Spanish Wine Review: Faunus 2011

by mary on May 8, 2013

Spanish wine: Faunus 2011

I tasted a few great Spanish wines by the glass from the self-serve Enomatic wine dispensers at one of Miami’s really authentic Spanish restaurants, Xixón. My favorite for both quality and value was another impressive entry from the Montsant region, the Faunus 2011, by Ediciones i-Limitadas. Another great value Spanish wine from the Montsant region. I love this region for its intense, earthy, balanced reds. Though perhaps not as consistent and remarkable as neighboring Priorat’s more famous wines, they’re also a lot less expensive in general. This wine is amazing value at 11 euros in Spain, but a little pricier at 22 dollars here in the US.

The wine is a blend of Tempranillo, Syrah, Merlot, and Cariñena and is from 20-50 year old vines. It’s aged 8 months in American and French oak barrels. Montsant, though improving rapidly, has had some trouble establishing a top-notch reputation. This is due to many factors: living in the shadow of Priorat, variable consistency, and price point expectations. Though in Spain, it has surged in popularity as Spaniards outside of the Catalan region finally become more aware of the good value options available.

The other Spanish wines of the day were notable for their sweet fruit, but also for their slightly out of balance alcohol. The fruit in the Faunus had a savory and herbal element as well as floral aromas on the nose. despite it’s 14% alcohol, it had really good balance. The finish though long, has a slight roughness in the tannins that some bottle time could help. Unlike so many tougher wines, there is ample fruit and acidity to reach that perfect balance. Montsant wines generally age very well…this wine is no exception and feels really young right now.

As I was researching the wine, I remembered a New York Times article from Feb 2013 on Montsant wines. It’s a nice summary of the region, some great picks are mentioned and I was happy to find the Faunus came out fourth! I was also pleased to see one of my favorites, Orto, come out on top! Very different price range though.

So hopefully Montsant will continue to emerge from Priorat’s shadow, forge its own distinct identity, and the best wines will become more readily available here in the US market.

The Faunus is only about 11€ in Spain, so is fantastic value there, but runs about 22$ here stateside..so good value, but not in my top value category. If this wine sounds good to you, I recently rated a great Montsant Étnic and a great value Priorat, Camins.

Any favorite Montsant wines?

 

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