simple as that, this is the reason for their extraordinary wines. Soul and passion!

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It all started in 1986, when Dominic and Paco acquired their first vineyards. Borrowing money from friends and family they continued by getting a hold of “La Tena” vineyard which is now the core of the production of Clos Dominic wines. Paco is the vintner and Dominic is the wine maker, nowadays together with their children.

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It’s a a family affair and the boss here is Dominic, that’s for sure. When I have visited, I have met both on several occasions, but I have gotten to know, the well spoken and very humoristic, Paco better! I dare say he’s the funniest wine maker in Priorat!

Paco the vintner inspecting the vines!

The first time I came to try some of their reds, my arrival was announced by friends in Priorat that are family friends of Clos Dominic. That day they had a group of wine lovers from France visiting and as I arrived they were in the midst of tasting some wines. I was noticed by both Dominic and Paco as I came down to the cellar stairs and immediately received as a long time acquaintance.

Paco with a friend outside the cellar!

I was offered a glass of their white, of which I took a whiff and in that stride asked to have a case put on the side for me. Paco told me, almost laughing, that he only had two bottles left. So it had to be the two then! Much later that same afternoon, the French group decided they also wanted to buy, not only the reds, but also the white! To late! I am still smiling today, when I think of this wine loving moment. But it goes to prove, the small wineries here don’t have abundance of bottles just lying around.

Barrel room at Clos Dominic!

I was told, and I guess the story is the same all over Priorat, that 80% of all wines produced here are exported. So when a nice one, different one, one with soul comes along, you’d better make up you mind quickly or suffer the consequences, like the French had to do. Out of the two I managed to get, one is still safe and sound, but not much longer. I don’t save wine, I enjoy it in the glass!

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Clos Dominic Blanc 2009, Garnacha Blanca, Macabeu, Pedro Ximenez, Picapoll Blanc and Riesling

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Bright yellow to gold colour with nice fatty tears. Very aromatic nose with clear barrel notes. Toasty, smoky and spicy with fruit as secondary. The entry is wide with aromas of vanilla and toast. Followed by aniseed. It is crisp and balanced, has personality and long after-taste. I have never come across any white like this one, just look at the grape coupatge! It is simply a different wine and maybe that’s why I like it like I do. You need to love powerful whites to enjoy this one! Only 300 bottles are produced so first come…….

172 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle

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