Let’s face it, a lot of simple, anodyne rosé are offered as soon as the summer arrives – there is nothing wrong with that. There is clearly a huge demand for refreshing, light rosé destined to be drunk outside without us needing to ponder the qualities on show.
That said, it always seems odd to me that the normal approach to assessing the merits of a given wine goes out the window when it comes to rosé, as if these wines can’t be as complex or serious as whites or reds. This is simply not the case.
Last year we offered a very special rosé, completely new to Atlas; the Partida Pedrer Rosat from Priorat in north-eastern Spain. It was incredibly well received, with so many clients commenting on this highly individual wine. Without question, I would say it is one of the most fascinating rosés I have ever tasted, and I can happily report that the 2018 was no flash in the pan; the 2019 is equally as compelling. The 2018 received a glowing endorsement from Luis Gutiérrez on robertparker.com, who commented that it was an ‘amazing rosé’ and ‘a wine that transcends its color’. It received a 94-point score as you may recall, which is lofty for any rosé.
A few bullet points on this wine:
1. It is made by Sara Perez and René Barbier, the younger generation of two illustrious Priorat estates, namely Mas Martinet and Clos Mogador.
2. It is a wine produced in tiny quantities from their Bellvisos vineyard, a challenging, sloping site with the typical ‘llicorella’ schistous soils for which the region is famed. As I have said before, there are far easier places to make wine.
3. The grapes are grown organically, and Sara and René embrace biodynamic principles, without feeling the need to state this openly, it is simply their personal philosophy.
4. The wine is produced in a 'natural' manner, meaning no sulphur dioxide is employed in its production. 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 with no sulphur dioxide. 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.
5. Just 1,750 bottles are made each year and Atlas offers the wines exclusively in the UK. Lucky us.