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Joan d'Anguera Montsant Garnatxa 2009
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
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.
Known for bold reds, crisp whites and distinctive sparkling and fortified wines, Spain has embraced international varieties and wine styles while continuing to place primary emphasis on its own native grapes. Though the country’s climate is diverse, it is generally hot and dry. In the center of the country lies a vast, arid plateau known as the Meseta Central, characterized by extremely hot summers and frequent drought.
Ribera del Duero is gaining ground with its single varietal Tempranillo wines, recognized for their concentration of fruit and opulence. Priorat, a sub-region of Catalonia, specializes in bold, full-bodied red blends of Garnacha (Grenache), Cariñena (Carignan), and often Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Catalonia is also home to Cava, a sparkling wine made in the traditional method but from indigenous varieties. In the cool, damp northwest region of Galicia, refreshing white Albariño and Verdejo dominate.
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.
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.
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.