Food & Montsant Wines – Part III DO Montsant – James Melendez

This is the third part of my three part series on DO Montsant from my March 2018 visit.

One of the most exciting things to experience is putting foot on ground where your wines are being sourced from.  Especially if it is a distant place and it is most gratifying when the first crunch of earth is beneath your foot.  The photo below documents my first crunch of beautiful soil of broken slate “Llicorella” at Mas de l’Abundància.

My memory and relationship with wine is that it is not just while visiting but to seek out wines from Montsant in my marketplace.  The best pairing is with Montsant and food.  Montsant’s Garnaxta, Carinyena, Garnaxta Blanca, Macabeo and other wine varieties are optimum for food and to enjoy without food as well.

The wide range food is not just limited to Catalan, Mediterranean but a wide range of foods from around the world.  Not all wines varieties and regions are versatile to a wide range of foods as is DO Montsant.

Monstant food and wines

Calçots and Romesco

Lamb Chops and Sausage

Bibs On and A Wonderful Experience with Calçots and Romesco

What you will find in the cuisine style of Catalunya is that the inland area away from the Mediterranean are focused more on lamb and pork than seafood.  This makes perfect sense as this regions access to seafood would have been limited in the early part of last century.  But today the update in cuisine is to enjoy the offerings of the Mediterranean but also join with the traditional foods of regions inland.  I was in time for the Calçots season (Calçots are very large green onions) they are served grilled and the fun is pealing off the smoked and blackened portions and to enjoy the delicate sweetness of this green onion with fresh Romesco sauce.  Romesco originates in Tarragona and is easy to prepare with that which is local – sweet red pepper, almonds, olive oil, tomatoes and parsley.

The rustic serving tray (as pictured above) with charcoal on bottom of grill with lamb chops and sausage reminded me of Korean BBQ and more delighted in the coals didn’t exude an intense smell but cooked the lamb.  This was most intriguing and fun!

The parade of great foods from Montsant were not overly prepared; the foods were nicely and simply prepared with as many local ingredients as possible.  In several dishes was salted cod which is a yesteryear ingredient of great practicality and gives a wonderful flavour of the Mediterranean and historical connection.

Salad with Salted Cod

Pork Cutlet with Toast

Artichoke and Shrimp

Salad with Strawberries

Catalan Rice Dish with Artichoke

Eggplant, Onion and Spinach

Crema Catalunya

One of my favourite dishes is the Catalan rice dish with peas and Artichokes–nicely rich like a Risotto–just enough salt to capture the flavours of dish and rich enough to enjoy as one’s main plate (second dish).

The thematic of certain flavours remind me of the ground tour as well as sitting in the dining room chair in Falset.  The taste and smell of Montsant Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the richest and sweetest green onions Calçots, Rosemary, Thyme, almonds and hazelnuts encapsulate in my mind this glorious experience.  While the earth is ideal for Calçots to not grow everywhere they can only grow here.  The richness of earth, sacredness of soil can only perfect the Calçots there.  There was also a rich assembly of local cheeses and charcuterie that make one’s journey to Montsant easy to get to know and appreciable to taste and enjoy that which is local and a nearly universal custom for wine.

Food & Montsant Wines

Wine of place is important not just while your visiting a wine region but for the long haul and to share with those closest to you.  My way of sharing is get these wines in my marketplace and share with family and friends (I have listed a few retailers in the US where you can purchase Montsant wines).  When I talk to people about what wines they pour at their dinners there is a tendency or desire to get matchy-matchy with cuisine to wine (e.g. Italian wines with Italian food).  Instead I change up and yes it is fun to pair wine with the cuisine style where the wine comes from but I get a sense of excitement when I share a potential new wine region with my guests.  I am adventurous and pair a mild Mole Poblano and wine;  a mushroom Risotto with Iberian wines; Pizza with Beaujolais, German food with Croatian wines.

