Montserrat, in north-east Spain, is perhaps better known as a day-trip destination for Barcelona tourists visiting the Benedictine Abbey than it is for wine. The Abbey is perched on the mountain peaks that give the region its name (Montserrat means "saw mountain" in local Catalan), and though it's quite rightly world-famous, the wines from the surrounding area deserve a look as well.
Enter Ca N'Estruc (or "house of the Estruch"). Located in the town of Esparreguera, just below the Abbey, records of the winery date as far back as 1574, and it has passed down through the Estruch family ever since. It was the first winery registered in the DO of Catalunya, and today comprises 22 hectares of vineyards. Idoia is the "big brother" to the Negre blend we also featured in WineCollective, and it's a blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Garnacha, aged for one year in French oak. Well worth decanting in the short term, this full-bodied red can be enjoyed over the next 5-7 years at about 18 C.
Dark and brooding, with aromas of fresh currants, black cherry, and raspberry. There's a rustic, smoky campfire note as well, complementing the brambly fruit and faint herbal notes. Spice is in abundance as well, with cracked black pepper, cloves, and anise.
This is one to savour as it evolves in the glass, with fresh vibrant fruit slowly giving way to spice notes of clove and cinnamon, followed by tobacco, leather, and damp earth. It has youthful, but well-integrated tannins that suggest a long life for anyone patient enough to cellar, and enough weight and body to stand up to full-flavoured dishes.
Hearty, rustic meat dishes (especially beef or lamb), simply prepared with salt and pepper, would be the ideal match for Idoia to tame the tannin and allow the wine's complexity to shine.