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Joan d'Anguera Montsant Planella 2012
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.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.