From €7.75, 15 Swiss francs, £11, 159 Norwegian krone, 2,808 yen
This Catalan red is simply quite ridiculously cheap for the amount of interest it delivers. It's made by the exceptionally fine co-op in Montsant, the region on the doorstep of Priorat that, as Ferran Centelles pointed out in Montsant – half-price Priorat?, generally delivers such fine value.
In our database that now includes more than 100,000 tasting notes (we went into six figures without my even noticing it) contains no fewer than three tasting notes on this particular wine. In his thorough survey of current Montsants, Ferran thought it correct but it wasn't as snazzy as many of the other examples he tasted. Richard liked it a bit more when he tasted it in March but by the end of April when I tasted it for my recently published Catalan collection, I thought it was showing beautifully. Perhaps it was coming out of its shell and had developed a bit more weight when fully integrated because both Ferran and Richard remarked on the wine's tannins whereas this was my note:
Blend of Garnacha with Cabernet and Tempranillo, Uncle Tom Cobbley and all. All of it oak aged. Neat garnet. Brilliant amount of fruit, integrity and character per penny. Great dry but not drying finish after more than a hint of llicorella! Real structure. Tastes far more expensive.
I awarded it a VGV (meaning 'very good value') although I had been told Theatre of Wine in London sold it for £10 whereas I am now told the price is £11). I gave it 16.5 points out of 20 (Richard gave 16 and Ferran just 15) and I'd be happy to hang on to it for another four years to see how it evolved. I do think this may be one of those wines selling much more cheaply than most wines that are worth ageing.
Ferran noted that the vines are between 15 and 30 years old and are planted in a range of vineyards in both Capçanes and Guiamets. The blend was aged for nine months in a mix of French and American oak that seems to have suited it well.
I try to keep a bit of novelty in these choices as wine of the week but see to my chagrin and some surprise that I chose Mas Collet 2001 as a wine of the week in 2004 and Julia chose Mas Collet 2005 in 2009. I don’t know whether to apologise for our predictability or to celebrate the consistency of this particular offering from this excellent producer. It's starting to look like a five yearly habit...
The wine is widely available in Spain, most northern European countries, and Japan.