The Grapes The traditional grapes of Montsant - Syrah, Garnacha and Cariñena - are found everywhere in southeast France and northeast Spain in the region of Catalonia. They are commonly known as "Mediterranean" grapes and are used in red wine blends throughout the area. Syrah was once thought to have originated near the city of Shiraz in Persia. Crusaders were said to have brought cuttings of the vine back from the Middle East. Garnacha (known elsewhere as Grenache) originated in Spain as did Cariñena. Cariñena is known as Mazuelo in Rioja. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are recent introductions and are used as blending grapes by most producers. Grapes are planted at altitudes from 600 to 900 feet above the sea. The Blend 23% Syrah 19% Garnacha 17% Merlot 16% Cariñena 15% Cabernet Sauvignon 7% Tempranillo 3% Monastrell Tasting Notes Intense, bright, cherry red, with a deep rim. The nose opens with touches of lightly toasty oak, and is followed by balsamic, red cherry and plummy fruit, with hints of black pepper and a light mineral finish. The palate is full and round, with sweet tannins and ripe, rich fruits followed by the toasty smoky influence of the wood. Food Affinities Because of its elegant balance, Fra Guerau will match well with a wide variety of foods, or can be served as an aperitif with a plate of olives or a selection of cheeses. Its bright fruit would be a treat with a rich seafood stew, or a grilled firm-flesh fish. It would go equally well with grilled lamb or chicken. The wine's crisp acidity and lively flavors give it a versatility, unusual in a red wine.