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2008 - A PROMISING VINTAGE...n

Above-average spring rainfall caused greater fungus problems than usual. The appearance of mildew, in particular, required special attention, as up until this point it had been a minor nuisance to local winegrowers.
Green harvesting and thinning out of the leaves, grassing down of the plots, and careful vineyard management proved to be essential to obtaining a ripe and healthy grape
Vineyard records show that the berries matured 10/15 days later than last year.
The harvests got off to a slow start, with a harvest of 600 kg of a superb shiraz on 10 September, thus setting the tone!
A week later we harvested 5000 kg of merlot and shiraz. Then it was the turn of the white varieties...
We finished on 27 October with the grenaches from the "la Basseta" plot.
The harvest took a long time because we had to wait for each plot to reach the desired degree of maturity.
Initial impressions are in keeping with the year's characteristics – freshness and a promising balance...
Thanks to the winegrowers and the whole team for having put in so much effort!



2007 - AN OUTSTANDING VINTAGE!

Climate
To get a clear idea of the weather pattern during the 2007 growing season, it is enough to look at the rainfall statistics for the year –just 320mm! And nearly half of that (145mm) occurred during the month of April alone…
The vine shoots grew fast during the spring, thanks to the reserves of water that had built up in the subsoil during that time.
As far as vine diseases were concerned, there was no threat at all –the vines were HEALTHY.
From the beginning of June, a particularly hot, dry period of summer weather set in. Highs of 38ºC were recorded in July and 42ºC in August…
This hot weather combined with very low rainfall (22mm during the period of June to August) brought vine vegetation growth to an early stop. As long as the vines coped well with the water deficit and the consequent stress, this favourable situation promised a great vintage…
In July and August we crop thinned the young plots. The vines had produced small-sized bunches in the right quantities.

The picking could begin
We began the harvest with our small plots of white grapes on September 9. The grapes were in an immaculate condition of health with lovely fruit aroma and good acidity.
Then on September 11, we brought in the early-ripening Syrah, Grenache and Carignan. All these grapes were vinified together in a vat we call “Cocktail”.
We next picked the Cabernet, the rest of the Grenache and finally the Carignan.
The cool September nights enabled the fruit to reach full ripeness and the fermentation to start gently –an ideal situation.
The fruit aromas were complex, powerful and with no hints of overripeness.
The grapes had kept good acidity, providing freshness, balance and a promise of long-ageing.
The tannins came through gradually, showing roundness, finesse and sweetness. Polyphenol concentration was impressively high (>90IPT).
Macerations were long (55 days for the Carignan!), extraction was gradual and gentle.
The best vats were already showing great promise of intense terroir character.

The terroir - an essential factor
Throughout this vintage we were able to observe the direct influence of the terroir and the soil composition in particular. In fact, two completely opposite sets of circumstances occurred. On the one hand, there were plots such as La Solana, which are south-facing and planted in Montsant on mostly clay soils. There, drought conditions and heat accelerated the ripening process considerably. The risk of the berries withering made us harvest this area quickly.
On the other hand, the vines planted on slate soils at altitude coped incredibly well with this particularly hot, dry summer. Both young and old vines were able to complete their full cycle of ripening and at the same time keep freshness and balance in the fruit. Good water supply to the vines, thanks to the deep rooting system in cool layers of the soil and subsoil, together with a regulation of the crop load, enabled the grapes to take full advantage of the somewhat extreme characteristics of this vintage.
An intense, pure expression of the terroir was produced from these extreme conditions. The quality, the complexity of the aromas was unique. On the palate, the wine is already round; the tannins are sweet, while power and freshness combine to provide a unique sensation.



A BRAND NEW CELLAR!!                                                                           SEPT. 2008

As of September 2008, BODEGAS MAS ALTA has been equipped with a brand new wine cellar.
In fact previous vintages had been vinified in a temporary cellar located in the village of Vilella Alta, whilst the new building was under construction.
In addition to being extremely functional, this latest addition is equipped with state-of-the-art winemaking technology – a cold room for storing the grapes, a double sorting table, concrete vats filled by gravity, automatic temperature control, etc.
Michel Vanhoutte, who designed this building with total respect for the grape and the production of great wines, should be proud of it!



PLANTING UP OF A NEW PLOT: ELS PICS                                                AVRIL 2005

This new "finca", with its back to Montsant and facing south-west, gets the sun from morning until night and is one of our newest plots, with carignan and shiraz planted on schists(licorella)
It got off to a good start in the first year with the above-average rainfall in spring 2008.
There is no doubt that in a few years' time, as a result of its orientation, soil and the rigorously selected plantings, wines from this plot will be included in BODEGAS MAS ALTA's great cuvées!


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Bodegas Mas Alta sa - Carretera T - 702, KM. 16,8 - 43375 Vilella Alta (Priorat) - España - Tarragona - Tel.: 0034 977 05 41 51 - 0034 977 81 71 94
E-mail: - VAT: ES A43602150

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