Here is what I will pair in the future with Montsant wines (white, rosé and red) and food on my dinner table this summer:

  • Three mushroom Risotto (Crimini, oyster and Porcini)
  • Rotisserie Chicken
  • Panzanella
  • Orecchiette Bolognese
  • Salad with hazelnut and strawberries (reminding me of the salad I had in Falset)
  • Oven roasted chicken
  • Pizza
  • Chicken and rice
  • Rice and arthicoke
  • Pork chop with rosemary
  • Ribeye
  • Salted cod
  • Pork Loin

I cannot always be in Montsant which, of course, I will visit again.  But until then the sacredness of the wines of this region–a style of Garnaxta that is distinct from Aragon regions  Somontano, Campo de Borja, Calatayud, and Carinena) , Empordà, Terra Alta, France, Sardinia, North or South America or Australia.  Montsant represents to me red, blue, black fruit, hint of florals, savory qualities of dried herbs; a dense colour and nice weighty texture.  Some Grenache can be lighter in style and hint of crushed red candy qualities (I love this descriptor–not a negative comment).  I love Montsant and all of the wines of this distinct young DO but ancient land of wine, food and culture with a small and welcoming people.

I recommend a visit to this region on your next journey–the visitas and experience are a rich reward.

Alegres!

James

****

My Sketching While On My Travels

This section shows how I love to capture in a brief and casual sketch the place I am visiting.  Below shows not a one-on-one relationship but a feeling like the impressionist of the 19th century.  My intent is not to create a master work but to give a quick impression and more of feeling that an actual point-for-point sketch.  I am also trying to capture any relevant video to capture, taking photos, notes, and listening to the winemaker; as example when I was visiting Mas de l’Abundància I was also listening to Jesus Del Rio talking about his love and stewardship of his land and the wines his vines are producing.  And I also was joyously multitasking to taste the wines on site where they are being produced.

 

 

 

 

 

****

I was intrigued by the tank room at the Portal del Montsant – this building is over one hundred years old and was built for the Marcá Wine Cooperative.  The intricate wood work on the “V” roof was appreciable distinct and regional in architecture and design.  I like that this is an architecture that is distinctly old world and I know there is no example like this at least in North America.

 

 

 

 

 

****

It was exceptionally nice to taste on this great view point tasting Acústic Celler’s with the winemaker Albert Jané.  The windswept point was beautiful to see budding of the vines.

 

 

 

 

 

****

Vinyes Domènech was a beautiful incline with glorious vistas – the site is 450-500 meters above sea level / 1,400-1640 feet above sea level between Llaberia and Montalt mountains.  The site inspired me with it’s abundance of wild Thyme and Rosemary–the vines preciously planted on the hillside.

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Thyme

 

 

 

 

 

****

Retailers where you can buy DO Montsant wines:

Two previous articles I wrote on DO Montsant:

Montsant Foot on Ground Tour – Part II DO Montsant – James Melendez

DO Montsant – A Catalunya Gem – Part I – James Melendez

Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

© 2018 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, drawings, art work, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.  James the Wine Guy is also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

All brand copyrights are property of the producer.

Follow, subscribe, like, browse:

TWITTERFACEBOOKVIMEOLINKEDFLICKRpinterestWordpressYOUTUBE

Advertisements
Posted in Carinyena, Garnaxta, Garnaxta Blanca, Grenache, Montsant | 1 Comment

A Love for Sicilia – Wine, Food, People and The Land – Part I – Palermo

In honour of this years SEP18

James the Wine Guy

Sicila – A Drawing I Created Simply Because I couldn’t find a Map that was Showing All of the Wine Regions

I had the privilege of stepping onto the beautiful island of Sicilia this past April (2017). I have been fortunate to have been through almost all of Italia: North to South, East to West.  I have been to all larger Italian cities and many numerous small ones.  I never tire of the adventures and experience of this amazing country.

Sicily loomed large in my mind and represents a land where it is not just a crossroad but more than that—it is a rich culture that would be Sicily with or without being a crossroad.  I am student of history: actually I am passionate about history.  While many people have come and influenced Sicily …. Sicily has persevered and has and is a culture that has included it’s historical experience…

View original post 1,621 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Troon Montepulciano and Sangiovese 2016 – James Melendez

Troon is a special producer in Southern Oregon’s Applegate Valley specialsing in Italian, Rhône varieties, Zinfandel and Malbec.  Applegate Valley’s granitic soils and long summer hours of sunshine and heat index make for an ideal climate of the unique and special wines that Troon is producing.

How many wineries in the US are producing Italian varieties?  The answer is easy very few when compared with international varieties.  Also in the question so few are producing a Montepulciano wine.  These wines are expressing an homage to Italy but fundamentally Oregonian.

