2018 Espectacle Montsant
2018 Espectacle Montsant I first tasted the wine looking at the vineyard which is as close as it gets to the Hermitage hill or Côte-Rôtie, an amazing terraced amphitheater planted with very old Garnacha vines on chalky soils at higher altitude in Montsant, in the village of La Morera, which might produce the freshest wines of the appellation.
I tried a second bottle a couple of weeks later and it was as good or even better, so it was not having the wine while looking at the breathtaking vineyard that made my heart beat faster. There is no rush to drink this, but it would be hard to resist it, as it’s so hedonistic and beautiful right now.
As with other wines, I also tasted the 2018 Espectacle del Montsant next to the 2017 to catch up, as I last tasted the region some 16 months ago. 2018 was a cooler year of slow ripeness, and the grapes achieved an amazing 16% alcohol. The wine is truly spectacular, true to its name. It has tons of violet notes and aromatic herbs, the palate is gentler, and the tannins are rounder, polished and elegant. It has full body but isn’t heavy. There is a lot of complexity, and the wine developed slowly in the glass, showing nuances of cereals, kirsch, orange peel and lots of spices and herbs. It’s opulent and full, deep and complex. Amazing in its style. Some 6,500 bottles produced. 98pts WA
I first heard about the wine I bring you today in the 2004 vintage when Parker gave the wine 99pts. Ever since in every vintage the wine was and is impossible to get. The wine comes from the Priorat/Montsant area of Spain famous for some of the greatest wines big reds being made in the world today. This is the land of the 100 point big red, Clos Erasmus and Palacios L ‘Ermita come to mind and off-course Clos Mogador. Clos Mogador is made by one of the greatest wine makers in Spain Rene Barbier Barbier, a pioneer of this region. Today’s wine is also made by Rene Bernier, the 2018 Espectacle del Montsant which has received a huge, monster 98pts by Parker’s Wine Advicate .
This is one of the great big reds on the planet, rivalling First Growth Bordeaux’s like Chateau Lafite, the finest Cult Napa Cabs like Dominus or the best Super Tuscans like Sassicaia. This is a benchmark trophy wine! Now through its history Espectacle has always got great scores, 92 to 99pts and since 2004 98pts twice and 99pts twice all by Parker.
The wines name Espectacle means spectacular which describes the absolutely exquisite terraced vineyard where this wine comes from. I have enclosed pictures from the top and the bottom of the vineyard. The vines are all over 100 years of age. The resulting wine is absolutely stunning, a pinnacle red, gloriously opulent with enormous depth and concentration. Only 400 to 500 cases are made depending on vintage and the wine is impossible to get going just about all to the finest restaurants in the world.
I visited the Espectacle vineyard, which is true to its name, truly spectacular. This is a joint venture between René Barbier from Clos Mogador, importer Christopher Cannan and some other friends. When René saw the vineyard, and once the owner was going to retire, he knew he had to buy it. This is one of those places that when you see them you realize they HAVE to produce great wine. And it does…