Mas Martinet 'Clos Martinet' Tinto, Priorat DOCa, Spain 2009
"The spellbinding 2009 Clos Martinet is a blend of 65% Garnacha (including some Garnacha Peluda), 18% Carinena, 11% Syrah and the rest a mixture of Cabernet and Merlot, although these are being replanted with traditional varieties such as Garnacha. Interestingly, it was aged in concrete tank for 24 months rather than oak in order to retain the essence of terroir, and what an awesome result! It has a life-affirming, elegant, sophisticated nose that manages the heat of the growing season with effortless ease while maintaining a thrilling sense of tension. The palate is medium-bodied with firmer, more masculine tannins compared to the Cami Pesseroles. There is a sublime symmetry at play here, wonderful minerality with subtle notes of liquorice, chalk, citrus peel and a touch of oyster shell. It has brilliant delineation and elegance towards the finish, which is long and sensual. Without question, this is one of the finest Priorat 2009s that I encountered. . .and all without a drop of oak. Drink 2014-2030. Sara also opened a couple of older bottles so that I could see the wine’s evolution, although to be truthful, I felt that neither bore a true semblance to their recent wines, which Sara herself puts down to the introduction of organic viticulture."
"When making a maiden visit to a wine region and knocking on the door of properties, there will always been one that stands out from the rest. There will be one where the wine enraptures and stimulates the senses unlike any other and offers food for thought long after you have departed with renewed spring in your step. On this occasion, it was Mas Martinet. My senses were almost overwhelmed by the thrilling wines and winemaker Sara Perez’s passionate explanation of her philosophies, which challenge the status quo in Priorat. Now here’s a winemaker thinking outside the box. Her father, Jose Luis Perez, one of the pioneers of Priorat, stood by her side in silence, not wishing to interrupt his daughter’s flow. I wonder whether he envisaged the heights that Mas Martinet would achieve all those years ago? I asked whether Sara’s approach differs from her husband, Rene Barbier of Clos Mogador fame (she pointed out, the younger Rene of the family!) Sara replied that there is a divergence in opinion of when to pick, Rene “Senior” preferring the latest date, Sara the earliest and her husband somewhere in the middle. Who is right? Well, why should there be a single interpretation? Then again, I thought the wines of Mas Martinet demonstrated their terroir with more clarity than any other Priorat winery in 2009 and 2010."
97 Pts Neal Martin