Troon is working on their LIVE and Salmon Safe certification for implementation of being a biodynamic winery by 2020.   Each of these wines has a small percentage of co-fermented Syrah.

Troon Vineyard, Applegate Valley, Kubli Bench Estate Bottled Montepulciano 2016

Scent of red cherry, blackberry, evergreen forest, spice rack and dried rose petals.  Characteristic of black cherry, evenness of sweet spice, and dried herbs.

  • 11.5%,
  • SRP $25
  • 146 cases produced

****

 

Troon Vineyard Applegate Valley, Kubli Bench Estate Bottled Sangiovese 2016

Scent of red cherry, currant, flower garden and cedar; palate first of season red cherry, hint of cinnamon, white pepper, Thyme and violets.

  • 12.5%,
  • SRP $25
  • 194 cases produced

 

Troon Vineyard

http://www.troonvineyard.com/

(541) 846-9900

Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

Wines courtesy of producer.

© 2018 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, drawings, art work, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.  James the Wine Guy is also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

All brand copyrights are property of the producer.

Follow, subscribe, like, browse:

TWITTERFACEBOOKVIMEOLINKEDFLICKRpinterestWordpressYOUTUBE

Posted in Applegate Valley, Montepulciano, Oregon, Sangiovese | 1 Comment

Three Cheers to Cava – An Invitation to Drink More – James Melendez

Cava producers are doing a fantastic job of creating bottles of gorgeous wines from their famed region using three characteristic wine grape: Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada in many wines.

I thought it very important to highlight Cava because as I noticed in my hamlet of San Francisco I visited three wine retailers looking for Cava – two retailers had one SKU, the other retailer had the same SKU (as the first two retailers) plus one net different Cava SKU.

Finding Cava in a sophisticated wine town in like San Francisco is an emblem of a problem.  When off-premise retailers are selling very little there is a two prong effect: 1) the wine consumer thinks perhaps there is little Cava present because is that it may be not comparable to other sparkling wine regions on the planet and 2) a wine retailer may feel it is a tepid market place for Cava and why bother getting more SKUs.

As a former wine marketing manager for a large multi-store chain in 30 US states – I believed that by providing more SKUs and being able to talk cogently about wine can help be the authorship for that off-premise business.  I believe that retailing wine is an opportunity to make a presentation of wine and own more of that category for the respective business.

Cava has an opportunity to be much more present in the United States.  At one time when I think people were not willing to spend too much on sparkling wine Cava was thought of as an inexpensive wine.  But the trap for Cava was being thought of as cheap instead of a very specific wine style and viewpoint.  Cava is not Prosecco, Champagne, Franciacorta or any other sparkling wine region.  In a way Cava should only compete with Cava.  There is a defining characteristic that makes Cava a sparkling wine to seek out and to love.

Being in Spain in March of this year (2018) and like any marketing place; when you are on the ground you see many more producers wines.  I saw a ton of Cava and a lot of brut nature style that I didn’t think existed. And I love brut nature and generally cannot get enough of it.  Prosecco’s meteoric rise has had consequences for all regions including Prosecco itself–mainly regions being lost in the shuffle.  Prosecco’s grape had to change from Prosecco to Glera so non-Prosecco producers were not producing Prosecco.  Consequences for other sparking wine regions is that you can find fewer sparkling wines from those respective regions on average.

I think Cava will find it’s way back and with marketing and promotion can show the beauty of this wine and for me–I want more choices in the marketplace–I want more Cava and what I always believe in is to promote all regions and hence I would never speak ill of other sparkling wine regions.

I would like to include a review of Cava but don’t have any this time to be reviewing.  I’m always on the lookout.

What are you favourite Cavas?

Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

© 2018 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, drawings, art work, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.  James the Wine Guy is also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

All brand copyrights are property of the producer.

Follow, subscribe, like, browse:

TWITTERFACEBOOKVIMEOLINKEDFLICKRpinterestWordpressYOUTUBE

Posted in Catalunya, Cava, Spain, Sparkling | Leave a comment

Broken Wine Glasses – 5 Tips to Lose Fewer – James Melendez

It does break my heart when I break a wine glass especially a great one.  But it not just losing one or two but having a large number in a short period of time can be superbly disappointing.  I have noticed in the past year I had broken a record number of wine glasses…. this is also with the fact that I have traveled a bunch and entertained very little.

