2016 Joan d'Anguera "Finca L'Argata" Montsant

SKU #1411227 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2016 Finca l'Argatà is now pure Garnacha from 40- to 60-year-old vines on sandy limestone soils. It fermented with full clusters and natural yeasts and matured in oak barrels for 15 to 16 months. It made me jump from my seat. With its light color and subtle and perfumed nose, it made me think of an elegant, ripe, perfumed version of a Château Rayas, nuanced, with some beef blood and meat notes. There's some complexity, but it's in need of a little more time in bottle (it was only bottled three weeks before I tasted it) and will develop even more nuances. The palate is medium-bodied but compact, with a solid structure, freshness and concentration, saline, ripe but with lightness, rustic and pretty. This is a superb Mediterranean Garnacha, a true revelation. (LG)  (4/2018)

K&L Notes

Ask Josep and Joan d'Anguera who they see as benchmark estates, they are as likely to site Roagna or Gramenon as any compatriot. Turning this insight inward, they've asked themselves not, how can we copy these wines? But instead, how can I make my land and my vines speak as expressly? The first step towards the reinvention of Celler Joan d'Anguera was the transition to biodynamic farming with certification by Demeter in 2008. Returning to the land in such an intimate manner taught them to appreciate their oldest vines - their indigenous inheritance. As each site responded to the practices of biodynamics, they discovered that what was once though of as rustic was merely abused, misunderstood or disregarded. Having reduced yields by close to 50%, they began to discover that each site had its own character - something that is now captured in each cuvée that they make. Having sorted their vineyards, Josep and Joan turned to their cellar practices. With healthier fruit, lower yields and better balance in ripening they were able to transition to whole cluster fermentation by indigenous yeasts. Concrete is now the preferred fermentation vessel and the fruit is crushed by foot. Macerations are long but very gentle with the goal to coax out the character of each parcel rather than extract it forcefully. Aging in now done in neutral, well-seasoned French oak barrels, demi-muids and foudres so as to not impart any flavor of wood in their wines.

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Price: $21.99

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By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/11/2019 | Send Email
This is a world class wine at a ridiculous price. It easily tastes like a wine that retails for twice what we are asking for. Made from biodynamically grown old vine garnatxa from limestone-rich soils that is then vinified in the same way as some of Burgundy's greats. This is not the deeply colored extracted wine that you would expect to find in Montsant's neighbor Priorat. This is a lightly colored, beautifully high toned red wine it looks more like a Burgundy than Chateauneuf. But once you smell it, it is all Grenache(Garnacha). Dark cherry, Kirsch, Sauvage herbal undertones, there is also a slight hint of cured meat. The palate is Rhone, it is rich and structured, really structured. The savory dark cherry fruit pops over limestone minerality but it is framed by fine but substantial tannins and vibrant acidity. The wine has tremendous length where the fruit and a minty limestone minerality lingers and lingers. Note: This is a young wine of surprising structure this is definitely a food wine. It is reductive at the moment, this wine needs decanting and a lot of air right now. Forethought and patience will be rewarded. It is a wine that with a few years in the cellar will be the most ridiculously good bottle of $20 wine that you have.

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- Fat, ripe and rich with ample fruit and vibrant acidity, wines made from Grenache are easy to love. While its origins are still under dispute - some suggest Spain, where it is called Garnacha, while others say it came first from Sardinia, where it is called Cannonau - it is inarguably one of the most planted varietals in the world. A hearty grape, Grenache does well in hot, dry regions and its sturdy stalk also makes it well-suited to withstand blustery conditions like the Provençal Mistral. It ripens at relatively high sugar levels, which translates to higher potential alcohol in the wines it produces. Grenache may be most famous in the Southern Rhône areas such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas where it has long been an important component of delicious blends. But it's also the source of the crisp rosés from Tavel, Lirac and Provence, and age-worthy vins doux naturels like Rivsaltes and Banyuls. Grenache is also found in large swaths of northeastern Spain, in Navarre, in Rioja, where it plays a supporting role in blends with Tempranillo, and in the distinctive wines of Priorat. The grape was once the most widely planted varietal in Australia, though Shiraz and Cabernet have overtaken it. In California, Grenache plantings have dwindled from their heyday in the San Joaquin Valley, but it is starting to see a resurgence, albeit in smaller plantings, where other Rhône varietals thrive.


- With more land under vine than any other country in the world, Spain is the great sleeping wine giant. In recent years, a great deal of money and passion has been poured in the burgeoning Spanish wine industry, helping to improve quality among its vast array of wines from sparkling Cava to Sherry to Rioja Gran Reserva. The most important red-wine-producing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra in the north and Priorat and Penedes in the northeast.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5