Rendé Masdéu isn’t a newcomer though. They fully modernized their cellar in 1991 but have evidence that the family was producing wine since the early 17th century. Many of their vineyards are planted around the Monastery of Poblet (a UNESCO heritage site) in the village of l’Espluga de Francolí about 5km west of Montblanc and a bit over two hours from Barcelona by train.
Like many of the Conca de Barberà wineries, they work to have a bit more freedom with the grapes that they grow and have many French varietals alongside the traditional Catalan varieties. Their Syrah is a bottle to taste for those that may need to restore confidence in this grape who might be otherwise be Syrah-fatigued given the shiploads of low-end bottles from many New World producers.
Syrah 2009 is rather brash out of the bottle. Unrefined and unlikely like a guest that showed up too early, given 15 minutes of acclimation, the bottle gets much much more friendly. The nose is just splendid. Aromas of herbs, almonds, plum, blackberry, and a light backing of granite all fill the nose. The body warms up with tar and red fruits, but with an undercurrent of the slightest acidity that allows the wine to pair wonderfully well with pork dishes or even steak or chicken. Highly versatile, it closes with a fast, tight finish that leaves just a touch of the fruit to taste. 14% 7.50€