225/365 – Catalonia – Without D.O. – Sant Marti Vell – EccociWine – Eccoci Blanco 2011
Eccoci Blanco 2011, 50% Roussanne, 30% Viognier and 20% Petit Manseng
Straw yellow colour, very bright, beautiful green hues. This wine is very open in its appearance and offer a multitude of aromas. First thing that hits me is the white fruits and stone fruit, then the floral notes come to mind. Peach, pear and some musk. The palate is medium-bodied, dry and fresh with lovely peach, tangerine and citrus with the slightest hint of sweetness, nice. It is intense and aromatic with a long smooth finish. Clearly a French style wine, but nevertheless I like it a lot!
Eccoci Blanco is made from a blend of grapes from Ca l’Elsa parcels lying at the foot of an inactive volcano where soils are composed of siliceous-limestone and volcanic stones with very good drainage. The rest of the blend comes from the Can Nobas parcels, which lie near a river where the soil is siliceous-limestone with alluvial stones.
The grapes are hand-harvested. Whole berry clusters enter a pneumatic press that uses nitrogen to prevent oxidation. The grapes are slowly and gently pressed before entering a stainless steel vat followed by slow fermentation at 16 °C (60.8 °F) for two to three week sur-lie.
Confusion is hardly the right way to describe Eccociwine, but to some degree it did confuse me. The first time I got in touch with their wines I couldn’t quite make out the writing on the label. The wines as such are easy to understand and very much to the point, giving you the feel of the region and the varieties used. Some nice results right there and truly wines of the future. The Eccociwine winery is producing some unusual wines in the province of Girona. Drawing from its close proximity to France (the vineyards are only one hour south of the border), the wines are made with French grape varieties including Viognier, Rousanne, Petit Manseng, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Marselan and Petit Verdot. Normally you would encounter at least two or three local grape varieties at a winery in Catalonia, but these guys roll out the French guns 100%.
Eccociwine practices sustainable farming methods and, while the term leaves a lot of room for interpretation, the winery’s commitment to preserving the environment is clear. In fact, it was the first Spanish winery to be Carbon Zero certified as of 2009, only one year after its first vintage. Eccoci currently produces four wines: Blanco, Rosado, Tinto Premium and Tinto Super Premium. For me, the highlights was their white, and the rosé was enjoyable as well. Great composition of fruits and fresh as a dip in the sea. The reds, and I like reds a lot, are going to extend their true potential in a few years, as is will get rounder and the tannic feel allows it to express the fruit to a higher degree. The annual production reaches some 90,000 bottles.
EccociWine is a special place and project in which people from many different countries have come together to create great wine. This place was discovered jointly by all the stakeholders and now they can call it home. Individuals from the nearby town of Girona and faraway places such as Italy, France, Belgium, and Africa have established their “multicultural” roots here together with the French varietals that have become a part of the landscape. One of the first to arrive from afar and fall in love with the area was an artisan from Italy. Nurturing is a way of bringing out the best in living beings, and a way of showing appreciation is to give back life to a place left fallow. By listening to the land, those who have come to call this place their new home planted grape vines ideal for producing wines expressive of the area, capturing the essence of the vineyard’s surroundings. As a result of this happy union and a respect for Mother Nature, this team has created Spain’s first CarbonZero certified winery. Ultimately achieving harmony amongst the place, its people and the vineyard.
Near Les Gavarres, a natural park reserve, there are villages that still conserve their old medieval air where winemaking was once a thriving activity. The vineyard is the only one in the area, which has revived the grape growing area thought to have been lost. This magnificent setting provides a unique environment for grape growing — vines are planted amid a natural landscape of cultivated fields, surrounded by pine, Holm oak and cork oak woods. The estate has 12 hectares (29.65 acres) of vineyards, surrounded by 30,000 hectares of woods that keep the vines isolated from other crops. Lying at the foot of an inactive volcano, the soil is composed of siliceous-limestone topsoil and stony alluvial subsoil with good drainage. The vineyard lies at the base of an inactive volcano surrounded by the natural park reserve Les Gavarres, therefore the vines are protected from external pollutants. The vineyards benefit from a combination of volcanic soils, siliceous-limestone and alluvial stones. The winery’s privileged location allows the vines to receive plenty of sunshine, ideal rainfall and diurnal temperature variation so that the grapes ripen gently, resulting in balanced tannins, sugar and acidity. The result is a collection of organic, artisanal wines that are terroir-driven, with a distinct sense of place.
156 to go!