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There has been a sleuth of great wine coming out of the regions in south of Catalonia since the 1980s, when a handful of producers revolutionized their practices with modern techniques and equipment. Since this great change there has been some serious competition between the more famous Priorat D.O.C. and neighboring Montsant. Pinyolet is the name of the unique type of soil that makes superior wines in Montsant, where this wonderfully Mediterranean wine is grown from organically farmed vineyards. A pinyolet is a pebble that results from the erosion of limestone boulders only found in the upper hills of Montsant. These pebbles communicate an element of minerality and brightness that is unique to the best wines of this terroir. However, Montsant’s secret isn’t just in its soils. Its cooler climate and higher in elevation allow Garnacha to retain more acidity over a longer ripening cycle, making wines that are uplifting, floral, full of tension, and more elegant. In the words of Neal Martin “If Priorat is Pauillac then Montsant is Margaux”. Do you agree?
WHAT MAKES THIS WINE UNIQUE?
Sustainably grown, old vines tended in the sought after Pinyolet soil of Montsant. This is a Mediterranean Garnacha expression that is floral, uplifted, elegant, full of tension and minerality. Not overripe or alcoholic. The cooler climate of Montsant produces Garnacha's that are capable of ageing for decades. Special microclimate that is windy, warmer and drier than other subzones within the region.
2016 91 WS 'Smart Buy'; 2014 91JS; 2013 90VM
100% Garnacha. Sustainably grown vines planted from 1987-2003. Tended in limestone (pinyolets) soil at 520 m (1,706 ft) elevation. This is a vegan wine.
This is not a jammy, overripe, sweet, alcoholic Garnacha like those from other areas of Spain. Pinyolet has beautiful fruit, acidity and balance that its easy-to-drink, juicy character will pair with a variety of red and white meats, and it will also pair well with burgers, burritos, empanadas, Panini sandwiches and other casual foods.
VINIFICATION AND AGEING:
6 months in 3 year old French oak barrels of 225. Lit.
LOCATION, SOIL, CLIMATE:
These vineyards are located within the the Masroig district of Montsant at 520m (1,706 ft)elevation in Zone 5. The Pinyolet limestone soil combined with the organic viticulture communicate with great precision the mineral identity of this great terroir. Night temperatures in Montsant are cooler than in Priorat allowing its grapes to ripen slowly thus preserving its aromatic purity to a higher degree. If Garnacha in Priorat is black, Garnacha in Montsant is red.
Pinyolet Garnacha reveals a rich strawberry and raspberry fruit intermixed with notes of licorice, crushed rock and earth, all offered in a medium to full-bodied, heady style. The price is a steal and the quality of the wine is impressive. Notes by Robert Parker Oct/Nov 2010. Bright ruby. Bright raspberry and blackberry on the nose. Red berry flavors are lifted by gentle acidity, picking up spiciness with air. Finishes broad and smooth, with good length. Notes by Josh Raynolds Sept/Oct 2011.
2013: 14.5% / 2014:14.0%
Shelf Talker 2016
Shelf Talker 2014
Shelf Talker 2013
Shelf Talker 2012
Shelf Talker 2011