113/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Montsant – Cornudella de Montsant – Cellers Baronia del Montsant – Clos d’Englora AV 14, 2005
…. a good day ain’t got no rain, a bad day is when I lie in the bed. Not many of those really. Up and about, forwards and onwards, to many things to discover, to many wines still to be tried! The past seven days have been crazy, days filled with wine events, fairs and dinners. Hundreds of wines tasted, still trying to catch up with the notes. Good thing that photos and notes exist otherwise I wouldn’t remember all the great wines that have flown recently. I have to say, the best thing the past week was a visit by three guys from Quebec, they called and wanted to see a winery and the vineyards. They did so bicycling and after the tasting at the winery, the last leg of the ride, took them to the beach where we all enjoyed a seafood lunch in the sun! This all happened in the region of Penedes, today we are in Montsant! Glory days!
In a region of difficult and crooked landscapes, wrapped up by the Montsant massif, Cellers Baronia del Montsant was born in August 1998 in the beautiful village of Cornudella de Montsant (Tarragona). As fruit of a youth initiative and with a clear philosophy of making different, exclusive wines addressed to the most cultured and learned palates, the Clos d’Englora wines are made under the D.O. Montsant.
Cornudella de Montsant is a municipality in the comarca of the Priorat. It is situated in the north-west of the comarca below the Montsant range and the Prades Mountains. The Siurana reservoir is on the territory of the municipality and supplies its drinking water.
Sites near to the village include the Sant Joan del Codolar Hermitage. The village derives income from tourism and agriculture, particularly wine and hazelnuts. Cornudella de Montsant is at the centre of one of the world’s major rock climbing regions. In medieval times the town was part of the Barony of Entença. The old winery of Cornudella de Montsant, also known in Catalonia as one of the ‘Wine Cathedrals, was built during the Modernisme and Noucentisme periods and was designed by architect Cèsar Martinell.
Getting here from Barcelona or Tarragona is easy, with great communications, and for a day trip it is a excellent excursion. Once you get to Reus, which is signposted the whole way, you can take the road to Falset until you find on your right, after 8 km., a diversion heading towards the village. As you follow this road you cross Les Borges del Camp and Alforja until you reach “coll d´Alforja”.
From this 600 metres high mountain pass you can have an overview of Montsant. It is from this high and distant point that you can enjoy the different chromatic shades of the view: roseate in the morning, reddish under the sunshine and deep blue in the afternoon. After following this road and going deep this wonderful landscape you reach the village of Cornudella de Montsant.
The village belongs to the region of Priorat (administratively) but to the Montsant when it comes to appelation, and it was also there where the monks of Cartoixa de Escaladei helped in creating civilisation and richness on that rough and hilly area. They were the ones that transmitted to the following generations the art and the knowledge of wine elaboration.
In the Montsant area Baronia del Montsant principally elaborate red wine, and among the different varieties, the ones they use mostly are; Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Ull de Llebre (Tempranillo), Samsó (cariñena) and red Garnacha. It is worth mentioning the velvety, complex and meaty characteristics of these wines, which predispose them to long aging in wood.
Among the varieties used for the elaboration of white vines, the white Garnacha is the king and produces aromatic and silky wines. There are few hectares of vineyards under this mark of origin. The average is about 2,500 stocks of vine per hectare and they produce an average of 2 kg. per vine. The characteristic orography of the region, with sharp slopes, makes the farming work difficult and hard, but the fruits that grow have a unique personality. The traditional vine crops do not hurt the natural shape of the land. Its slaty composition allows a growing without eroding the land. It is so very beautiful in all its simplicity!
Clos d’Englora AV 14, 2005, 38% Garnacha Tinta, 18% Carignena, 14% Merlot, 11% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 11% Syrah, 5% Cabernet-Franc, 2% Carmenere and 1% Tempranillo!
8! The number of varieties in this wine is 8! This does not always mean that the wine is good, but in this case……, YES! The aging for the Garnacha and Carignena was 12 months and for the rest of the varieties 17 months. The Clos Englora AV14 is not submitted to any fining treatment, neither stabilization nor filtration. 100% of the barrels used in the aging process come from the Allier, Tronçais and Centre French forests. The toast degrees are 92% medium, 5% medium plus and the remaining 3% high toast. The barrels age is 0 and 1 year. The grapes for this elaboration come from aged vineyards: 70 years old Grenache, 50 years old Carignen and about 25 years old the remaining varieties. This is a well elaborated wine and it shows!
An intense garnet colour with burgundy hues, the wine’s nose shows aromatic intensity, releasing fruit, spicy and mineral notes. Complex, creamy and fruit-forward, there are mineral and balsamic notes enhancing the powerful palate. A fine wine indeed!
268 to go!
Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle