There is a major buzz in the wine trade at the moment - and that buzz surrounds one country in particular - Spain. What was once seen mainly as the source of (admittedly very delicious) Rioja and some quite dodgy white wines, is now the birthplace of some of the world's most exciting wines of all colours! Here are two such gems...
Both these wines come from Franck Massard, the sommelier turned winemaker who resides in his lair in Barcelona conjouring up all kinds of interesting vinous treats.
El Mago Organic Garnacha, from D.O.Terra Alta
Terra Alta is a Spanish Denominación de Origan for wines located in the west of the province of Tarragona in the North East of Spain (Cataluňa). As the name indicates (Terra Alta = High Land) the area is in the mountains. It is of great natural beauty and features in many of Picasso’s paintings. The summers are long, hot and dry and the winters are very cold. The average annual temperature is 16.5°C (max 35°C in summer, min -5°C in winter). The soils are clayey, with a good lime content, with good drainage.
And it tastes like...
"complex aromas of liquorice, roasted herbs, sweet cassis and cherries, smoked meat, and spices. A light style of Garnacha offering an elegant, surprisingly silky and vibrant wine."
El Brindis is a blend of Cariňena (80%) and Cabernet Sauvignon(20%).
DO Montsant takes its name from the Montsant Mountains in the area(Tarragona, Cataluňa). There are currently about 2,050 hectares (5,100 acres) of Montsant vineyards and the area almost completely surrounds the more famous Priorat.
The vineyards are at a height of about 360 m above sea level and the soils are lime bearing over a granite and slate subsoil. Summers are dry and annual rainfall is about 650 mm, falling mainly in autumn.
The main style of Montsant is powerful red wines, which can be similar to the wines of Priorat at more competitive prices.
And it tastes like: "El Brindis is packed with red and black fruit, displaying herbal scents of thyme and eucalyptus and some toasty spice. There’s a certain Mediterranean generosity and concentration of fruit combined with elegant restraint of this great high altitude terroir."