Where the majority of them breaking were not necessarily on the table but in the dishwasher.  For my every day wine glass usage I was using a brand that I have used for a great number of years.  I was not using them any differently but snap, snap they went in the dishwasher.   I was thinking that perhaps there was a degradation in material of one of my favoured glasses.   I was amazed that they would just snap and of course the are suppose to be dishwashable

I also tested out a regimen of using mainly stemless and I looked at using a lesser expensive glasses and experimented also with how I can minimise loss in dishwasher.

My “experiment” with using stemless was terribly unsuccessful because I just can’t use this glassware because of finger prints.  Also, I prefer to use a stem to pick up glass–not just because of fewer prints it just makes picking up the glass an easy thing to do and it looks fabulous.

Also, a lesser expensive glasses generally break at the same rate as the more pricey ones.  So why use a lesser expensive one?  In general, lesser expensive wine glass have a lot of design problems or simply not optimized in terms of design.

Lastly and the “best” solution is how they are loaded into dishwasher–not too tightly packed but not loosely either.  I load wine glasses last and careful to not move them around in dishwashing rack too hard; there is a need to reduce less fatigue between bowl and stem.  It was not necessarily the stem that broke but it was always the bowl.

  1. Don’t start buying too cheap a wine glass; they are not a pleasing experience for your wines and they fatigue just as often as the mid-priced ones
  2. Your favourite wine glasses–use them accordingly.  I have glasses that are hard to obtain and rarely use them or if they are super expensive I’ll use sparingly
  3. Using your dishwashing rack–use carefully; pack carefully so this will minimize vibration as much as possible.  Not too tightly packed and not too loosely packed
  4. Roll the rack of your wine glasses as minimally as possible – I have started to pack last instead of first
  5. I also don’t use a hot dry setting for a run through of wine glasses

I have reduced my wine glasses breakage but it was only through a concerted effort.  While nothing will stop wine glasses from breaking there is a way to reduce breaking too many in a short period of time.  I am glad to have reduced the loss of wine glasses–after all I’d rather spend money on filling them with wine than just having a glass and no wine.

Are there any techniques that you have used that have been helpful?

Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

© 2018 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, drawings, art work, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.  James the Wine Guy is also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

All brand copyrights are property of the producer.

Follow, subscribe, like, browse:

TWITTERFACEBOOKVIMEOLINKEDFLICKRpinterestWordpressYOUTUBE

Posted in Wine Glasses | 1 Comment

Montsant Foot on Ground Tour – Part II DO Montsant – James Melendez

This is the second part of the three-part series on the DO Montsant:

Here is the my first article: DO Montsant – A Catalunya Gem – Part I – James Melendez

DO Montsant is a gem–it is a gem not just to taste wines from the region but to treasure in totality the experience of a visit.  I hear from my readers and family and friends how adventurous my sojourns are–and I quickly follow-up “you can too.”  I love Montsant and why I will go back is that it is such a compelling region on many levels–the geology, the history, wonderfully friendly people and a great wine and food tradition.  I know I can either go here by myself or with a group and feel valued and not rushed as compared to other wine regions in the world.

For me Montsant feels far away from me–which it is geographically speaking but for me it feels like a topography that I grew up with.  It feels to some degree like New Mexico.  The first settlers from Spain in New Mexico were said to settle in similar cardinal points – the northern Spanish settled in what is today northern New Mexico, southern Colorado and so fourth; while this is I am sure is a bit folkloric and I feel like I am at home in Montsant.

While this is an historic long time wine region it is also filled with inventiveness from the independent producer buying grapes to Kosher wines to natural wines.   There are many older wine regions and there is a great tradition of making wines but fewer innovators.  I was truly surprised to see a wide range of producer philosophies in an older region.

The connection to the earth is important and the appreciation for soil content, geography play an important part of DO Montsant.  The regions grapes are perfect for the soil as well as the climate.

I was touched and humbled to be treated with the highest level of welcoming and the generosity I was given.

Wines Tasted and listed in alpha order by producer.

