Costers del Priorat Blanc de Closos Priorat Blanc 2020

Costers del Priorat Blanc de Closos
Blanc de Closos label

Costers del Priorat Blanc de Closos Priorat Blanc 2020

Jose Mas Barberá and his Costers del Priorat is a leading voice in the evolution of the wines of Priorat, producing distinctive wines rooted in the terroir of the Catalan countryside. The wines of Costers del Priorat emphasize nuance and elegance over power, a philosophical departure from the strong, tannic wines that once defined the region. 

Jose’s work in very privileged old vineyards in nine out of the twelve villages of Priorat allows him to focus on the different terroirs of Priorat, but with a unique twist. The majority of his plantings are carignan-based for the reds and garnacha blanca for the white wines; this includes his two most important sites, Mas Alsera and Sant Martí. All his limited production wines are classified as Vielles Vinyes (old vines), a designation that uses US WWII aerial maps to certify vineyards that are over 75 years old or planted before 1945.

Jose achieves this elegance by employing only organic farming methods, allowing the wines to guide their evolution without ever forcing their trajectory and utilizing a gentle élevage tailored to each vineyard. 

With all of the focus on the red wines of Priorat, it is remarkable that it is the white wines that can be the most surprising, exotic, and profound. Since the old days, the region’s steep slopes, locally known as costers, have been planted with white varieties mixed in among the predominant garnacha and samsó (carignan). This practice is a valued element of the wine heritage in Priorat. In the closos (small vineyards) around Bellmunt, among the old red grape vines, we can still find some white varieties that are used to make Blanc de Closos. 

Priorat blanc dazzles with an exquisite juxtaposition between exotic fruit and lacy slate minerality. These are white wines that defy categorization. Tiny amounts of the historic brisat (skin-contact) wine called Blanc de Closos is made at Costers del Priorat as a tribute to the tradition of Priorat. Old, organically-farmed garnacha blanca bush vines, planted on red slate soils on the apex of the Mas Alzina vineyard in Torroja at 650m, provide the acid backbone and structure. Blanc de Closos is a limited production wine made from a field blend of mostly garnacha blanca, with small amounts of macabeo, moscatel grano fino, and cartoixà. Blanc de Closos is vinified in the Catalan brisat style, with a four month skin maceration. This style lends incredible texture, structure, and complexity to the wine. Wines are made with low intervention and minimal sulfur at bottling.

Vinification – Grapes are hand-selected, destemmed, and crushed by foot. After a spontaneous fermentation with native yeasts in stainless steel, the wine remains in contact with the skins for 4 months in a used 600L French oak barrel for aging.

  • Site: Sant Martí and Mas Caldera at 300m to 375m

  • Grapes: Garnacha Blanca

  • Vine Age: Vines planted from 1934 to 2000

  • Soil: Red llicorella (decomposed slate)

  • Vinification: Hand harvested, spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel, four months of skin contact in 600L French oak barrels.

  • Farming: Practicing Organic

  • Vegan: Yes

  • Suggested Retail: $59.00 (750mL)