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.

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About James Melendez

I love wine and have had the privilege of working in the wine trade as a senior national wine marketing manager for a wine, food and home goods retailer in 30+ US States. I executed into making wine experiential and made 'wines of the world' programme work in a highly regulated framework for a successful business proposition. My "wine" site also incorporates those categories intimately involved with wine such as food, travel and lifestyle. This site incorporates my many dimensions of interest. I love to review and also talk about many aspects of wine. I have been privileged to visit many wine countries and find them enthralling no matter how many times I visit. I love all aspects of wine: viticulture, history, winemaking, brand development, wine regions and many more aspects. This is a living tradition that needs documentation, education, reporting and reviewing. Do I have favourite varieties and styles? I love so many varieties and often it is situational and yet there are time honoured wines that I anticipate and I am passionate about. I like all colours of wine and all styles. I have had a mad passionate affair with sparkling wines and they are always top of mind. Wine nourishes our soul and is the key to connecting with other people at our dinner table. Salute, James © 2014, 2017 James Meléndez / James the Wine Guy— All Rights Reserved – for my original Content, logo, brand name, rating, rating graphic and award and designs of James the Wine Guy. James the Wine Guy also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social medias.
This entry was posted in Carignan, Garnacha, Montsant. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Montsant Foot on Ground Tour – Part II DO Montsant – James Melendez

  1. Pingback: Wine Blog Daily Tuesday 5/01/18 | Edible Arts

  2. Pingback: Food & Montstant Wines – Part III DO Montsant – James Melendez | James the Wine Guy

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