Wine rating: Finca L’Argatá 2004

by mary on April 8, 2009

Spanish wine Finca L’Argata from MontsantI recently rated the Brunus 2006 from Montsant…it wasn’t my favorite, but it seems to be garnering high points from all the critics.  As I mentioned in that post, Montsant is a great value alternative to Priorat but can be very hit or miss.  One of the good ones is Finca L’Argatá…it’s been a favorite of mine since the 2002 vintage.  Recently I tried the 2004 for the first time and loved it.  If the Brunus was lacking that intense black fruit that I associate with the region, the Finca L’Argatá has it in spades!  It also has those original, wild aromas that the best Montsants and Priorats have.  It’s a bit of stone and slate with what in Spanish we call “bajo monte” and in French “garrigue.”  The English translation always comes out a little poor but wild herbs, herbes de Provence are similar.  When you walk through dry and scrubby areas of southern France or the Med you get those wonderful smells of all the wild herbs such as rosemary and them, but it is mixed in with an earthiness as well.  Love it!  The 2004 is perfect to drink now…the sometimes tough tannins have really smoothed out and it has a really long liqueur black fruit finish.  The only criticism I could make is that the alcohol is a bit notable in the finish.  The best part is that the price is really reasonable at 13€ retail.  This is what’s best about Montsant!  Read on for more details on Finca L’Argatá.  

Wine:  Finca L’Argatá 2004
Winery:  Cellers Joan d’Anguera
Denominación de Origen (DO): Montsant
Alc: 14.5%
Grape varieties: 40% Syrah, 40% Garnacha, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon
Oak regime:  14 months in French oak
Price:  13€ retail in Madrid

Tasting notes
Visual:  Dark semi-opaque purple…very youthful
Nose:  Very intense:  jammy sweet black fruit with strong aromas of garrigue and mineral notes, slate.  Really attractive in a brooding sort of way!          
Mouth:  There is initially a burst of intense liqueur fruit, with really fresh acidity…surprising acidity given the sweetness of the nose. There are also the garrigue aromas and the slate with a little bit of oak smokiness and spice.  he tannins are very big but super smooth and the fruit lingers along with them in a super long finish.  The alcohol heats up a little too much in the finish.
Food:  This wine would be perfect with a roast leg of lamb with herbs, but not the tiny baby ones they have hear in Spain…the older gammier version done rare with herbes de Provence in France.   

Conclusion: Love this wine…it has so much personality…perhaps too much for some people.  I find in my wine groups, people either love this style or hate it…it leaves few people indifferent.  I also love that the oak is so well integrated it almost disappears…adding complexity to the wine in a perfect supporting role.  All too often the oak is the star these days. 

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lynn Rose-Hall April 14, 2009 at 7:18 pm

Mary & Miguel, I’m really enjoying your website and blog! Mary, we just returned from the Masters golf tournament. I so enjoyed our long, get-acquainted phone conversation. I felt like I have known you for a long time. You made it so easy to start to get to know you.

Thanks for the pictures. I printed out one to show to my sister when she comes for Chinese Checkers this afternoon. She’ll tell me if you look like me … I’m not good at seeing family resemblances. I’ll reply to your e-mail tomorrow and send pictures.

Love, Lynn


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