The Priorat is a county and within that county reside two official wine regions, the Montsant and the Priorat wine region. Geographically the Montsant wine region surrounds the Priorat wine region. The soil is what makes the two wine regions very different. The soil in Priorat is called “llicorella.” It is a all slate, layers upon layers and said to give Priorat wines their defining characteristic. In the Montsant D.O. the soil types vary. There are limestone, red clay, stone, and some of the same slate that’s in the Priorat, but only in a few areas of the region. The main grapes in both areas are Garnacha, Carignane, and Garnacha Blanc. Other varieties are grown but in small amounts. A big difference also with both appellations is also the price. While a bottle of priorat may fetch 60EUR, a montsant may cost you between 10-20EUR.
Venus la Universal is the personal proyect of Sarah Perez and Rene Barbier Jr, whose parents are among the founding bodegas of the Priorat, Clos Mogador and Clos Martinet. This is an organic blend of Garnacha, Syrah rounded by Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. A pretty amazing wine showing the identity of the Montsant appellation.
Venus la Universal 2011. Code SAQ: 11376994. $26.85
Very floral nose. Fanning aromas of rose, violets with lots of red fruit puree and ripe black fruit nuances, In addition, notes of leather and other animal notes with an intriguing minerality. Oak well integrated. In the mouth, full body and quite elegant. Structured wih a very linear and austere tannic profile. Long finale. 93\100.
Not to leave Priorat behind, here is an amazing Priorat that i discovered on the latest Raspipav edition 2014.
Humilitat is made by Franck Massard, a french ex-sommelier turned into winemaker. This wine is a fresh take on the wines of Priorat
Humilitat 2011 by ( Importation Sylvins. $31. Cases of 6 )
Stunning nose of mineral reminds me of schist rock. Also an endless field of violets with freshly pressed red black and red fruits. In the mouth, full body with a fresh acidity. A priorat on the elegant side, this wine has complex layers of flavors reminding me of Porcini mushrooms, woodwar and leather. Very long and persistent finale. 95/100