If you've been curious about the famed red wines of Priorat, but have been hesitant to make the leap given their (often inflated) price points, we have a hint to share with you: look for wines from Montsant Though less famous than its neighbour, Montsant shares many of the same climatic and geographical characteristics that make this part of Spain so special for winemaking. And like Priorat, Montsant's reds are typically full-bodied blends of Garnacha, Carignan, and Syrah, often from very old, dry-farmed bush vines.
Acustic Cellers' Braó (which means courage or strength), is a great example of the intensity and quality possible in wines from this region. The fruit - a blend of mostly Carignan (locally called Carinyena) with 10% Garnacha - is sourced from very old vines, some of which are 95+ years old. These ancient, low-yielding vines produce grapes of exceptional intensity and complexity, and create wines that are unique expressions of place. We'd recommend decanting this wine in the short term, or aging for upwards of another decade (if you're patient!). Serve at about 18 ºC.
Complex and earthy on the nose, this wine opens with aromas of cassis, dried fig, and strawberry compote, along with savoury hints of rosemary and cedar. There's a distinctive note of sweet balsamic, along with the stony minerality that is the region's signature.
Full bodied and structured on the palate, with robust, fine-grained tannins that will support longer cellar aging. There's plenty of fruit, however: blackcurrant, strawberry and black plum, along with higher-toned raspberry and cherry. The finish is long and dense, with lingering hints of cedar, sandalwood, and smoke.
Tannic wines like this are ideal for protein, so match with grilled venison striploin served with wild mushrooms sauteed in butter to complement the wine's savoury, umami notes.