Celler Aibar 1895, Feels So Good in D.O. Montsant

328/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Montsant – Darmós – Celler Aibar 1895 – XYZ Tridimesional 2012

Feels So Good……..,

xyztr12_anv800XYZ Tridimesional 2012, 60% Garnatxa Negra, 20% Syrah and 20% Merlot

Lovely dark cherry red color with garnet reflections and purple edge. The subtle aromas entering the nose are those of forrest fruits, it has a floral feel to it and some spice, white pepper and a little clove. Toasted notes appear. It is a easy wine, nice balance, quite wide. The fruit that appeared on the nose is also present i the mouth, together with the toasted notes. Has a medium long finish and good persistency. Price vs. quality is great, a bargain! Before being exposed to the market it gets to spend three months on French oak and 4 months in the bottle. A young and well made wine from the Montsant.


The three coordinated axes form a coup, which is a form of submerged vessel/tank, in which the wine was traditionally made here in Catalonia. Most houses, that had vineyards, would also have a coup, a three-dimensional space. In each dimension you will see one of the three main factors needed for this wine: X: (Longitude): Represents the vineyards planted in rows. Y: (Surface): Represents the hands that worked the vineyards and made the wine. Z: (Volume): Represents the cellar space which is needed for the aging of the wine, constant temperature, sufficient time, barrels and bottles.


Celler Aibar 1895 is not all about the wine. This property belongs to a farming family with an agricultural business dedicated to growing grapes, fruit and olive trees. Mentioning the year of 1895 is in recognition of the efforts and commitment of their grandparents, forced to start from scratch, not once but twice, due to the devastation caused by the phylloxera. The cellar is located in the village of Darmós, in the D.O.Montsant, the property has an old irrigation well and the ruins of an olive oil mill, dating from the sixteenth century.

60 to go!


Vinyes d’en Gabriel, September Song in D.O. Montsant

278/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Montsant – Darmós – Vinyes d’en Gabriel – Mans de Samsó 2009

September Song…….,

mans_de_samsoMans de Samsó 2009, 100% Carinyena

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!

Vinyes d'en Gabriel1

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.

vineyes d en gabriel

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!

Celler Joan d’Anguera, Samba De Uma Nota Só in D.O. Montsant

266/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Montsant – Darmos – Joan d’Anguera – Finca L’Argata 2011

Samba De Uma Nota Só……..,


Finca L’Argata 2011, Syrah, Garnacha and Cabernet Sauvignon

High layer, cherry color with a violet rim. Very bright with colored and dense tears. The nose is balsamic, spicy, fruity. Mostly ripe blackberries and raspberries. There’s also some menthol notes, sweet citrus, coffee, cinnamon, toast and cocoa. It is opulent and enjoyable. It has an entry which is nice and fresh. Gives a broad feeling in the mouth, powerful, fleshy and tasty. Its silky tannins and the acidity are balanced. It has a long and lingering after taste with balsamic, toasted and aromatic ripe fruit that stays on for a long long time.

This must be the way forward, because they (the cellars of Montsant) can’t rely on the “old ways”. Innovation and change is and has to be constant, to stay in tune with the demands and the various tastes on the market. That is, if you want to sell you wine. But not only….., I guess there has to be some satisfaction in what you do and I think that doing everything the way it has always been done, doesn’t contribute to your personal development. Joan and Josep, the two d’Anguera brothers know this all to well! You want a “different” Montsant (and not the “one” that tries to be a copy of Priorat), then you should try one or more of the Joan d’Anguera wines! This is certainly not a One Note Samba, but Samba it is!


The wine is……, Joan d’Anguera Altaroses 2012, 100% Garnatxa

The Altaroses is their first certified bio-dynamic and organic wine. The brothers decided to label the wine as a “Garnatxa”, the Catalan spelling for Garnacha, a variety that has been grown here for ages. The nose is that of fresh wild strawberries and toasted spices. Very expressive. It has a mouth-watering acidity and great soft and ripe red fruits coming through. Soft tannins and well balanced structure between acidity, tannin, fruit and alcohol. This is an “easy” wine to consume but maybe not so easy to understand and in a blind tasting I’d swear it wasn’t from the Montsant!

