I was bowled over by this wine, which is from an obscure Spanish region, which surrounds the far more renowned Priorat in Catalunya. Owner Albert Ubeda is an obsessive traditionalist and uses grapes from 40 to 75 year old vineyards to make this gutsy wine with layers and layers of black fruit that saturates the palate. Do not be concerned about its 15% alcoholic level as it has so much body that it is entirely cloaked. It is 80% Carignan and 20% Grenache, both mainstays of southern Rhône wines in France. Bruce Palling, The Week (Jan 2018)
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Cariñena and Garnacha. Firm, dense fruit. But not aggressively alcoholic or tannic. Very much local! Nice balance and GV Drinking range: 2017 - 2022 Rating: 16.5 Jancis Robinson MW OBE - www.JancisRobinson.com (Oct 2017)
At over one Euro per degree of alcohol, you could say that this powerful Spanish red delivers bang for buck. And if your inclination is for the rich and powerful (in wine, that is), this big-boned Carignan and Garnacha (aka Grenache) blend could be for you because it's powerfully rich, ripe and almost sweet to the taste with an attractive purity of brambly, chocolatey fruit, albeit with a heft approaching amarone levels of power. Rating: 88 www.thewinegang.com (Jun 2017)
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.
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