Ètnic 2006

Today I start a new kind of post, evaluating more in depth a wine I have recently tasted. There are some other blogs that usually take this approach with proficiency, such as Els vins que vaig tastant and Els vins del Bonviure (both in Catalan, but with automatic translator).

Here I face a typical dilemma, that recently came up in Els vins del Bonviure: shall I write negative reviews of wines? After thinking it out, my intention is not to do so unless I am sure that the flaws found are really present in most of the bottles and not a result of bad cellaring, my own clumsy tasting capability or simple bad luck. This means in practice that I should find similar problems in two independent bottles (not coming from the same source or stored in the same way) to make a negative report. A single unsatisfactory bottle will generate no remarks.

Another matter is a wine that, without actually showing flaws, does not deliver according to its fame or price. In these cases, with due allowance for my inexpert tasting, I may try to explain how and why I am disappointed.

Do you agree with this approach? Should I do otherwise? Please feel free to comment!

And now to the wine.

Ètnic is a red wine from DO Montsant. It is produced in the facilities of Celler el Masroig, following the directions of a group of people that includes some wine shop owners with no direct experience in winemaking. This 2006 is the first vintage. It comes from old Samsó (aka Carinyena) and Garnatxa vines. Curiously enough, the vineyards are actually sited in neighbouring DOQ Priorat soil. It was aged for fourteen months in French oak. Alcohol content of 14.5 % in a black Burgundy bottle.

The result is a very dark cherry red wine, with slow dark legs. In the nose, after some time in the glass (decanting is highly recommended), it opens to release black ripe fruit, balsamic wild herbs, hints of red fruit, chocolate, yoghourt.

Structure in mouth is big, with adequate acidity and notes of minerality. Tannins and alcohol are well integrated into a silky feel. Long finish.

At a retail price around 13 to 15 EUR in Catalonia, it gives good value. The trick is to find it, as production is very limited.

A wine to follow in coming years to see if it confirms the good start.


  1. This is the problems (or not) of this wines... very limited production... :)

  2. Hi Joan,

    I had not yet read your post on Ètnic when I opened a couple of days ago a bottle of the same wine. It was a very pleasant surprise, so much that I hurried to get a bottle of the 2007 vintage. My tasting notes are close to yours: it's a round and fruity lovely wine... and its price is terrific!