In the Priorat you can find local families who have tended their vines for generations as well as newcomers drawn to the possibilities of this terroir. Even the founding members of the modern Priorat include representatives of both camps. The creators of Mas Alta, Michel and Christine Vanhoutte, originally from Belgium, became enamored with the early wines they tasted from the Priorat and decided to relocate to the small village of Vilella Alta with the goal of establishing an estate of their own. In the process they enlisted the help of Michel Tardieu and Philippe Cambie to start up their Bodega. Lest you think this is an entirely foreign affair they did hire Bixente O?afrain as their winemaker, a name not common in either Belgium or the Rh?ne valley.
This ripe, healthy wine offers aromas of baked black fruits, licorice and raisin. In the mouth, it's more vital than on the nose; racy acidity and firm but pure tannins make sure of that. For flavors, look for savory tomato, plum, berry fruits, licorice and schisty minerality. Finishing notes of mocha, plum and coffee are braced by hard-driving tannins. Drink through 2024.?MICHAEL SCHACHNER