Josep Grau "L'Efecte Volador" Montsant 2019

Garnacha Blend|Montsant, Spain

Devoted fans will fondly recall Grau's luscious 2016 we discovered and offered nearly a year ago. Wow, how times goes by.

Somehow, this new release blew us away even more. Grau embodies everything we look for in an honest bottle of wine: simplicity, authenticity, responsible methods, and a damn fine drink. This 2019 red is ripe, yet restrained, with notes of wild red and blue fruits, fig jam, smoky mineral tang, fleshy fruit, and a firm tannic grip on the finish. And it's not going anywhere! It will only continue to integrate and become more polished with bottle age. How many $25 reds can boast as much?

Based in Montsant, in Catalunya, he crafts "L'Efecte Volador" ("The Sensation of Flying") from a field blend of intermingled Garnacha (Grenache), Samsó (Carignan), Syrah, and occasionally a splash of Cabernet Sauvignon. Grau's devotion to purity is manifested in his philosophy that "nothing is corrected" from the vineyard to the bottle; his aim is to show a distinct sense of terroir and place. To that end, he practices organic farming and ferments this wine from natural yeasts in concrete vats, where the wine rests in concrete and old French oak before bottling unfined and unfiltered. This is a juicy, earthy, natural wine with a small "n."

These are not fertile, easily-farmed fields. The soil is rocky, the climate capricious, the altitude extreme; all of which makes for amazing terroir through hard work. On discovering the rugged, unforgiving vineyards here, Grau remarked, “This area is inhabited by stubborn people! Obviously, I stayed."  

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