Sunday, August 9, 2015

2009 Mas Romani (Mas Alta) La Basseta

Enjoyed this at Le Town Talk in St Paul with dear friends Clay and Inge. A superb Priorat that receives 95 points from Parker's newsletter and deserves it. The nose changed over time. Initially strong cherry; then mint./eucalyptus; then more licorice and woodsy/piney. The palate was a bit hot initially but after decanting and some time in bottle became softer. Cherry suggests Grenache dominance. Medium body, beautiful very dark red-purple color, moderately long finish. Flavors integrated in very pleasurable way after maybe an hour. Despite rich fruit, could be called elegant or suave if I were being pretentious. Matched up very nicely with the steak & frites dinner. I especially loved the changing array of aromas. Will taste again on Sunday evening after Saturday eve dinner. Priorat rarely disappoints. $65.

I found this on the Mas Romani website: 

Throughout the process of producing our vintages, we aim to obtain sensitive and complex wines. La Basseta is undoubtedly the most feminine wine in our range. The intensity of the fruit blended with a long and silky finish make for a feminine feel...

So what I call suave and elegant they seem to call "feminine." Interesting.

Pictures of Mas Romani and Priorat

L A B A S S E T A 2 0 0 9 Made from a blend of our best Grenache vineyards, old vine Carignan and a dash of Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon, LA BASSETA is without a doubt the most feminine wine of our range. A complex mix of elegance and typical flavours of Priorat.

WINE BLEND: 60% Grenache noir, 20% Carignan and 20% Syrah PRODUCTION: 8.800 bottles and 100 magnums

VINE EXPOSURE: - 60% step slopes facing North East - 40% step slopes facing South East

SOIL CHARACTERISTICS: dark slate called “llicorella " ALTITUDE: 350 – 550 meters

AVERAGE YIELD: 0,5 - 1 kg/plant

AGE OF THE VINES: between 15 (Grenache) and 100 years old (Carignan)

AGING The aging period is about 16 months in Allier French oak barrels. - 60% new barrel - 40% 1 year old barrel

TASTING NOTES  Beautiful black cherry colour, with a purple disk.  The nose is complex, intense, with mineral aromas, associated with mint and fresh spices notes, black fruit. Nice depth.  On the palate, the wine reveals an elegant acidity. The tannins are unctuous, powerful and fresh on the same time. Length, with coffee and spicy persistent notes on the finish.

AGING POTENTIAL: Drink it now through 2022 S

Parker says: The 2009 La Basseta is purple black in color with a brooding bouquet of liquid minerals, licorice, tapenade, a hint of balsamic, black cherry, and blackberry. On the palate it reveals greater richness than the 2008 with plush fruit, succulent flavors, and enough ripe tannin to evolve for 4-6 years. It will be at its best from 2015 to 2029. 

Parker gets the blend wrong, it's 60% grenache.

Bodegas Mas Alta, based in the Priorat village of Vilella Alta, is a partnership of five Belgian families. They have hired the duo of Frenchmen Michel Tardieu and Philippe Cambie (of Rhone Valley renown) as consultants. Since 1999 they have planted 77 acres of vines, mostly on slate at altitude. The top cuvees are made from old-vine fruit purchased from local growers. The red wines begin with the value-priced Els Pics bottling made from younger vines with 45% of the fruit coming from valley floors. Both the 2008 and 2009 vintages are blends of 60% Grenache, 35% Carignan, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon with 12 months of aging in seasoned French oak. The Artigas cuvee is made up of 60% Grenache, 35% Carignan, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 16 months in 35% new French oak. Most of the fruit is sourced from Priorat’s steep slopes. The Cirerets cuvee is made up of 60% Grenache and 40% Carignan, all from steep slopes in llicorella slate. The Carignan portion comes from vines ranging in age from 40-100 years. The wine is aged in 30% new French oak for 18 months. The La Basseta cuvee is a blend of 40% Grenache, 40% Carignan, and 20% Syrah all from steep slopes and aged for 16 months in 60% new French oak. The flagship cuvee is La Creu Alta, a blend of 55% Carignan and 45% Grenache from old vines and steep hillsides planted in llicorella slate made only in top vintages. The wine is aged for 18 months in 80% new French oak.