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Jorge Ordonéz New Wines from Montsant – in the "Suburbs of Priorat" Bodegas Zerran

Great wines from Northeast Spain.

Jorge Ordonez is at it again, ferreting out great wines from the huge range of apellations in Spain. Sometimes he represents an established winery sometimes he partners with the locals and builds one from the ground up starting with great vineyards.

Today we talk about a brand new venture in the region of Montsant in the northeast corner of  Spain. Jorge finds the great undervalued vines like his wonderful and inexpensive tempranillo from La Mancha and Mourvedre from Alicante.

This time he is in another region he knows well, bordering Priorat. Priorat is beautifully situated near the Mediterranean with a wonderful terroir distinguished by its licorella slate soil and vines planted on  impossibly steeply terraced vineyards. Along with gnarly old vine grapes we have a recipe for great wine.  

Montsant borders Priorat with the same combination of proximity to the sea, soil, steep elevations and old vine grapes. The big difference is the value. Great Montsant wine at a fraction of the price of Priorat wine.

Zerran Tinto 2010 (more info) is made from Syrah and very old vines Garnatxa (aka Garnacha or Grenache) and Carignan (aka Mazuelo) aged 16 months in French oak. The red has very concentrated black fruit flavors and overtones of crushed stone. Still wound up pretty tightly with lots of stuffing.

Zerran Blanco 2011 (more info) is made of 100% Garntxa Blanc (Grenache Blanc) grown in licorella like the red grape. 50% of the wine is stainless steel fermented and aged for 6 months in stainless steel. The remaining 50% is barrel fermented and then aged in French oak for 6 month.  I tried this one this week. Its delicious with the the full mouthfeel and fruit (apple and pear) with strong mineral notes of chalk and a little spice. Only 500 cases for the US.

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