The "blue cliffs" of Montsant (from the slate in the area) are a significant contributor to the full flavors of Montsant wines. The Cingles Blaus wines, of which I selected a white, a rose, a Joven, and a Reserva, show the talents of the winemaker in fully understanding the potential of the grapes grown in this terrain. The Cingles Blaus wines also share more of the characteristics of Priorat wines as they are from the north side of Montsant which is much more similar to the broken slate of the Priorat than the alluvial river valley that is on the south side of Montsant. The wine descriptions below also use the Catalan names of the wines to respect the wonderful culture and history of this beautiful and gracious part of the world.
Blue slate terrain in the vineyards
The Wine Cellar
Montsant cliffs from the vineyard
Part of the wine production area
Octubre Blanc 2017
This is a delightful and refreshing white wine that is a blend of 50% Macabeo, 40% Garnacha Blanca, and 10% Chardonnay. The color is a golden yellow and there are floral aromatics of white flowers and honeysuckle along with hints of white peaches and tropical fruits such as pineapple and banana. Flavors are of honeydew melon, kiwi, mild citrus, and hints of almonds. The wine is refreshing across the palate, well-balanced, with acidity that makes it very fresh, and a long memorable finish.
Food pairings would include sole, crab, shrimp, scallops, halibut, anchovies, seafood salads and pasta, veal piccata, grilled chicken, Thai noodle and chicken dishes, mild curries, vegetable stir fry, grilled vegetables, and medium to hard cheeses.
Octubre Rosat 2017
This is a 100% Garnacha Rose with a pale pink color. Overall aromas and flavors are concentrated and complex with refreshing tropical fruit flavors and hints of red fruits. The perfectly balanced medium body actually seems a bit "fuller" throughout the palate with its very memorable and full finish. The freshness of this wine is memorable and there is also a hint of residual sugar.
Food pairings would include salmon, crab, paella, grilled chicken, BBQ ribs, pork shoulder, charcuterie, medium red curries, pasta salads, pasta with a light tomato sauce, tapas, and appetizers.
Octubre Negre 2016
This tinto "joven" is a blend of 60% Garnacha, 25% Carinena, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Merlot. After initial fermentation in stainless steel, the wine is aged for six months in two-year old French oak barriques. The color is of dark cherries but with a striking brightness. There are intense aromas with a lot of fruit notes along with hints of licorice, red flowers, and fruit aromas such as raspberry, peach and strawberry. Flavors include blackberries, blueberries, and dark cherries. The medium mouthfeel is balanced between a strong core of fruit and its refreshing minerality and acidity. For a "joven" this wine has impressive structure and complexity.
Food pairings would include salmon, grilled shrimp, grilled tuna, paella, BBQ ribs, beef stew, grilled chicken, coq au vin, pasta with meat sauce, tapas, charcuterie, mild Mexican food, Asian pork and vegetable stir fry, Indian Tandoori dishes, grilled vegetables, eggplant parmesan, black beans, pinto beans, and rich cheeses.
Mas de les Moreres 2014
This is the "Reserva" in the Cingles Blaus wines and it is a blend of 50% Garnacha, 30% Carinena, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. After initial fermentation it is aged between 12 and 15 months in a combination of new and two-year old French and American oak barrels.
There is a ripe cherry color that is intense and brilliant. Aromas are powerful and penetrating with red fruits, toasted almonds, blueberries, minerals, and some notes of creaminess. The aromas are then perfectly complemented by flavors of blackberries, boysenberries, black tea, and sweet tannins which create a very elegant combination with each other. The medium mouthfeel is perfectly balanced between a strong core of fresh fruit, structured tannins, nice acidity, and a full and memorable finish. This wine has very interesting complexity but it is also very approachable and refreshing. From my experience aging lots of wines, this also has ten to 12 years of very interesting aging potential.
Food pairings would include salmon, grilled tuna, grilled shrimp, paella, jambalaya, grilled chicken, grilled sausages, jambon iberico, charcuterie, pasta with meat sauce, Mexican food, Asian beef and pork stir fry, grilled vegetables, black beans, and hard cheeses.
Mas de les Moreres