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Wine of the Week: Joan D'Anguera La Planella Montsant 2007

The other week, we attended a wine tasting at Houston Wine Merchants. That Friday, they were featuring Priorat wines from Spain. If you haven't heard of the Priorat wine region, you're not alone. This was our first time tasting them, too. However, we didn't leave Houston Wine Merchants with a bottle of Priorat. Instead, we chose something equally new, a red wine from the neighboring wine region of Montsant.

The Spanish government created the Montsant wine region in 2001. It's in the northeast portion of Spain near Barcelona. This wine region produces similar wines to its famous neighbor Priorat. However, Montsant does not have Priorat's signature soil. And for us, that turned out to be a good thing. We preferred the Montsant wine over the Priorats we tasted.

Two brothers, Joan and Josep Anguera, run this particular Montsant winery with their mother. Some view them as one of the most exciting new producers coming from Spain. And they're no strangers to sustainable wine practices. In 2008, they started moving the winery more toward organic methods.

Now that you can drink the wine with a good conscience, what you really want to know is what it tastes like. This particular wine is a blend of 40 percent Carignan, 20 percent Syrah, 20 percent, Grenache and 20 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. It has been aged in both French and American oak for 11 months. The result is a light-bodied wine that tastes like blackberries. It has a bit of a smoky flavor but not like sucking on the end of a cigarette. The fruit is still pretty dominant.

Definitely let it breath for a bit. If not, the first sip will have a pretty strong bite to it. We didn't really like the wine at first, but we found it got better over time. We know it's hard to wait, but it's worth it.

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