Acustic Celler

Acústic Celler

Spain, Montsant

These exciting wines, from very old vines in the DO of Montsant (a 'doughnut-like' ring of land that encircles Priorat on all sides) is the project of Albert Jané Ubeda. Unlike Priorat's famous slate soils Monsant has a mixture of terroirs with more clay, sand and slate vineyards. Planted with Garnatxa (Garnacha) and Samso (Cariñena).

Albert is like an obsessive collector when it comes to prospecting new vineyards, even if he comes across a small parcel of old bush vines he just has to have it and this patchwork of sites add so much complexity and intensity to his wines. All the vines are between 30 and 105 years old, in harsh and stony soils of sand stones and clay.

Albert's philosophy is to create wines that express and bring back to life the traditional way of making wines here. He is all about authenticity and says his job is to look after the vines - he makes his wine in the vineyards not the cellar. It is the vines and the terroir that are the magic here for Albert and his mission is to bottle it!

Working organically since his first vintage in 2004, all the grapes are hand-picked. Vinification is traditional (small wooden press), there is a very prudent use of oak 'a good barrel is a barrel you cannot taste' says Albert, it should 'help the wine express itself not actually add its own mark to the juice'. All wines are then bottled without fining or filtration, making them the most exciting and expressive wines we have tasted from this upcoming region.

The rule this week is easy to understand – suspend disbelief and follow me. We all love Côtes-du-Rhône: this is an immutable fact, not least because it is one of the most delicious and heart-warming of all styles of red wine. My choice this week is not a Côtes-du-Rhône – it’s better in every single way and, while I elaborate, please give me your unflinching trust.
Made from 80% carignan and 20% garnacha (vaguely CdR-style) and aged for ten months in one- to three-year-old French oak barrels (again following the CdR recipe), the vines are 40 to 75 years old (ah, now we are talking – this is a step up) and the flavour is imperial (not your average CdR, I can tell you). This estate, based in the dramatic, mountainous terrain of Montsant, 100 miles south of Barcelona, is Elysian for vines. You can actually taste how content the vines are in this wine. If it were a CdR it would be the greatest....
...Wow.
Matthew Jukes www.matthewjukes.com (Oct 2016)


We know that Montsant produces great-value alternatives to Priorat, the often-overpriced appellation next door and this seems to be as true of the full-bodied dry whites grown in these hills above Tarragona as of the characterful reds. Acústic (good name in many a language and for online searches) is the creation of Albert Jané Ubeda. They produce very small quantities of wine from vines up to 70 years old planted in the harsh climate and unyielding sand and stony soils of these hills. (Members can get some idea of the terrain from our map of Priorat, which shows Acústic's location towards the bottom. They also own a bodega in Priorat, Ritme, but soils and prices are very different.) I met Albert courtesy of UK importers Lea & Sandeman and was impressed by his sincerity. I would hope that, although these are his words, he would not use the term 'mission statement' to describe them: 'my philosophy is to create wines that express and revindicate the quality and singularity of the traditional viticulture against the globalisation of the international varieties and modern winemaking style'. His traditional vinification equipment includes a small wooden press and he bottles without fining or filtration. Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com (Aug 2015)


You may not have heard of Montsant; this is one of Spain's newest 'denominaciones de orígen' and it completely surrounds a much more famous, fashionable and expensive one, Priorat, up in the eerie, 'Picnic at Hanging Rock'-style countryside south of Tarragona. Until 2002, the warm, velvety red wines from here were sold as Falset; as an impecunious student in Barcelona in the mid 1980's, I found them particularly good value. Priorat has arguably become a bit too fashionable, so the closely related wines from Montsant, made from the same grape varieties - Garnacha and Carineña, sometimes with a dash of Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon - are well worth sampling. The red (some white and rosé is also made) are powerful, but, at 14% or so, not quite the 16% or 17% monsters of Priorat. An admirable winery in Montsant is Bodegas Acústic, try the rare, mouth-filling rich-textured Blanc and intense fruit-driven Vinyes Velles Nobles. (Country Life Magazine). Harry Eyres (Jul 2015)


Acustic is a Montsant winery created in 2003 by Albert Jane from Penedes, and the name refers to “unplugged” wines, without makeup, without amplification, showing just the pure wine, in an “acoustic” way. Worth listening to them. Luis Gutierrez, www.robertparker.com


Acustic is establishing itself as one of the finer producers in the up-and-coming region of Montsant. The wines are made from the indigenous varieties of the region with vine age ranging from 40-100 years. Jay Miller, www.RobertParker.com