The region (comarca) of Priorat is home to two appellations of origin, DOQ Priorat and D.O. Montsant. The latter, which extends across nearly 2,000 acres, was known until 2001 as the backyard of D.O. Tarragona within the sub-zone of Falset.
PortadaCatalegRutaViMontsantCat0However, due to the set of different features and the qualitative potential of the Montsant terroir, their calcareous soils and a continental climate, screened by the Mediterranean influence, and old vines of Carignena and Garnacha, made ​​evident the need for this area to have its own legal personality.


Since then, the quantitative and qualitative evolution, especially in the D.O. Montsant has been admirable. There is heterogeneity in the level of the vineyards and wines, but this absolutely should obscure the reality of its rapid and profound qualitative change over the last decade.


Joan d’Anguera is one of the wineries that have contributed decisively to take this great leap forward. Josep and Joan, sons of the venerable Joan who gave name to this house, alongside their mother, Merce, hold the destiny of this cellar in their hands.


And they do that with results that are, unusually for wine makers, financially very sound. The wines produced at the property are six in number. Joan d’Anguera, Planella, Finca l’Argata, Bugader and Altaroses are the reds and then there’s the sweet red, D’Or.


The wines are made with different combinations of grapes from old and young vineyards. Garnacha Negra, Carinena, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, grown according to the precepts of organic farming, entirely from one of the four properties owned by the family (Agrata, Planella, Mas Pedret and Tancat).

PENTAX Digital Camera

Wines that convey elegance, personality and great sincerity, the essence of the vineyards in a bottle! If there’s any chance you’ll be tasting Monsant wines you’re going to try from Montsant, make sure this one is on the list!


Bugader 2006, Syrah 85%, Garnacha 15%

Cherry color with violet borders, high layers. Fine and elegant nose, floral notes, red and black fruits and a hint of wood. Its evolution is insatiable, pastries, balsamic, elegant wood, herbs, butterscotch, chocolate, cocoa, coffee….. What I have in the glass, is a great wine, very well put together (produced) and well balanced, harmonious and amazing nose. It is one of those wines that puts everything in perspective, primary, secondary and tertiary aromas dancing together as one at the end! Once in the mouth it is elegant and polished. Large and round, not tired or exhausted, very long and sweet. Very elegant balance. Make sure to decant at least half an hour and make sure to get two bottles when you buy this one, you’re gonna need them both!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle

118 to go!


Anguera Domenech, Travelin’ Man in D.O. Monsant

158/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Montsant – Darmós – Anguera Domenech – Jove Reclot 2011

Travelin’ Man…..,


…., I might not have a pretty little senorita waiting fro me in every village in Catalonia but I’m quite certain I have a good little wine waiting in at least every other place I travel to! Many more cellars to visit and many, many, many more wines to try, so let’s get the party started baby!


Jove Reclot 2011, 45% Ull de Llebre 40% Monastrell 15% Garnatxa

Dark cherry red color. Predominant aromas of red fruit. Straightforward, fresh and quite expressive with regards to the three varieties in the blend. Mature red fruit! Intense and soft in the mouth. A mouthful of red ripe fruit, minerals and balsamic intertwined. Descent Montsant wine, price/quality is great!


Situated in the village of Darmós which has been know, throughout the ages, for its ancient wine culture. The winery of Anguera Domenech is located comfortably in D.O. Montsant, and the wine making at this small cellar comes from a long family tradition. The quality of the production is notable for a compromise between traditional processes and innovative techniques.


The elaboration of the wines begins by choosing the optimal time of maturity of each of the varieties which are always harvested manually. Fermentation takes place underground where they keep different “cups” for each of the varieties. Everything off course done with by carefully controlling the temperature and maceration. All the processes, cultivation, preparation and production is done by themselves, carried out by members of the whole family.


All their vineyards are located in the Montsant which is characterized by a Mediterranean climate, surrounded by several mountain ranges which help in isolating the effects of the sea and give a certain taste to the final product. This translates into a very important contrast between day and night temperatures, that characterizes the ripening of the grapes. Moreover, all this is coupled with low rainfall resulting in low yield vines, enhancing the quality.


The origins date back to a long family history, generation after generation, where old vines have been cultivated for more than 50 years. Growing on a clayey soil rich in minerals which transmits intense aromas and a warm tone the wines. One of the qualities of their field is the ability of retention of moisture, which ensures a good cycle of growth in the vineyards. The total area plated holds twelve acres and the varieties planted are Garnatxa (Grenache), Carignan, Ulll de Llebre (Tempranillo), Syrah, Merlot and Monastrell.

montsant 1 425

221 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle