Here’s the first of a few Spanish wines spotted by chance prior to the Easter long weekend. The first hails from the Montsant appellation, which rather calls to my mind nothing at all. The remaining information on the front label helpfully also reveals almost no new information, beyond unexpectedly placed consonants. Some investigation fortunately lights the path ahead. Montsant proves to be a new appellation created in 2001 in Cataluña in Spain. Specifically, the region neighbours Priorat, for better or worse it lacks the schist in the soils of Priorat and old vine garnacha and cariñena (aka carignan) represent its best wines.
Which brings me to the wine in the glass. I think the style here may polarise – it is more an Australian style modern grenache than a Priorat in different robes, and seemed to unexpectedly shed some of its finer characters in the glass. A blend of grenache and syrah, it has aromatics of ripe attractive red fruits, with some game and tobacco overtones, almost reminding of a fresh young Saint-Émilion. There’s also really rather good length on the palate, which complements a bright, juicy and tasty impression. My hesitation is that with time in the glass, a red cordial and cola character emerged, leading to less appeal and a simplicity in its impression. On balance? I will give it the benefit of the doubt as there’s good fruit and length in this wine.