2012 Clos Martinet (Priorat)
by JJ Buckley Fine Wines
On Sale $64.94 (reg. $74.94)
Mas Martinet, one of the select “leading wineries in Priorat” per the Wine Advocate, deftly harnesses the beautifully unique terroir of the region for their flagship Clos Martinet, "a great example of what makes the Priorat appellation so special" (RP).
The Priorat region of Spain is turning out some of the country's most highly regarded and expensive wines (i.e. Clos Erasmus, Alvaro Palacios' L'Ermita), but the “serious” 2012 Clos Martinet can hold its own against the top names for a fraction of the price.
At the helm on Mas Martinet is Sara Pérez Ovejero, and she enjoys a friendly rivalry with her husband, René Barbier Jr. of Clos Mogador fame. Her conviction for sustainability and minimal intervention has seen Mas Martinet go well above and beyond the rules and regulations governing organic winemaking.
The 2012 Clos Martinet is a blend of several grapes, as is typical for both the property and the region. Sara’s winemaker husband says that “in Priorat, terroir reigns supreme over variety. Sometimes in a blind tasting, it is difficult to identify the varietal composition of a wine.” Sara puts it even simpler: “here in Priorat, the soil speaks.”
Open a bottle of her 2012, and you’ll know what she’s talking about. Per Luis Gutierrez, “the nose is a mix of wet slate, spices and earth combined with red and black fruit in the background” (95 points). He goes on to call it both “earthy and serious...with great balance that will develop in bottle.”
With well under 1000 cases made, and very little of that making it to the states, there’s not much to go around. Fans of the best that Spain has to offer (and enthusiasts of southern France that appreciate a Grenache-driven wine) will want to get some while they can. Cheers!