This small winery located in the village of Poboleda was established in 1998 by the Doix and Llagostera families. There are records of several generations of the Doix family crafting award-winning wines at the Paris (1878) and Barcelona (1888) Universal Exhibitions. Phylloxera meant an abrupt stop leading to the impoverishment of the region, yet some of the first Carignan vines planted after the plague go to the extremely scarce and expensive 1902 Centenary Carignan. Grapes grown by the founders used to be sold to the local co-op before they set up on their own.
Poboleda is one of the highest and coolest villages in Priorat. As Valentí Llagostera puts it, the dry cold northwestern winds are behind the wine’s high acidity and a slow ripening cycle. In fact, Mas Doix usually starts picking grapes a week after Gratallops. Climate thus allows them to make fresher wines “raising people from their seats”, says Llagostera.
Mas Doix owns 20 hectares of vineyards, which include its most precious jewel —a 4Ha plot planted in 1902 with Carignan vines and 80-year old Garnacha. They favour indigenous Carignan and Garnacha grapes, so they have grafted their Cabernet and Merlot vines with them. Syrah is the only international grape they grow which —it represents 10% in the blend of entry-level reds Les Crestes and Salanques.
Garnacha accounts for 80% of Les Crestes (€16 in Spain, around 30,000 bottles, eight months in barrels). Tasty and boasting lots of red fruit, Les Crestes is one of the region’s best value wines. Even if some of the grapes come from vineyards which are not their own, they still grow and take care of them. Salanques (€31, 16,000 bottles, 15 months in French oak) is a blend of 65% Garnacha and 25% Carignan, a grape which takes centre stage in Mas Doix’s top reds. It accounts for as much as 55% in Doix (€80, 5.000 bottles, 16 months ageing in French oak), a concentrated, yet subtle fresh Priorat; the single-varietal 1902 Centenary Carignan (850 bottles, €200, 16 months in French oak) is extremely concentrated and mineral showing vibrant fruit.
In all cases, fermentation takes place in stainless steel vats. Even if most of the wines in Mas Doix’s portfolio could be labelled as vi de la vila (the local designation for village wines), the winery is reluctant to use this relatively new category.
Wine lovers willing to visit Mas Doix can tour the winery and taste three wines for €18 or alternatively, visit the vineyards and the winery and taste five wines for €55. Tastings are also held in Barcelona for those unable to travel to Priorat. Mas Doix also holds a 13-kilometre trail run among vines with a softer 9km version that can be done on foot. Like other wineries in the area, they make their own olive oil from Arbequina olives.