CBWS October Wine Trip May 2022
We first visited the DO of Montsant in 2009 and discovered some excellent wines growing in stunningly beautiful scenery. Montsant is the youngest DO in Spain having been founded in 2001. It was carved out of the DO of Tarragona and is in a horseshoe shape and almost totally surrounds the DO of Priorat. It produces high quality wines, mostly reds, with wines approaching the quality of Priorat, but at slightly lower prices. In the last 20 years this region has really developed with new, progressive bodegas and now consists of over 60 bodegas in the DO.
45% of the wine produced is exported to more than 40 countries worldwide. The remainder is distributed in Spain primarily in Cataluña. Montsant wines are readily available in the majority of restaurants in Barcelona. The DO is growing fast in both prestige and size with last year’s production having increased by 2 million bottles over the 2010 figure.
The trip was based in the town of Falset, which is the capital of the Priorat region and contains the two wine areas DOC Priorat and DO Montsant, although the latter extends slightly outside the region. Falset is also the Consejo Regulador for the DO. We visited four bodegas, all of which were in easy reach of Falset, and received a presentation from a 5thbodega during our lunch.
After a brief stop to check in to our hotel in Falset we made the short trip to our first Bodega
Cellar El Mas Roig, El Masroig.
One of Spain’s top co-operatives, Celler El Masroig was founded in 1917 and is an association of grape and olive oil growers with approximately 300 members, who own around 500 hectares of vineyards. Today the focus is on quality and young winemaker Carles Escolar makes some of the most respected Montsant wines at all price levels.
Pinyeres White Grenacha 100% 2021 €8 (€42.66/case)
Sycar Red Syrah/ Carineña 2019 €12 (€64.80/case)
Pinyeres Red 80% Garnacha 2019 €9.45 (€51.06/case)
Bodega Joan D’Anguera. https://www.cellersjoandanguera.com
We visited this bodega on our 2009 trip and it was probably the favourite of the selected bodegas at that time. Founded in 1820 the bodega is now run by two brothers who are the 7th generation of the family. Some of us are still drinking the wines we bought then as they age well.
Planella 2020: €13.83 €83 case of 6 bot.
Altaroses 2020: €13.83 €83 case of 6 bot
Finca l’Argatà 2019: €21.83 €128 case of 6 bot.
Tasting and Lunch with Josep Grau www.josepgrauviticultor.com
After bouncing up a very narrow, rough and dusty track for 20 minutes on the recce the bodega was shut – so we bounced back again and concluded that the road was not suitable for a bus! So we brought the bodega to town. We met in the Restaurant Celler del Aspic in Falset where a representative of Josep Grau presented his excellent wines during lunch.
Fontanet Blanc 2021 €13
La Florens 2019 €20
Figuerals Garnatxa 2017 €25
Acustic Celler, Marca https://www.acusticceller.com
Acustic in the name is as in “acoustic music” – the natural sounds produced by instruments with no electronics. So the wine is similar in that it is a pure expression of the grapes. This bodega does not offer trips so we were very honoured to have been allowed to bring our group here.
This family run business has a very dynamic leader, Albert who presented to us. The family also own 5 different bodegas within the Montsant and Priorat region.
Acustic blanc. €11
Acustic rosat €10
Acustic red 19 €11
Brao 2017. €20
Bodega Mas L’Abundancia https://masdelabundancia.com
This bodega only produces 25m bottles per year with 80% of production sold in Cataluyña and 20% to the US and Switzerland.
Located above the Siurana River this very small bodega was a real find. The owner Jesus, is extremely passionate about the interesting wines he produces. The winery was created on the estate in 2002 to carry on a tradition of wine making that had existed since the early 1700’s
After visiting the bodega we made the short walk up to the Ermita and enjoyed a wonderful outdoor lunch with Jesus’ wines
HE-MA tinto 2021 €9
Flvminus tinto 2017 €14
Del Calpino 100% Garnatxa Blanca 2017 €27
From the 5 bodegas visited the group of 24 people purchased almost €9000 of Montsant wine which demonstrates the quality of this prestigious region which is little known the Costa Blanca area.
Final day visit to the museum and lead mine of Belmunt
After a delicious dinner at Restaurante Quinoa in Falset the group participated in an organised visit of a lead mine in the village of Belmunt. The museum presented the history of the mine with some state of the art exhibits and a very professional video on it’s history.We all descended into the depths of the mines and experienced what it must been like back to work in a mine in the mid 1800’s until it’s closure in the mid 1970’s
A great trip thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.
Written byTim Fawle.