Spanish Red Wine Review: Étnic Negre 2008

by mary on January 30, 2013

This is a great value Spanish red wine from the Montsant area of Catalonia. Montsant offers similar wines to neighboring Priorat, which has become known for it’s bold, intense reds, at a much lower price point. Prefer to review wines I can also find in the US but I have to make a few exceptions and this is one to keep an eye out for. It’s the house wine of my new favorite restaurant in Madrid, Laredo, and it offers intense black fruit, minerality and length but also loads of charm and freshness. Very easy to drink and at 14 euros a bottle it’s a steal! Can’t find it yet stateside but here’s hoping…..

The wine is produced by Cellers Masroig and is made from old-vine Carignan (Cariñena) and Grenache (Garnacha). It’s aged for 15 months in French oak barrels followed by another 12 months minimum bottle aging. Though it has 14.5% alcohol, it has great balance and good freshness and shows wears it very well.

The winery is actually a historic cooperative founded in 1917 and makes several lines, including boxed wine. They also make olive oil. They are all great value!

The Étnic Negre 2008 is pretty approachable and easy to drink at this price point…it hints at what the slate soils and the most intense terroirs of Montsant can give you. It has some black olive, some herbal and mineral notes along with it sweet black fruit that gives a little complexity. Round, big mouth, long finish with big, soft tannins. Just enough acidity to balance it all out. Very attractive package.


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