81/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Montsant – Falset – Pascona Montsant – Lo Pare Evolucio 2012
The story of Pascona is evolving and shaping the future of Montsant as a wine region, and I for one, will return and visit the place over and over again. Read about the history and the vineyards of Pascona here! Today, Sunday, the sun was shinning and as it is the day of rest, what better than to visit a wine cellar? The initial reference, suggesting that Toni is a pirate, well that’s a separate story and maybe best discovered as and when you decide to come and visit this magical place!
Had a pre arranged meeting with Toni Ripoll, owner and wine maker of Pascona, at the petrol station/coffee shop in Falset, where we started the day with a Catalan entrepan (baguette with your choice of filling) and a tallat (coffee with a dash of milk). Got to talking about life in general, wine making (off course) and decided to hit the vineyards to see what was going on there.
After a walk with the dogs in tow, having caught some rays of the morning sun and admiring the “crying” vines, they are to bud within a month or so, some barrels were waiting to be sampled. And, as you very well know, you don’t want to disappoint the barrels! During the following hours we tried the 2013 wines soon to be bottled, and I can’t say that I was worried about what it would taste! 2013 is looking very promising, life is good!
Started off with the 991′ Macabeu, which was covered in a previous posting, well that was the 2012. Now, the 2013 still un-bottled was tasted and wow…., what a difference a year makes! Comparing the two, the 2013 is fruitier, does not have the same floral notes but certainly carries a great balance and the aftertaste is longer. A fresh, tasty and handsome wine for a Sunday afternoon barbeque of white fish. But then again, to drink it as is, is not a crime. The 2012 has been sold out, so now all we can do is wait for the 2013 to hit the shelves!
Blanc de noir production, is not something done normally in D.O. Monsant, but then again, there’s nothing normal with Toni, he thrives in being different and going against the stream, up the creek with no paddle! Blanc de noir made from 100% Syrah, is certainly not done in Montsant! As far as I know this guy is the only one crazy enough to do it, and with a fantastic result!
The name of the wine is Trenca Closques, meaning Puzzle, how very becoming! Puzzling it is and in more ways than one. The wine is dark salmon with hints of orange. The Sira (Syrah) is pressed, gently, so it is onoy during the pressing that it has contact with the peel for about 20 minutes, that’s all it takes to get the color. Some describe it as a rose wine, but Toni is adamant about it being a white! A cool, soft and elegant “white” with the nose of fruits, herbs and mixed candy. Very good entry into the mouth with good balance and roundness, slightly bitter at the very end, very fresh!
Experimental natural wine was the next to be tasted, which is the same as the Lo Petito, made from the same grapes and blend. Syrah 50% and Merlot 50%, which are fermented and vinified together. The natural one, has no additives and is not filtrated, so it shows other characteristics than the filtered brother. You couldn’t imagine that it is the same wine! Pure muscles in the natural one, rawness and edges but still refined, lovely blend. Lo Petito is much clearer and softer in color, ruby red throughout and tons of raspberries and red fruits, complex.
Barrel and bottle, 2013 and 2012 respectively, of the La Mare. 100% Garnatxa. The 2013 demonstrating great potential for some additional aging, very good acidity and I for one am going to keep some bottles for at least 5-6 years to see what happens. Red cherry color with purple tones, brilliant with a robe. Huge intensity with aromas of mature black forrest fruit. Then it slowly develops to violet, figs, tobacco and a hint of menthol. Velvety in the mouth, blueberries and black fruit, raisins and figs. As it enters the taste is very nice, great freshness. Complex and not at all aggressive in any way.
Toni! I’ll be back and hopefully soon. Thank you for a lovely day in the vineyards and the cellar of your Chateau Pascona!
It has been a wonderful week, that is unfortunately coming to its end. Sunday only offering a few more hours, but I for one am looking forward to Monday and the week to come. New challenges in life and more winery visits to conduct and hopefully some new friends to be made! Stay tuned!
Lo Pare, Evolucio, 2012, 80% Garnatxa and 20% Cabernet-Sauvignon
Spent 13 months in a one year old, french oak barrel. Opaque, deep violet to medium purple with colored tears. Jammy fruits but not overly ripe, peppery and some exotic fruits. Leather comes as secondary and clear balsamic. Mature taste, great body, satiny feel in the mouth, integrated and nutty oak. Well balanced and elaborate. A wine made with good skills and finesse.
300 to go!