15/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Montsant – El Masroig – Orto Vins – Dolc D’Orto Negre 2010
Like the song, the wine is jumping and bouncing around in the mouth! Happy days with a happy wine, considering the fact that sweet wine is not my strong suit. Discovering new wines is a rewarding felling, even though it IS hard work and especially having to try sweet wines with dessert after a rather large meal. It is not a walk in the park!
Dimensions found in a well made sweet wine, are they easier to distinguish than in dry wines? Dry seems sophisticated, sweet is sophisticated. A red sweet wine from Montsant can be rich, complex, elegant and delicious…., the Dolc D’Orto Negre is just that, and more.
Suggestions from the sommelier, waiter, owner or chef can make all the diffrence. They know the food served, the combinations available and in effect, that’s partially why you pay a bundle. In preparations, doing the due diligence, for a group of wine lovers coming to Catalonia, the sourcing of a decent restaurant was unavoidable. As if I would avoid a restaurant visit! A couple of starters and mains later, dessert choice was left to the chef/proprietor. He didn’t even break a stride when bringing the wine.
Keep digging and thou shall find the magic in the bottle. Catalan people are said to be penny-pinching. Can’t say that I agree or that I’ve had the misfortune to be introduced to the likes. Rejecting or throwing away produce is a no no for me, use all you can. Probably why I like this wine! Why not gather up the raisiny Garnacha grapes that would normally be discarded at harvest time? That’s how this wine came about.
July 18, 2008 is the birthdate of Orto Vins in the D.O. Montsant. Four farmers previously working at the cooperative Masroig, with a long wine making tradition in their families, created Orto Vins. Perhaps the best known is Joan Asens on whose incredible knowledge, sensitivity and experience, with Alvaro Palacios for years, laid the foundation for the success of his project.
But this is a winery in which the land and labor are essential. Each of the four are important and do what they are best at, whether in the field, in the cellar or wine sales. During the span of about two years, parents died and left some vineyards. The idea was born, let’s make wine from our vineyards and with our own brand!
Bottle the goodness of the vineyards, enjoy the added features and offer the flavors of the most emblematic grapes of the region. The vineyards have a highly individual character, looked after devotedly for years by different generations of their families. They now use those grapes to create four special wines which they call the ‘singularidades de Orto’, effectively the Orto singular wine collection.
Alongside these four single varietals, of Cariñena, Ull de Llebre, Garnacha Peluda and Picapoll Negre, they also make two entry level wines – a red and a white – and two deliciously fresh, sweet wines. The sweets are naturally sweet and the vintage grapes makes them unique. All the wines are made in keeping with biodynamic agricultural methods, with total respect for the vineyard and the land.
Orto Vins is looking for beauty, purity, the expression of the terroir and the grape, and therein lies its name. According to their explanation, “Orto refers to the particular moment in time when the sun, or any other star, crosses the horizon line and becomes visible in our hemisphere. It therefore symbolizes the dawning of a new day. Orto (or Ortho) is also a prefix of Greek origin, meaning ‘straight’, ‘exact’ or even ‘true’”.
Dolc d’Orto Negre 2010, 100% Garnacha and Garnacha Peluda.
A very dense almost opaque color, intense violet to purple. The nose is intense, from which aromas of red forest fruits and minerals stand out. Slight menthol and cocoa notes. The palate entry is fresh, with a good balance between the sugar and the fruits that accompany the long passage of this wine. Very sweet, long and not cloying, a wine that is allowed to drink very easily. Notes of peach, ripe black fruit and plum compote, dried figs, dried grapes, sweet spice and a mineral finish and fresh. The same as its white sibling, Dolç d’Orto Negre maintains unbelievable acidity, despite having more than 120 g/l of residual sugar, and really is a wine you can get into. Production was limited to 1866 bottles.
352 to go!