In the southern Priorat village of Bellmunt, Clos Cypres is an organically-farmed, west-facing samsó (carignan) vineyard at 300m to 375m, planted in 1934 at the historic Finca Sant Martí. The oldest part of this vineyard was named Clos Cypres for the ancient cypress trees which stand sentinel over the adjacent graveyard. The carignan wines of Bellmunt transmit the luminosity and warmth of the Mediterranean; they are soft and generous with developed tannins and a cool minerality from the trademark red slate llicorella soils. Comparisons can be made with the Brunate cru from La Morra in Barolo for a similar combination of generous fruit expression and structured backbone that fruit from Clos Cypres shows. Clos Cypres is a limited 100% samsó (carignan) Vi de Paratge bottling, built to improve with additional time in bottle. Wines are made with low intervention and minimal sulfur at bottling.
Vintage – The 2018 vintage in Priorat began with abundant rain the previous year and a cold winter. Spring was cool and rainy, replenishing water tables, as well as delaying flowering. Summer was quite mild and dry, allowing grapes to develop slowly, with even ripening. Generally calm days and cool nights allowed the grapes to come to harmonious phenolic and alcoholic ripeness. The wines from 2018 are aromatic and well-balanced, with ample acidity and ripe tannins to allow the wines to age gracefully in bottle. 2018 is a great vintage for the cellar.
Vinification – After a manual harvest, the indigenous yeast fermentation occurs in 500L French barrels, with subsequent 40-day maceration and spontaneous malolactic fermentation. The wine is then aged for 12 months in the same vessels.