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Joan D'Anguera, Planella 2018
Carignan 75%, Syrah 25%
This Biodynamic (Demeter certified) blend of Carignan, Syrah and Garnacha is full of lively, juicy, dark fruit. The wine is fermented in concrete tanks and then aged for a year in old French barriques to allow the blend to mature. Full-bodied but fresh, this is a gutsy, flavoursome red which partners rich meat dishes perfectly.
It's a great value understudy to the next door region of Priorat.
Fermented in concrete tanks. Aged for 12 months.
Joan d'Anguera was recommended to us by Roberto from Envinate and Suertes del Marques. So sure was he of the quality and recent improvements in the wines that he prompted us to buy them without even tasting them! We did try them though, and completely agreed with Roberto. The project is run by the seventh generation of the same family, who own 24Ha of vines worked biodynamically since 2008. Joan and Josep, the two brothers who are in charge of the viticulture and the vinification, have very clear ideas and are very diligent about the type of wines they want to make. As many others in their generation, they look up to producers like Gramenon and Roagna which says a lot about them already. The usual techniques that we love are also common practise here: wild yeasts, whole-bunch fermentation, no new oak, scarce sulphur and so on.
Wine Advocate 91-92pts (2016) - The 2016 Planella is now 75% Carinena and 25% Syrah. It fermented with full clusters and natural yeasts and matured in oak barrels for 12 to 14 months without racking. I previewed the wine just before bottling, once it was out of barrels, blended and ready to be bottled. There is a lot more freshness and precision compared with the 2015. The year was a little cooler, and the vinification was all full cluster (they sold the destemmer in 2012) with foot treading. Their aim is to make a classical wine from the Darmos zone of Montsant, which is more influenced by the Ebro River than the rest of the appellation. The nose is perfumed and subtle, and the palate is medium-bodied and very balanced, terrifically tasty, with a salty twist and very good length. This is the new direction of their wines, and what I tasted should be very much what goes into bottle.