The secret has been out about the up and coming Montsant wine region for some time now, yet many Spanish wine enthusiasts have yet to experience the fascinating, delicious, food friendly wines being produced to this day.
Montsant, like many other difficult terrains where vines grow, is undergoing a renaissance. Due to proximity and flavor profile similarities, comparisons to Priorat have merit, although there are subtle differences in soil composition and climate – llicorella (slate) soils, mixed with rich chalky clay and limestone, light granitic sands, and diurnal temperature changes. From the terraced vineyards perched in high altitudes, garnatxa negra and blanca are the stars, with carinyena and international varietals in supporting roles.
Nearly 2,000 hectares are located towards the southwest, mostly surrounding the villages of Capçanes, El Masroig, Marçà, Darmós and El Molar, forming a horseshoe-like bangle around Priorat. It’s no wonder why many Priorat winemakers see the potential in Montsant’s terruño, and have begun secondary projects in this relatively nascent DOP (since 2002).
With a Mediterranean climate and continental influences, powerful reds and whites are produced, but many of the wines today are more accessible, crafted with a bit more nuance and readiness. Slow cultivation is paying dividends, turning out exciting results – wines that are complex, beautiful and profound.