Monday, January 29, 2007

TN: Joan D'Anguera 2004 La Planella, Montsant, Spain

It was almost two years ago that I found myself, for the very first time, in Paris. The sun was out and the air was pleasantly warm. I had a list of wine bars, meticulously researched a month ahead of time, and a map of the Metro (subway) in my hand. Around two in the afternoon I came to "Juveniles", a small wine bar quietly situated on a small avenue off the main boulevards. Like several other wine bars in Paris, this one was owned by a middle-aged British gentleman. Other than a French chef who was a friend of the owner, I was the only one in there.

I tried several wines while lounging at a round, no-nonsense wooden table, but my favorite by far was a Spanish wine called La Planella, a blend of Carignan, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mourvedre, and Syrah. This comes from the hot northeastern region of Montsant, and a family run winery that is 200 years old! The latest release of La Planella is just as impressive as what I remember tasting that day in Paris. Dark ruby color. Beautiful earthy/gamey nose is followed by flavors of dark berry, currant, and smoke. Dry, elegant, pure, and balanced. With air this turns juicy and the flavors turn to red berries. An excellent value at around $16, this was great with the Roast Pork Loin at the recently opened Canale (Atwater Village).
Yum A-Go-Go!
Available at: Topline Wine, Glendale

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