One of the most exciting producers emerging out of Spain is Joan D'Anguera. Located in the heart of the Tarragona Denominacion, this family estate dates back 200 years. Tarragona is located just south of Barcelona, the region surrounding the famous D.O. of Priorat. The actual denomination will change in the future to Monsant due to a uniqueness of climate within Tarragona.
The vineyards lie at an altitude of 200 to 300 meters on clay and calcareous soils. The majority of the Shiraz and Cabernet plantings are now more than 20 years old, and the Grenache and Carignan are more than 50 years old. Joan D'Anguera uses barrels of American oak sourced in Spain from Martin de la Rioja as well as French oak sourced in France from Demptos.
The two sons of the late patriarch, Josep D'Anguera, run this domain under the the vigilant eye of their mother. Their intention is to produce the best Shiraz-based wines of Spain. Known as "Mister Shiraz" in Spain, Josep (the father) was a man with an extensive knowledge of the international wine scene. Introduced to Shiraz by a Spanish enologist who had traveled to California in the 1970s, Josep started planting the grape in 1977 anywhere he could find vineyard space.
Fifteen years ago he began estate bottling a wine called Vino Joven. Vino Joven recently has sold out every year. In 1997, he released two additional wines -- La Planella and Finca L'Argata. La Planella is a blend exclusively for the U.S. market. It receives extended maceration time in addition to a lengthy fermentation. Finca L'Argata is made from a selection of the best parcels and is aged in oak for one year. The first vintage for this wine was the 1996 vintage, and one new wine is scheduled for release in 2000. El Bugader, which is made primarily from the best parcels of Shiraz, is aged in oak for 20 months. Joan D'Anguera also produces very limited quantities of a Vi Dolç. This wine is very stylistically similar to Banuyls from France and is destined to age well.