Tag Archives: Montsant

Slow down (Montsant, Spain)

Life is pretty different in this part of the world, and things move just a little bit slower. There is something peaceful about driving along the winding roads between Priorat and Montsant, and as the valley opens out into the gentler rolling hills it makes for very nice driving in a pretty decent car that I was upgraded to. Meandering about through the lanes of medieval villages perched on hills, sitting down to a long lunch, enjoying a cold beer with some local cuisine, life couldn’t be easier. If you have a closer look around the villages here however, you see several of the problems not only with Spain but much of Europe. The first is that it is a rapidly ageing population in the country, with most of the young people gone to work in the larger cities and live more modern cosmopolitan lifestyles. There are a lot of difficulties with the bureaucracy here and red tape is a constant annoyance of the people. Apart from Falset, if you drive through most of the villages they are essentially ghost towns, which may also have something to do with the afternoon heat this time of year. There just isn’t enough work for young people (not that there is much more in the cities), and many of the people who do work here commute in, such as from Tarragona only 45 minutes away on the coast. So shops close at odd hours, restaurants may not open several days of the weeks, I haven’t seen many petrol stations or supermarkets, it is a little bit more difficult than most of the other places I’ve been. It really does remind me of the Salta region in Argentina, except at least you aren’t far from other places here, whereas you can run into serious trouble if your car breaks down in Salta. Don’t let it happen to you!
Nice view into the Capcanes valley

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Winery Visits

Dosterras – 6/06/2012

Barrel tasting
“White wine” Dosterras Blanco 2011 (60% pedro ximenez, 20% roussanne, 20% marsanne) – not DO Montsant, not available in the market
Quite green, reductive, sulphured and leesy. Ripe tight fresh tropical citrus notes. Textured deep and mineral notes, a product of sun and soil, warmth and depth, textural.

Old vine Grenache 2011
Vibrant rosy violet floral notes, ripe red fruits and concentrated red soil elements. Ripe red currants, 2.5 g/l RS vibrant soft generous and makes a nice component. But also pretty good on its own. Great earthy complexity, nice firm yet silky texture.

Carignan 2011
Very bright tight and fresh, but completely reductive and shut-down.

Finished wines
Vespres 2010 (grenache, carignan, 10 months second use 300l barrels)
Pretty hard to smell when it is chilled down. Very dark purple colour, quite intense concentrated, vintage? Tight fresh juicy dark red fruits. Nice and full, good balance and generosity of acidity and tannins, no oak characters. Approachable for the wine, is this the Montsant style?

Dosterras 2010 (100% grenache, 16 months new and second use 300l barrels, old vines)
Intense dark sweet black fruit. Extremely plummy, very dense maceration regime, soft sweet dark fruit, very gentle and caressing, not oodles of depth or good concentration.

Finca Aiguasals 2009
Black olive, savoury blackberries, brown earth, chocolate, liquorice, Good structure, texture from the tannins and oak, gets some life somehow from the second passage in barrels where the first use was for white wine. 900 litres in total. A wonderful wine, a cut above the Monsant DO.

Berries!

Leave a comment

Filed under Tasting Notes

Celler de Capcanes – 6/06/2012

Mas Donis Rosat 2011 (saignee, 8 days skin contact, 15% free run juice taken, garnacha, cabernet merlot)
Very bright quite dark cherry colour. Dark savoury fruit aromas, slightly spicy. Fresh fruit-driven bright, clean finish. Some fruit sweetness (4g RS/L), red cherry, strawberry, vibrant. Slightly floral notes. Quite simple and inelegant wine, easy to drink.

Mas Picosa 2010 (organic certified, growers handling chemicals hence shift away from, garnacha, carignan, tempranillo)
Dark cherry fruits, quite bold florals, intense but wonderfully fresh, very clean and pure, excellent fruit and acid structure, minimal tannins quite open and mentholly, balanced, juicy and drinkable.

Costers del Gravet 2009 (50% cabernet sauvignon, 30% garnacha, 20% carignan)
Deep ruby aromas, black forest fruits, cassis notes, fairly cabernet dominant on the nose. Tight focused cabernet tannins, leather, stalky, roasted capsicums, juicy dark fruits and plummy sweetness. Quite fresh and vibrant for a cabernet led wine in a climate like this.

Peraj Ha’abib 2010 (kosher wine)
Reductive but very intense nose, quite powerful and sharp, bold and piercing. Quite savoury earthy meaty nose, intense red fruits. Very finely balanced, elegant and long, very full and complete, soft velvety very long and complex, some savoury spice notes and sweet herb notes, bold powerful and youthful, fantastic wine from the vintage. Drinkable now but will evolve quite slowly over the next 10 years. Very very subtle oak characters late on the palate, a little oak sweetness.

The wines and soil profiles they come from in Celler de Capcanes

Leave a comment

Filed under Tasting Notes