Label photo of Mas Doix 2021 Les Crestes Priorat

Affordable Priorat with a Softer Touch

250 Words (Or So) on a Dark Wine with Summer Aspirations

2 min read

Here is another wine to consider for your parade of upcoming summer barbecues; one that is also easy on the wallet: Celler Mas Doix’s “Les Crestes” Priorat from northeastern Spain. If you are unfamiliar with the Priorat region, this is an excellent First-Taste option as it runs about $26 (certainly on the low end for this DOQ), and its blend of Garnacha, Cariñena and Syrah is highly indicative of the region’s potent, powerhouse reds — if a bit fresher and simpler.

There is not much I can say quickly about Priorat that hasn’t already been said. It is one of Spain’s most prestigious regions for viticulture, and it garners its fare share of attention from the international wine press. However, here are some basics: Priorat is a highly arid region of hillside vineyards, with — by some accounts — dozens of different microclimates. Old vines are the pride and joy here, as some of the bush-trained Garnacha and Cariñena can date back to well over 100 years of age.

But Priorat’s secret formula for success is its llicorella soil — a coppery brown, iron-rich slate that is one of the most unique in the world of wine. It is nothing like volcanic soil, nothing like limestone or chalk, yet in the glass, the same phenomenon — minerality — comes into play because the vine roots have to explore deep underground, just as they do in those other terroirs.

Seventy-five percent of the vines that give us “Les Crestes” have their roots in llicorella soil, while the remaining 25% is in clay, which lends a little flesh and power. The vines are young and eager, and so is the fruit, making this Mas Doix’s entry-level wine.

2021 Celler Mas Doix “Les Crestes” Priorat

2021 Mas Doix Les Crestes PrioratPriorat DOQ (Catalunya )
Grapes: Garnacha (80%), Cariñena (10%), Syrah (10%)
Alcohol: 14.5%
Opinion: ★★★★ 1/2 (out of five)
Food-friendliness: Selective
Value: Very Good

A beginner might like …  spending a modest amount for a solid first-taste of Priorat, one of Spain’s top protected appellations of origin for red wine.

A wine obsessive might like … the precise nose that is so Garnacha: all dark strawberries and resinous herbs. Note also the slight bitter edge to this wine, which I think distinguishes it from its peers elsewhere in Spain and over the border in France.

Note: This wine was sent as a sample by Celler Mas Doix’s American PR firm. But I liked it enough to write about. Learn more about our editorial policy.

Key to Our Wine Icons

– Practicing Organic
 – Certified Organic
 – Practicing Biodynamic
 – Certified Biodynamic
– Biodiversity
– Polyculture
– Old Vines
– Heroic Viticulture
– Volcanic Soil
– Traditional Winemaking
– Clay Vessel Winemaking
– Family-Operated Winery
– Historic Winery
– Co-operative Winery
– Négociant
– Stay at Winery
– Age-Worthy Wine
– Expensive Wine (+$100)
– Requires Some Searching

Sign Up for Emails
The best way to stay on top of our upcoming virtual tastings, new articles and wine reviews, and subscription opportunities.

Skip to content