197/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Costers del Segre – Balaguer – Costers del Sio – Sios Cau del Gat 2012
Sios Cau del Gat 2012, Syrah and Garnatxa Tinta
Dark cherry red color with violet rim, quite glossy. The nose is intense and complex, it presents aromas of red and black fruit and toasted notes due to the ageing. At the very end some green bell pepper and spice. The palate is to broad and corpulent, fleshy. The tannins are notable, well integrated and nicely marked acidity. Large mouth and very pleasant to drink. Medium after taste. A very rich wine. Good fruity flavour and round. Goes well with meat dishes, like hearty stews.
The D.O of Costers del Segre is a quite diverse appellation, if you look at it from a geographical aspect. It has different zones that have three main things in common; its location on the basin of the Segre river (Costers del Segre may be translated as Banks of the Segre river): the soils, largely calcareous and with a healthy dose of sand; and the comparatively greater distance from the sea, offering great growing conditions for cold climate varieties. This is the more “Continental” of the D.O:s in Catalonia.
There are seven sub zones, which show some difference in terms of altitude and climate. Raimat and Segriá are the ones with more continental climate, with extreme differences of temperature between day and night and the winters are foggy. Les Garrigues, Valls del Riu Corb and Urgell are drier and sunnier, more adequate for strong red wine, although there is one winery with excellent whites, L’Olivera. Artesa de Segre and Pallars Jussà are starting to climb the slopes of the Pyrenean foothills, with colder and longer winters; excellent conditions for some Central European grape varieties.
The short-term history of Costers del Segre has been, to a large degree, determined by Raimat, a very large winery owned by the Raventos family of Codorniu fame that invested heavily in the lands and winery a century ago. Still now, Raimat is the largest operation by far, focused on high volume production, with mechanized processes for their grape harvest. Another historic player is Castell del Remei, a winery built at the end of the 19th century in the style of a French Chateau and one of the pioneers, introducing foreign grape varieties. The rest of the wineries within this D.O. are generally smaller.
Costers del Segre is one of the Catalan DOs with a lower proportion of local grape varieties in its wines. White varieties that are allowed consist of Macabeu, Xarel.lo, Parellada, Chardonnay, Riesling, Garnatxa Blanca, Gewürztraminer, Malvasia, Moscatell d’Alexandria, small berry Moscatell, and Albariño. Allowed reds are Garnatxa negra, Carinyena or Samsó, Ull de Llebre, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Monastrell, Syrah, Trepat, and Pinot Noir.
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