278/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Montsant – Darmós – Vinyes d’en Gabriel – Mans de Samsó 2009
Bright and clear color with intense violet hues. The nose is intense, and if you’ve had Montsant wines before, you could clearly tell this too is a wine from this region, carries a lot of the soil and terroir. Presence of balsamic and aromas of pine tree. Touches of liquorice notes, anise and minerals, with hints of fennel and cherry. The palate is seductively moreish, full-bodied and well structured. It is a quite complex wine, has a lot of character and with after tastes of mineral notes, canned fruit and berries. Hands of Carignena, certainly shows of the best that this variety can offer!
This is a wine of very limited production, only about 800-900 bottles, made exclusively from Carignan grapes (known in parts of Catalonia as Samsó), the vines are between 80 and 100 years old. The good work of Vinyes d’en Gabriel does not surprise anyone who has had the opportunity to taste their wines with a slightly more affordable price, but with this varietal their efforts have been recognized with a maximum score given by Guia de Vins de Catalunya in the 2012 issue. The tastings for this guide are done blind. A delicious Carignan, full of aromas and flavors of wild berries, with mineral notes that transports us to the landscape that gave us this wine. The D.O. Montsant!
This is a story that begins over 150 years ago, from the day that the grandfather, Joan Rofes planted the first vines at Casa Gabriel in Darmós, with a dream that has been passed down to his descendants. To explain this long story we have to go back to the nineteenth century: there we have Grandfather Joan Rofes, who inherited Casa Gabriel in Darmós and began the winegrowing tradition by planting his own vines one by one and then making the resulting wine on the lower floor of his own home.
Grandfather Joan was a strong, hardworking man who was convinced of the qualities of the soil that would nurture his vines and their fruit, generation upon generation. Even back then he was cultivating the land organically, following natural cycles and with the firmly held belief that to get the best results all you had to do was listen to what the land and the vines were telling you. His descendants have held true to this belief over the passing of the years and the growth of the winery as it moved from the house itself to a larger space in Darmós.
Over the course of the bodega’s 150-year history, no chemical products have been used to treat or boost the production of the vines. The result is the vigorous, healthy, wise soil that is treated today, with the same respect that it was shown in the early days of Casa Gabriel. These painstaking efforts have proved valuable: in the twenty-first century, Josep Maria Anguera, part of the fourth generation, has create today’s Vinyes d’en Gabriel bearing in mind the foundations of the old bodega. The spacious and modern new facilities are in the spirit of the old house.
This is a dream underpinned by perseverance, daily work in the field, and harmonious dialogue with the land, combining to enable Vinyes d’en Gabriel to offer you these honest, expressive and utterly genuine wines. Welcome to Montsant!
106 to go!