Acústic

Getting an outstanding view of one of the sites where Acústic sources it’s fruit was a great way to taste the wines of this producer’s wines.  They operate 42 hectares of bush vines.  The desire and the name signifies an emotional touch with both what they are sourcing and the consumer who tastes their wines.  There wines are available in the following US states:  New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Florida

 

 

 

 

 

Acústic Braó Montsant 2007

 

  • Carinyena
  • Garnatxa

 

Acústic Auditori Montsant 2009 

 

  • Garnatxa

 

 

Acústic Acustic Montsant 2015 

  • Carinyena
  • Garnatxa

 

 

Acústic Acustic Montsant 2007 

 

  • Carinyena
  • Garnatxa

 

Acústic Blanc Montsant 2011 

 

    • Garnatxa
    • Viura
    • Garnatxa Blanca
    • Xarel.lo

Acústic Blanc Montsant 2016

    • Garnatxa
    • Viura
    • Garnatxa Blanca
    • Xarel.lo

 

Acústic Rosat Montsant 2015 

  • Carinyena
  • Garnatxa

 

 

****

Coca i Fito

Coca i Fito Montsant Rosa 2016

  • 100% Syrah
  • 14% ABV

 

 

****

Cellers Capafons-Ossó

The Capafons-Ossó have operated on their site near town of Falset.  What I appreciated was a tie to natural wines.  I love natural wines and love this producer is here and has this viewpoint and philosophy.  In many ways–might this not represent the way wines would have tasted several generations ago?  I love the personality and individuality of this producer and the seriousness to the vocation of wine.

 

Cellers Capafons-Ossó Auseta 2016

  • Maceration with skin contact; a lovely orange wine
  • Garnatxa Blanca
  • Moscatel

 

Cellers Capafons-Ossó Vessants 2011

 

 

  • Merlot
  • Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Cellers Capafons-Ossó Vessants 2009

 

  • Merlot
  • Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Cellers Capafons-Ossó Masia Esplanes 2007 

 

  • Merlot
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Garnatxa del Pais (Garnacha)
  • Syrah
  • Carinyena

****

Celler de Capçanes

I cut my teeth on Montsant wines from this producer several years back.  This producer represented my dive into Montsant wines.  I love them then and I love them today.  What I appreciated was the step into producing Kosher wines and additionally the unique and outstanding programme of producing Garnatxa from four distinct soil types: 1) limestone 2) clay 3) sand and 4) slate.  Each wine was unique and thrilling to taste wines this polished and this uniquely different from one another.

 

 

 

La nit de les Garnatxes: CLAY 2015


  • 100% Garnatxa

 

 

La nit de les Garnatxes: LIMESTONE 2015

  • 100% Garnatxa

 

 

 

La nit de les Garnatxes: SLATE 2015

  • 100% Garnatxa

 

 

 

La nit de les Garnatxes:SAND 2015


  • 100% Garnatxa
  • Age 4 months in French barrels

 

Peraj Ha-ahib Montsant 2015

  • 50% Garnatxa
  • 30% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 20% Samsó (Carignan)
  • Kosher
  • 12 months in French Oak
  • 15% ABV

****

Cellers Sant Rafael

Pilar Just and Xavi Peñas are proprietors of this vineyard and winery site.  I loved how this was a remote site–accessible via the roadside but far away from other producers that I felt it very special.  When I was there in late afternoon was to see the single best sunset I have ever seen from the Iberian peninsula–deep orange and pinks contrasted on a canvas of azure.

Cellers Sant Rafael Solpost Blanc 2016

  • Garnatxa Blanca

 

 

 

Cellers Sant Rafael Joana Montsant 2017

  • Garnatxa
  • Merlot

 

 

Cellers Sant Rafael Montsant Solpost 2010


  • Garnatxa
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Samsó (Carignan)

 

Cellers Sant Rafael Montsant Solpost 2006 

  • Garnatxa
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Samsó (Carignan)

 

 

Cellers Sant Rafael Montsant Solpost 2003 

  • Garnatxa
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Samsó (Carignan)

 

****

Cellers Unió

This is a large producer not because it is one singular producer but a cooperative producer.  The producer is in one DOQ and five DO regions including Montsant.  This producer represents 20,000 family wine grape growers.  I very much appreciate cooperative producers–it is great to see this a lively tradition and a singular producer under the Cellers Unió name

 

