2019 Cal Besso "lo Cirerer" Montsant

SKU #1689498

Cal Besso is the relatively new Montsant project from the Castellví Figuerola family, who own and run Celler de l’Encastell in Priorat and a local grape grower, Jaume Valles.. It is based around the village of Els Guiamets, which is located less than 10 miles South of the heart of Priorat. Cal Besso is the name of the family’s home and it is where their cellar is located. In their corner of Montsant the terrain is not as dramatic as in Priorat, with more rolling hills which make agriculture significantly easier. The soil in their vineyards is predominantly calcareous but there is some granite and slate (llicorella). The proximity not only to the Sea but the Ebro River and the Mountain ranges of Montsant, Montalt, and Llaberia help mitigate the warm Mediterranean climate. The winemaking is done simply, there is just enough done to not interfere with the expression of the fruit and the vineyards. The wines are aged in stainless steel, French oak, American oak and Acacia barrels. The family's historic business in the region was growing cherries and plums, to which they pay homage with their wine names. 93 points Miquel Hudin : "Dark fruited with a rich, dark cherry nose, plum, graphite, dried herbs of rosemary and a touch of clove, black pepper, and light toasted notes. Rich and structured on the palate but with plenty of dark fruits to connect the wine’s components and give a full finish."

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Price: $15.99

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Product Reviews:

By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/3/2023 | Send Email
Cal Besso is K&L’s first direct import for Montsant. They are a small family producer located just South of Priorat. They make clean, uncomplicated, but not simple, wines that express the diversity of the region. If there I had just one wine to use to introduce you to the wines of Cal Besso, this is it. “Lo Cirerer” or “the cherry tree” is the perfect wine to get someone excited about this small family project. This is a wine that exceeds its appellation, all their wines do but this does it in a way that is easier to communicate in writing. The wines of Montsant are best known for being Garnacha blends. An easy way to think about it is that Montsant is to Priorat, like Cotes du Rhone is to Chateauneuf du Pape. I like that because the main varietal (for the most part) in all those regions is Garnacha. Montsant has a reputation for being easy to drink value wines. While this wine is both of those, it is also more. It starts with the blend, while most of this wine is Garnacha and Carignane there is also Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Tempranillo. These are all familiar varietals in Catalonia, and we regularly see a little Merlot and Cabernet in Priorat, the Tempranillo jumps out to me when listed and in the wine. It somehow gives this Spanish wine (it is really a Catalonian wine but that is a tale for another time) a little more of a Spanish twist, and I love it. It brightens the wine, it enhances the “cherry tree” of it, there is more fruit and there is a little more spice. A little of that spice comes from the oak aging but there is a soft, dusty Spanish spiciness to this that you do not get when it is all Garnacha and Carignan. It is medium bodied and very easy to drink. The Cabernet and the Tempranillo bring a little more vertically to this wine, a touch more structure without imparting too much tannin. The Merlot and Cabernet add a little tobacco and a darker fruit tone to the mid palate. OK, how do these pieces all fit together? Deliciously. This is a medium bodied red with a mix of dark and red cherry fruits on the nose, backed with hints of plums and a mellow spice on the back end. There is a sneaky richness to this, the longer it is opened, the more weight and texture it takes on, the tannins are mellow and there is just enough acid to leave it dry and clean on the finish. This is an any occasion red wine, just as happy being drunk in the afternoon as it is at the dinner table.

By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/27/2023 | Send Email
I love Montsant. It's one of those off-shoot regional wines that may not be the first thing that comes to mind when entering a wine shop, but a wine that is incredibly consistent, high-value and totally delicious. I was lucky enough to have our Spanish buyer hand me a glass of the Lo Cirerer the other day and was remarkably impressed. There's a clear, powerful note of tobacco leaf that cuts through the dark fruit flavors of black cherry and blackberry that surrounds it. On the palate, there's a fullness and richness that has no business being in an under-$20 wine, while there's just enough tannin to give support to the fruit, but without dominating the palate or adding astringency. Delicious, full-bodied and a perfect choice for anyone who might find themselve in a drinking rut.

By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/20/2023 | Send Email
This great little bargain has a red and black fruited nose with dark cherries, smoke, (light) prune and oak scents. On the palate, Bing and black cheery fruit, red plum, roasting spices and lightly toasted oak. Relatively full-bodied without being extracted or over the top. Very nicely balanced. Diverse enough to be paired with too many foods to be listed here. Try it as your everyday go to....especially for those hearty and comforting Autumn meals.

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