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Espectacle Montsant 2013

  • RP96
750ML / 15.5% ABV
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750ML / 15.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Its color is surprisingly intense compared to previous vintages. Bright, airy and deep, it delights us with a lush appearance in which clear violet notes on a ruby background can be distinguished. The wine initially evokes notes of red fruits on a well defined floral background. Rose and violet notes quickly appear. These are surrounded by increasing complexity in which cocoa and cassis are clearly distinguished. Gradually, as it aerates, the wine's aroma expands and characteristic notes of orange blossom appear. In the month it is opulent and very unctuous. Almost immediately its intense, agreeable texture caresses the palate giving very pleasant sensations and leaving us with a pleasant and long finish.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
I think the 2013 Espectacle del Montsant suffered when tasted next to its 'cousins' from Clos Mogador. This pure Garnacha from old vines in the village of La Figuera in Montsant showed a waterfall of red fruit and violets with subtle touches of spices in an elegant way. The palate is pure silk, quite fruit-driven with moderate acidity and silky tannins, but somehow I was expecting a little more tension and spark; I found it a little shy and not as vibrant as one would wish in a vintage like 2013. I mean, it's delicious and elegant, really pleasant, but the bar had been set too high already.
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Espectacle, Spain
The project is jointly owned by Réné and Isabelle Barbier, Fernando and Marta Zamora (Oenologists and teachers at University of Taragona), and Charlotte and Christopher Cannan. Espectacle is a tiny production of old vines Garnacha made by Rene Barbier, Sr. The 100 year old Garnacha vines come from a dramatic and steep vineyard. Rene refers to this vineyard as the "L'Ermita of Monsant."

This outstanding new wine comes from a single, very steep vineyard planted with over 100 year old Grenache vines. The vineyard is located at La Figuera, on the northern edge of the Montsant D.O., and looks onto the famous Montsant mountain as well as having spectacular views of the Ebro valley and even the distant Pyrenees 200 kms away. Hence the name!

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Surrounding the region of Priorat on all sides, Montsant shares much in common with its neighbor. Though its soils contain less schist than that of Priorat, its old Garnacha and Carinena vineyards produce wines of similar intensity and character.

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Enjoying great glory across a variety of appellations, Grenache thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. The grape typically produces full-bodied reds interestingly light in both color and tannins. While it can make a charmingly complex single varietal wine, it also lends well to blending. Grenache's birthplace is Spain (there called Garnacha) where it remains important, particularly in Priorat where winemakers enjoy great liberties in blending Grenache with other varieties. Today it might be most well associated with the red blends of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its Villages. The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic Grenache (there called Cannonau) whereas in California, Washington and Australia, Grenache has achieved popularity both flying solo and in blends.

In the Glass

In sufficiently warm conditions, Grenache produces smooth and generous wines that are loaded with strawberry, cherry blackberry, purple plum and in the richest examples, even cocoa, black tea or licorice.

Perfect Pairings

Despite its bold flavors, Grenache has very mild-mannered tannins, which makes it eminently quaffable on its own, yet easy to match with food. Because of its friendly nature, Grenache is the ultimate barbecue red, pairing happily with lamb chops, pork loin or tri-tip. Unlike most other full-bodied reds, Grenache’s low tannin level ensures that it will not easily be fazed by a bit of spice.

Sommelier Secret

Sardinia is often revered for its association with a long and healthy life. Residents of the Italian island often live well into their 90s and beyond, crediting this to their antioxidant-rich red wines, like Cannonau, along with their healthy Mediterranean diet.

SOU404294_2013 Item# 390140