René Barbier led the original Priorat movement, proving that exciting and unique fine wines could be made in this forgotten corner of Spanish Catalonia. At Clos Mogador, he nursed back to life abandoned old vineyards planted on steep schist hillsides, where the ancient Grenache and Carignan vines had learnt to struggle against the aridity by sending roots 25 metres down in search of water and nutrients, yielding less than 10 hectolitres per hectare of intense, concentrated and supercomplex juice. The estate became firmly established as the number one address in the appellation, with a bulging press book to back this claim. But Clos Mogador is much more, a thriving ecosystem and a celebration of biodiversity, a blueprint for living terroir.
René Barbier is a strong advocate of the belief that great winemaking starts in the vineyard. His vines are made to suffer in the extremely poor slaty soil and rough climate. There is no irrigation, so the roots are left to search for water, only found at a depth of 25 metres. No chemicals are used, wild herbs and plants grow between the vines. The result is a remarkably small yield of only 6 Hectolitres per hectare permitting an enormous concentration of flavours.
Meticulous care is taken over every aspect of the vinification and ageing process. René Barbier is a pupil of Jean-Claude Berrouet, the wine maker at Château Pétrus. Enormous attention is given to every detail. The oak from the Nevers and Allier is selected in France and then assembled in the Rioja. The wine is manipulated as little as possible, and then only by gravity, with the cool winter temperatures making all forms of clarification unnecessary.
Clos Mogador is named after a novel written by René's great aunt called "Les Gens de Mogador" describing her family's life at the foot of Mont Ventoux. The story was subsequently televised and became famous in France. René's first vintage was 1989 - a wine that still shows considerable ageing potential. Since then, Clos Mogador has established its position as one of the most exciting and prestiguous red wines from Spain, and in recognition René has recently been awarded the Order of Agricultural merit by the Spanish government. Europvin Importer