Montsant is a DO that literally occupies a circle of land surrounding the higher ranking DOQ of Priorat in northwest Spain, just west by a few hours of Barcelona.
They’ve been growing grapes there since Roman times and the names reflect it – Priorat referring to the priory that was run by the monks and Montsant referring to the ancient Montsant mountain range.
The grapes used in this concoction are Mazuelo (the most widely grown in the region – also called Carignan or Carineña and usually used as a blender for colour and tannin), Syrah and Garnacha/Grenache.
If Priorat wines are out of your price range, wines from Montsant will work for you. The vast majority available in western Canada (if you can find them at all) are red and they tend to be big and deep – great for all sorts of meat and BBQ dishes. You have to travel to Montsant and Priorat for the whites; they’re few and far between, but worth the effort.
Deep ruby, this wine has aromas of ripe cherry, freshly tarred road and wet rocks. The palate is dry with slightly grippy tannins and medium plus acidity. Flavours include more cherry and strawberry with soya sauce, black licorice and crushed stone.
WSET Good, it’s a little watery, but it has distinctive taste and character for a $22 wine, and is good bang for your Spanish buck.