Spanish wine features a world blend

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Perfect blendship: The 2010 Zerran is a blend of 50 percent Grenache, 40 percent Mazuelo (Carignan) and 10 percent Syrah, aged 16 months in slightly aged French oak before being released. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media

In the northeastern corner of Spain, within Catalonia, is one of the newly recognized wine growing regions of Spain. Although it has a history of being one of the oldest wine-growing regions in the Mediterranean, Montsant wasn’t officially recognized until 2001. It borders the prestigious Priorat region, but as of yet does not have the cache or the expensive price point of its neighbor.

Montsant has a very rugged and mountainous terrain with soils varying from distinct orange color to a slate-grey appearance. A mixture of sand, large stone and granite in the soil adds to the unique personality of the wines grown in this temperate, sun-drenched Mediterranean climate. Grenache and Carignan are the indigenous grape varieties grown here, but the influence of Syrah, Tempranillo, Merlot and other grapes are important components of the blends. There is a confluence of large cooperative and small family-run wineries in Montsant, with many young and ambitious winemakers who are dedicated to represent the new, modern Spain in their wines.

The 2010 Zerran is another addition from the portfolio of importer Jorge Ordonez. It is a new world blend of 50 percent Grenache, 40 percent Mazuelo(Carignan) and 10 percent Syrah aged for 16 months in slightly aged French oak before being released. This red has an opaque ruby color with a purple rim. The floral elements are a bit restrained with inviting aromas of violets and lavender. The fruit is mouth filling with liquid cassis, black plum and rustic fruit spice containing hints of incense and minerals that add to the balance and length of this well-made wine.

Suggested Retail: $12.99

W. Peter Hoyne has been a wine journalist for over 20 years, covering stories of national and international significance. While his professional relationships in the wine industry have allowed him to share a unique perspective of wine, he is also intrigued by the culinary aspect and harmony that exist between wine and food. As a wine advocate, he is committed to consumer education and is focused on upcoming trends and American wine-buying habits.