289/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Costers del Segre – Talarn – Castell d’Encus – Ekam 2013
Águas de Março……..,
Straw yellow color, clean, silver and brown reflexes. Good flow, satiny. Alsatian bottle, high quality cork. A great example of a well done wine and the first thing that come to mind is how well the Albariño has been lifted to the foreground (Pineapple, freshness of the ocean, sea flavors). There are also clear citrus notes, floral, salinity and some ash. In general the mouth is persistent with acidic citrus notes. The attack is very good, vinous, finding flavors of pineapple, pear and citrus fruit like (lemon and lime but also apple). It leaves a salty palate with medium, not overly long finish. After 6 hours it is slightly more evolved, especially the presence in the nose with some fruits, (lemon, peach) and flower notes. On the palate, it is more refined as well, the Albariño grape is palpable, with some more presence of the northern variety (Riesling), without taking over the show, I’d say the the final flavor is that of the Riesling, while the Albariño carries the acidity. Is this a Catalan wine? Yes it certainly is, welcome to the Catalan Pyrenees.
The origin of Castell d’Encus is really a love story – Raül Bobet became enamoured with the spot when in 2001 he was traveling in the region looking for land that would, as he believes, not be as affected by climate change, due to its location. Given the high altitude, there are magnificent views and the protected area is heavily wooded, with a Romanic hermitage and several century-old stone ‘gravity’ fermenting vats. This, combined with a clay-loam and calcareous soil, offers the ideal conditions for producing outstanding wines. In the 11th Century, Castell d’Encus, belonged to Count Bernat I. In 1151 the Counts of Arnau Miro & Aurea donated the property to the Order of Hospitalier monks. During this period vineyards were planted and cisterns for fermentation, using the principles of gravity, were carved out of the rocks – even today these remain in very good condition. The monks remained on the property until at least 1752.
The property is about 95 hectares * (235 acres) though a large part of it is forested. 23 hectares (57 acres) have been planted to a high density with 5,500 to 7,700 vines per hectare. In addition to the Pinot Noir and Riesling varieties, Castell d’Encus vineyards are growing Albariño, Sauvignon Blanc y Roussanne, Syrah, Carignan, Grenache noir, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot varieties. All have been planted with low yield rootstocks and clones. As part of the environmental philosophy, they do not use any herbicides, insecticides or fungicides, except those used in organic viticulture. To maximize energy efficiency, the winery will be the first to use heat exchange equipment with geothermic technology. The winery has been designed to run using gravity on all the grape movements – using the most advanced technology.
95 to go!