Cellers Perlat Syrah 2016 

  • Syrah

 

 

 

Cellers Unió Perlat Garnatxa 2015 91 Points

  • Garnatxa

 

 

 

Cellers Unió Perlat 2015


  • Garnatxa
  • Carignan
  • Syrah

 

Cellers Unió Dairo 2015

 

  • Garnatxa
  • Carignan
  • Syrah

 

Cellers Unió Mas del Mets 2017 

 

  • Garnatxa ,
  • Merlot
  • Tempranillo
  • Carignan

****

Estones

I am huge fan of Bahaus design and architecture.  And when we were driving along I thought–I hope we go there… it turns out we did.  Estones is housed in an old nightclub–a la 1970s–I of course love this era and I loved the remnants left behind.  This operation is headed by Sergi Montalà, a Sommelier and Salvi Moliner, wine maker.  The produce wines from both Montsant and Terra Alta.  A fresh and serious approach of making beautiful wines.

 

 

 

Estones Montsant 2008

 

  • Garnatxa
  • Samsó (Carignan)

 

Estones Montsant 2012

  • Garnatxa
  • Samsó (Carignan)

 

Estones Terces Montsant 2010 Magnum

  • Garnatxa
  • Samsó (Carignan)

 

Estones Terces Montsant 2012 Magnum

  • Garnatxa
  • Samsó (Carignan)

 

 

****

Jaume Giral Grand Reserva

Jaume Giral Vinyes Velles Cuvee Terra Salvatge Montsant Gran Reserva 2007 

  • 50% Garnatxa
  • 50% Carinena
  • SC: wild  evergreen forest and moist red clay earth
  • TS:  No notes

 

Jaume Giral Vinyes Velles 2015 

  • Macabeu
  • Garnatxa Blanca
  • 13% ABV

 

 

****

Josep Grau Viticultor

Josep Grau Viticultor La Florents 2014

  • 100% Garnatxa

****

 

 

Mas de l’Abundància

I was fortunate to sit next to Jesus Del Rio the proprietor of Mas de l’Abundància.  His passion and humbleness were striking when he was pouring his wines–I found it eloquent that he said about his site “It does not belong to me; I belong to it.”  Simply that his site posses him and not the other way around.  That as a land holder you are fortunate to hold a piece for as long as you do.  The site is highly inclined and the vines are approximately 90 years old.  There are 8 hectares of pre-phylloxera clones.  Jesus spent time in the United States in his academic career to return to his family’s ancient site.  The site has Jesus explains had been a region that once had been owned by the aristocracy, the Arabs and the Romans.  I very much enjoyed spending time on his site and talking with him–his energy and enthusiasm is apparent.  His wines are outstanding and show an absolute reverence to the site.

Mas de l’Abundància He Ma 2016

  • 65% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 30% Garnatxa
  • 5% Samsó (Carignan)
  • 14.8% ABV

 

Mas de l’Abundància Flvmins 2016


  • 55% Garnatxa
  • 37% Samsó (Carignan)
  • 8% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 15%

Mas de l’Abundància 2013


  • 60% Garnatxa
  • 40% Samsó (Carignan)

 

Mas de l’Abundància de Calpino 2013

93 Points

  • 100% Garnatxa Blanca

 

 

****

Portal del Montsant

Portal del Montsant opened in 2003 and operates in an old and charming cooperative winery called Marcá.  The average age of vines is 60 years old and is high elevation between 700-800 meters above sea level (2,200-2600 feet).

Portal del Montsant BRUberry 2016

  • 80% Garnatxa
  • 11% Syrah
  • 9% Samsó (Carignan)

 

Portal del Montsant BRUberry Blanc 2016

 

80% Garnatxa Blanca

  • 20% Macabeu

 

 

Portal del Montsant Vinyes Velles SanBru 2013

93 Points

  • 85% Samsó (Carignan)
  • 15% Garnatxa

 

Portal del Montsant Vinyes Velles SanBru 2015

  • 85% Samsó (Carignan)
  • 15% Garnatxa

 

 

****

Vinyes Domenech

 

 

 

 

 

The Domènech Family own and operate this amazing site.  I was in a car going up this rugged incline of vineyards.  Arriving on top of this incline was to see a steep landscape punctured with a steep canyon.  The site is between Llaberia and Montalt mountains and walking through wild rosemary and Thyme.  Joan Ignasi Domènech walked through me and my fellow wine writers; there was an absolute appreciation of the site–an absolutely pristine site.

