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2018 Partida Pedrer Rosat - a remarkable, rare and distinctive rosé

April 2021

2018 Partida Pedrer Rosat, Sara I Rene Viticultors

£145 per 6 bottle case in bond
£190.08 per 6 bottle case including delivery and VAT

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I promised that we were due to offer a very special rosé, completely new to Atlas and here it is; 2018 Partida Pedrer Rosat and I very much doubt you have ever heard of it. Without question, I would say it is one of the most fascinating rosé I have ever tasted – it is both distinctive and high-class. So where is it from you might ask? The answer is relatively surprising too, for I have never tasted a Priorat rosé before, but that is what we have here.
 
The wine is produced by René Barbier (the fourth generation of his family to have that name!) and Sara Perez. René’s family own Clos Mogador, regarded among the finest Priorat estates, and Sara Perez’s family own another great name in the region, Mas Martinet. Together, they started this new project in 2001 when they purchased a small vineyard called El Bellvisos (Bella Vista – beautiful view). This remarkably steep sloping vineyard had been neglected for over 40 years, yet it was well-situated and offered significant potential. As the couple comment ‘there are no neighbours due to the steep slopes surrounding it: not even the most valiant would plant a vineyard here!’. René and Sara’s aim has always been to produce a wine that was at one with nature, and a vineyard that had not witnessed any chemical usage for such a long period provided just the opportunity. From the outset, both René and Sara have sought to produce wines from organically grown fruit with as little intervention as possible. This is an admirable approach and can at times prove very challenging, but from the few lines above you no doubt get the impression that these two will not shirk a challenge! The challenge with this plot was that the soil had not been broken up to make new terraces; It took a lot of effort to address soil erosion, low biodiversity and loss of soil structure. Most of this was addressed by hand ploughing or using a mule as well as embracing aspects of biodynaminc viticulture.
 
A word on Priorat
To anyone new to Priorat, it is a region rich in history situated in the province of Taragona. It offers a range of different microclimates and soil structures on account of its steep, sloping vineyards that range from 100 to 700 metres in altitude. Many of its vineyards are craggy escarpments or terraced vineyards in separate mountain valleys. The name ‘Priorato’ means priory and legend has it that a shepherd boy awoke to see angels descending from a celestial ladder. He told a priest about his vision and in 1163 an order of Carthusian monks founded the ‘Priorato de Scala Dei’, literally the ‘Priory of the Stairway to God’. Today the Cellers de Scala Dei is a producer based in the old priory cellars! Modern day Priorat incorporates 11 different small villages and extends over just 2,000 hectares. The wines of the region gain their distinctive character on account of the topography and the schistous soils that dominate; schist is well-suited to vines (think of the famous Port vineyards of the Douro). The vine is able to sink its roots deep into the soil accessing rainwater stored underground to see the vines through a hot Mediterranean summer. The most famous soils of the region are called 'llicorella', where you find alternating layers of slate and quartzite making a black/gold tiger skin pattern, just as found in the Pedrer Partida vineyard. Yields are naturally low in Priorat making for intense wines. 
 
Back to Partida Pedrer
This is a natural wine, meaning no sulphur dioxide was used in the winemaking. Sulphur works to protect a wine against oxidation and also possesses anti-bacterial benefits among other properties. It takes skill and dedication to produce clean, pure natural wines. A whole host of natural wines that I have tasted have exhibited faults, but this need not always be the case. René and Sara just happen to make their wine that way; they aren’t looking for a badge. 

The Pedrer vineyard is planted largely with Garnatxa (Grenache) and Monastrell (Mourvèdre) – the latter is not at all common in Priorat, but is readily found in the Southern Rhône and the south of France, notably in Bandol. Monastrell works well with Garnatxa– lending a little more complexity, structure and alleviating the natural alcoholic strength of Grenache in the blend.  
 
This distinctive rosé is just outstanding. The winemaking decisions – the use of Monastrell alongside Garnatxa, indigenous yeast, slow fermentation in old, large oak barrels – all creates a remarkably complex end result. Given that production is tiny, just 1,750 bottles, I am so pleased to have acquired a good allocation for Atlas clients. Without getting carried away, this is one of those wines that adds to the joy of being a wine buyer…so individual and remarkably fine. A real find.
 
I include my note below – seldom do I write such lengthy notes on rosé. I also include Luis Gutiérrez’s note from robertparker.com, seldom does he award 94 points to a rosé.

 




2018 Partida Pedrer Rosat, Sara I Rene Viticultors
£145 per 6 bottle case in bond
 
Very pale in hue, slight orange tone, the aromas suggest hints of wild hedgerow fruit, all understated, with a gentle creamy, leesy note of complexity that makes me think of vintage Champagne. There is certain scented floral quality too. On the palate, you could easily forget this was a rosé as it boasts a striking complexity – discreet notes of juicy summer berry fruit are allied to herbs and spice, but nothing is overstated. Priorat is not noted for high acidity but this remains fresh, focused and lively, but once more the mineral acidity is beautifully integrated. There is no lack of energy. Nothing jars here at all; the palate has a silky sense of depth, mouthwatering, intense, yet not heavy in any way. And then to the finish a certain zesty blood orange note provides a citrus burst that leads to a long, positive finish. Simply put, this strikes an outstanding balance – a distinctive, dry rosé with real intrigue. Subtle and incredibly classy. I would be fascinated to see how this would age. Drink: Now to 2025+ (SL)


94 points, Luis Gutiérrez, robertparker.com
A wine that transcends its color, the 2018 Partida Pedrer Rosat wants to show the freshness of a shadowed place without any interference of skins or any additive. This vineyard has Garnacha, Monastrell and Cariñena and was planted 20 years ago on north-facing terraces of llicorella slate, and it is also produced in red. All of the grapes were picked at the same time and pressed directly, and the juice fermented in well-seasoned, neutral 300- and 600-liter barrels where it fermented with indigenous yeasts for six months and then was bottled when the fermentation in was over. It has 13.5% alcohol and very high acidity and is vibrant and fresh, with deep flavors of herbs and spices. Like many of their wines, this also has a notable absence of fruit, with an aromatic profile clearly closer to a white. The idea is to bottle without any added sulfur, but the wine is clean, precise, mineral, long and tasty. Amazing rosé. René Barbier told me this wine has the highest acidity of all the wines he's ever made in Priorat. 1,750 bottles were filled in July 2019. Drink 2020-2027.
 

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Please let us know of your interest. The wine is in stock and available for delivery from Monday.
 
All the best,
 
Simon
 

To request a wine, please do not hesitate to contact any member of the Atlas team. We can be reached on +44 (0) 20 3017 2299, info@atlasfinewines.com or by submitting the form below. Please note that stock may be limited and is always sold on a 'first come, first serve' basis. 

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