Castell d’Encus, In The Stone in D.O. Costers del Segre

194/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Costers del Segre – Talarn – Castell d’Encus – Acusp 2010

In The Stone……,

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….., in the stone you’ll find the meaning. Never, never my darling, you’ll be alone, true love is written in the stone. Making wine in large stone vats out in the nature, what does that bring to the wine? If one doesn’t know about it, it might taste just like any other good red wine. However, once you have been told this is the case, off course your mind tells you there’s more to it, than simply being a wine. Let me introduce Encus, where love is written in the stone!

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Acusp 2010, 100% Pinot Noir

This wine has neither been filtered nor stabilized and I would recommend decanting for at least half an hour. Dark garnet with a medium width rim. The nose uncovers herbaceous aromas, spicy red fruits, strawberries and raspberries, with aeration some more mature and complex nuances appear. Some floral notes of jasmine. The palate is thin, sweet, somewhat sparing in fruitiness. The after taste is medium long and leaves a pleasant taste in the mouth, making me want more.

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Wine making here is all about high altitude and fermentation in stone. The origin of Castell d’Encus stems from the impact the location had on Raul Bobet in 2001 while he was looking for land that could reduce the effects of climate change on vineyards around the Catalan Pyrenees. If you think you’ve heard the name Bobet before, you’re right. Rauls Priorat project is the one of Ferrer Bobet, which is covered here.

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Back to Encus. 23 of the 95ha in the property have been planted with high density varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Semillon and Albariño. The rest of the land remains as a forest. The intention is to produce a limited number of bottles (6000 cases or less) exclusively from the fruit of their own vineyards.

Castell d'Encus Vineyards

The elevation of the property (850-1000 meters), the excellent sun exposure and large wooded area around it, along with its long history make the place look privileged and magical. The farm has an old chapel and fermenting grapes vats carved into the rocks by the monks of the Hospitaller Order (twelfth century). The lands are generally calcareous with low organic matter content, which together with the continental climate and high thermal contrast between day and night, allows to obtain wines of high quality.

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Harvesting is done manually and in small boxes of 10kg. The wine is fermented in different materials: wooden vats and vats of stainless steel and natural stone. With these three materials wines get very different tones and shades and great aromatic complexity. Because of its medieval aspect, the farm has a large number of fermentation vats carved in stone that work by gravity. After passing a few initial tests they are being reused for fermentation and play an important part  for both the red and white wines. In the case of the Quest wine the whole fermentation process takes place in these stone vats. Believing in preserving the environment they do not use any herbicides, insecticides or fungicides, except those permitted in organic agriculture.

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The winery was the first to use cold/heat transfer processes of geothermal energy in all its processes in an effort to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact. The winery is also designed to function by gravity in all its processes and has the most advanced winemaking technology.

186 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle

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