Vinyes Domenech La Rita 2016

  • Viura
  • Garnatxa Blanca

 

 

Vinyes Domenech Vinyes Velles 2015


  • Samsó (Carignan)

 

 

Vinyes Domenech Teixar 2014

94 Points

  • Garnatxa “peluda”

 

 

My third installation will be published in May—stay tuned–in the mean time ask your wine merchant for wines from DO Montsant.

Santé,

James

James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

© 2018 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, drawings, art work, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.  James the Wine Guy is also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

All brand copyrights are property of the producer.

Follow, subscribe, like, browse:

TWITTERFACEBOOKVIMEOLINKEDFLICKRpinterestWordpressYOUTUBE

Posted in Carignan, Garnacha, Montsant | 2 Comments

Deanston Distillery Experience and 4 Deanston Whisky Reviews – James Melendez

I was lucky to visit Deanston on March 9 of this year.

Deanston is in the Highlands about 8 miles from the very famous Stirling Castle and the banks of the River Teith.  Doune castle is even closer.  Deanston was founded as a cotton mill in 1785 and was transformed into a distillery in 1966.

The River Teith powers and supplies water for it’s whisky.   The visitors centre is relatively new–opening as of 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was fortunate to visit on a glorious and super chilly Highlands day.  The beginning of the tour took place where recently receipted American oak barrels had arrived.  The deeply cold rain waters were further seasoning the barrels and would be utilized eventually.  The whisky formerly in these casks were for Bourbon whiskey which can only be used once.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mash House was my tours first stop–the wafting scent of somewhere between cereal, roasting pine nuts and tropical fruit notes; intense, alluring and delightfully present.

 The four copper stills were created in 1966–and for me that is a very important year.  I was delighted to see this.  The scale of each stills were superbly large and magical.

I could only take pictures from the side but I was pining to take one from the front side to get the majesty of each still and of course to capture the 1966 signage.

 

 

 

 

 

The oldest barrel is a 1974 Whiskey and I would love taste the glorious whisky from that barrel.

What I appreciate about Scotch Whisky is it’s deep relationship with two things–aging and barrels.  Single Malt Scotch Whiskies variation is a wide spectrum and expression of each houses master distiller and it’s philosophy of it’s whisky expression.  I was taken by the variety of barrels used in many houses programmes where the difference is noticeable and appreciated.  The Scotch Whisky tradition is that of the past and the ever present willingness to optimise each production.

I love Scotch whisky for it’s beauty and I very much appreciated Deanston.  I recommend a visit if you find yourself to the Highlands–if you are going to Glen Coe or Loch Ness–it is your way–stop by and take a tour and taste.

***

Deanston 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Scent of sandalwood, baked green apples, cinnamon, underbrush, suede.

Palate of cereal, dried Turkish fig, crushed sea shells, and ground clove.

46.3% ABV

 

Deanston 12 Year Old Palo Cortado Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Nose of autumnal herb garden, cereal, deciduous forest

Front of palate experience pronounced toasted notes of almond, beeswax, dried fruit, and Cardamom.

55.8% ABV

 

 

Deanston 15 Year Old Sauternes Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Scent of winter in mountains, toasted pine nut, sandelwood, and dried apples.

Palate of ground clove, pepper, dried lemon peel, and tarragon.

57.3% ABV

 

Deanston 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Scent of Honeycomb, Bergamot, winter rain, and seasoned wood pile.

Palate of dried Kadota fig, tea, allspice, and wildflower honey.

46.3% ABV

 

 

More information:

Deanston Distillery

https://www.deanstonmalt.com/

 

Slàinte

James

James the Wine Guy

Demystifying Wine…One Bottle at a Time from all wine regions around the world.

© 2018 James Melendez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, drawings, art work, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy.  James the Wine Guy is also on Facebook, Twitter and most major social medias.

All brand copyrights are property of the producer.

Follow, subscribe, like, browse:

TWITTERFACEBOOKVIMEOLINKEDFLICKRpinterestWordpressYOUTUBE

Posted in Scotch, Spirits, Whiskey, Whisky | Leave a comment