“Made me think of an elegant, ripe, perfumed version of a Château Rayas.” So said Luis Gutierrez of the Wine Advocate after he tasted the 2016 Joan d’Anguera Finca L’Argata.
WOW! That’s a bold statement when you consider Rayas is one of the rarest and most expensive Chateauneuf du Papes out there — it’s fetching $500+ per bottle these days.
I immediately set out to find the wine, hoping I could score a few bottles for personal consumption. But to my surprise, my distributor had 8 cases left and I promptly snatched them all up. And after hitting a bottle last night, I can confirm this is the prettiest and most nuanced Spanish Garnacha I’ve ever tried.
2016 Joan d’Anguera Montsant Finca L’Argata
94 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Is it like Rayas? I wouldn’t know as I’ve never had the pleasure to enjoy that one. But I know Mr. Gutierrez has and I think he’s one of the most talented tasters at the Wine Advocate. And when you consider you can buy nearly 2 cases of this one for the same price as 1 bottle of Rayas, I’d say give it a shot.
Brothers Joan and Josep d’Anguera embody all the virtues I look for in producers to stock at the store. They own and farm their own vineyards. They’re Demeter-certified biodynamic and organic. They work with old vines and extremely low yields. And they ferment naturally with native yeasts, minimal fining and filtration, and little or no new oak. Their resulting wine are pure, soulful and dynamic and they represent some of the most elegant reds produced in Catalunya.
Their Finca L’Argata comes from a single, old vine site planted entirely to Garnatxa. The soil, though not the most exciting thing to talk about, is key here. When Grenache is grown in sandy, well-drained soils (like at Rayas), it yields much more elegant and perfumed wines with stunning aromatics. And that’s certainly what you get here — gorgeous aromas and flavors of pomegranate, fresh cherry, dried strawberry, rose petal, white pepper and more. And despite the light, Pinot Noir-esque color, this is intense and powerful on the palate.
Just in case you need a second opinion, here’s what Mr. Gutierrez of the Wine Advocate had to say. “It made me jump from my seat. With its light color and subtle and perfumed nose, it made me think of an elegant, ripe, perfumed version of a Château Rayas, nuanced, with some beef blood and meat notes. The palate is medium-bodied but compact, with a solid structure, freshness and concentration, saline, ripe but with lightness, rustic and pretty. This is a superb Mediterranean Garnacha, a true revelation. 14,000 bottles produced. Drink now – 2028.”
This certainly isn’t a wine for beginners. But if you’re a long-time “cork-dork,” a lover of Grenache, or someone who wants to try something that tastes like Rayas at a fraction of the price, run (don’t walk) to the store and get some of this one before it disappears.
Owner, Operator, Wine Monger
Table Wine Asheville