Iberica Bruno Prats

Alicante

Overview

Bruno Prats ran the family-owned Chateau Cos d’Estournel in Saint Estephe for 30 years before leaving in 1998 to pursue several independent projects. His love for Alicante was born long before, during his studies in 1967 at the Institut National Agronomique in Montpellier. It was there that he studied the old Monastrell vines that would later become the flagship varietal for Fidelis Alliance in Alicante.

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Bruno Prats’ grandfather, Fernand Ginestet , started his career in wine as a merchant in Bordeaux.  In 1917, he cemented his family’s place in wine history by purchasing the famed Chateau Cos D’Estournel. It was Fernand who first taught Bruno the art of winemaking and nuances of mercantilism. In 1950 Fernand and his son Pierre, together with assistance from the Mayor of Saignon, added a second property to the family’s portfolio with the purchase of the First Growth property Chateau Margaux.

Inspired by the family trade, Bruno Prats studied Agronomy and Viticulture at the Institut National Agronomique in Montpellier in 1967. Upon graduating he immediately began working alongside his uncle and grandfather at Chateau Margaux. In 1970, a mere three years following his graduation, Bruno Prats and his two cousins Jean-Marie and Yves Ginestet acquired Chateau Cos d’Estournel from their grandfather. The property became part of “Domaines Prats”, the umbrella company for the family’s winemaking operations.

After several difficult vintages in the early 1970’s, Prats’ Grandfather was forced to sell Chateau Margaux to a Greek merchant, André Mentzelopoulos, in 1977. Bruno Prats continued to oversee the family-owned Chateau Cos d’Estournel in Saint Estephe until his departure in 1998, when his penchant for travel led him on a journey through both Old and New World wine regions in search of viable terroir for new projects. One of his first projects was a partnership with the famed Port producing Symington family in Portugal; together they created Chryseia DOC Douro, a still red wine blended from grapes that were historically grown for Port production, but not fortified. Prats’ additional projects span various New World regions, including Vina Acquitania in Santiago, Chile, which produces Chardonnay and Cabernet in an Old World style, and Anwilka Vineyards in Stellenbosch, South Africa, which produces 3 wines made predominantly from Cabernet and Shiraz.

In 2008, Prats settled in Alicante, a region he had fallen in love with during his time at Institut National Agronomique.  Here he discovered the old Monastrell vines that would later become the flagship varietal for Fidelis Alliance in Alicante. In 2009 his passion for the region became a winemaking reality when he partnered with Stephane Point, the former winemaker from Prats’ esteemed property in the Douro, Chryseia. Together Prats and Point have created two wines, the Monastrell based blend “Mosyca” and the pure Monastrell wine “Alfynal”.


Terroir

Alicante is an old and well-established wine region with a Mediterranean climate. The high temperatures in the summer are balanced by the region’s proximity to the sea. The Fidelis vineyard reaches an altitude of 500-700 meters with various exposures. These ranging altitudes and exposures benefit the Monastrell grapes, which require a significant amount of heat to fully ripen. The soil is made up of clay and limestone with sedimentary rock subsoil.

The grapes for “Alfynal” are handpicked from 35-70 year old bush vines; the grapes for “Mosyca” are handpicked from younger vines that range in age between 15-35 years. The non-irrigated bush vines are ideal for the region as they limit evaporation and prevent the berries from shriveling, which further benefits grape yields.

Both Stephane and Bruno share a passion for elegant and balanced wines without over-extraction or too much oak, with as little mechanical intervention as possible.

Winemaking

The Iberica Bruno Prats cellar combines traditional winemaking techniques with modernized equipment. After the grapes are hand-harvested and sorted, they undergo fermentation in small capacity stainless steel vats. In a Mediterranean climate, precise temperature control allows fermentation and maceration to occur without the loss of key fruit flavors and aromas. Prats and Point vinify each plot separately prior to blending.

Pump overs are assisted by gravity, and the pressing is gentle. The wine ages in 225L and 400L French oak barrels that a combination of new and one year old oak. The wines are then bottled on premise.

The “Alfynal” is composed of 100% Monastrell whereas the “Mosyca” is a Monastrell-based blend with Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot.