Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bargain Bins (Wines to try for under $20)

© 2010 Donofrio

2007 Mas Donis "Barrica", Montsant (Catalonia, Spain)
Appellation: Montsant (DO)
Region: Catalonia
Grapes: Garnacha (85%), Syrah (15%)
Food Pairings: Grilled poultry or roast turkey with sausage stuffing. Medium-flavored cured meats and cheeses. 

Montsant is a fairly new appellation in the northeast corner of Spain, not far from Barcelona. It straddles the picturesque wine villages of the Priorat region and shares some of the soil and terrain that has made that region so treasured.

However, what Priorat and Monsant don't typically share is the pricing of their wines. Many of the best Priorat vineyards are on high, steep slopes with nothing but a slippery slate (called licorella) under foot. To farm these vineyards is slow and sometimes dangerous and that is reflected in the high price of many of the wines. Most Montsant vineyards are on gently sloped hills or even cut into flatter terraces along mountain ranges. This type of farming eases the labor requirements and those savings are usually passed on to the consumer. What you get is a Priorat-inspired wine at a fraction of the price...

Tasting Notes:

  • The color is purple/bright ruby at the core that pushes consistent almost to the rim. The tears have moderate viscosity and fall slightly stained.

  • On the nose there is a powerful jammy, stewed fruit aroma of red and black plum, red cherry, and deeper black fruit. The dusty-slate character is mixed with sweet and savory oak nuances.

  • The palate is filled with flavors of ripe, baked cherry and black fruit jam. The smoky oak and delicate floral tones are balanced with hints of cinnamon/vanilla spice. The finish is fairly long, complex, and a touch warm. The tannins are smooth and the refreshing acidity is elevated. Delicious now...

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