Vinyes d’Olivardots, M’Agrada in Empordà

354/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Empordà – Capmany – Vinyes d’Olivardots – Finca Olivardots Vermell 2011

M’Agrada……….,

finca-olivardots-11Finca Olivardots Vermell 2011, 70% Syrah, 20% Grenache and 10% Carignan

Ruby red color with dark ruby edge. Intense and bright. Elegant, aromatic and intense aroma of fresh, floral fruit with great expression of Syrah. Violets, blueberries and cassis, all supported by balsamic notes, herbs and a light background vanilla and some lactic sensation. In the mouth it displays freshness. Opulent attack, nice and velvety in the mouth. Soft, balanced input with volume and creaminess and fine tannins. Like the nose, the wine is very expressive, emitting fruit and balsamic sensations: blueberries, plums and cassis, seems everlasting!

viticultura01The Syrah and Grenache grapes come from vineyards which are between 10 to 15 years old and the Carignan grapes come from old vines with an average of 50 years of age. All of them are situated in the flattest land of the region at an altitude of 90/100 meters above sea level where the soil is formed by pebbles, sand and granite. Manuel harvest in crates of 10 Kg, carrying out a first sorting in the vineyard and a second one, grape by grape, in the cellar. Cold soak (2-4ºC), alcoholic fermentation of each variety is done separately in small stainless steal tanks at controlled temperature of around 26ºC. The aging process is 6 months in used French oak barrels. Bottled in May 2011 without fining or filtering.

celler01On a gresa soil, in the middle of rolling hills, where silence reigns and the view is lost sighting the vines, Vinyes d’Oivardots was born. Carme Casacuberta, a graduate of chemical sciences and oenologist,together with her husband Antoni Pena, industrial engineer, both passionate about wine, with a great love for nature and moved by the illusion of creating their own wine, made the dream come true in 2002. They purchased the estate Olivardots and planted the first vineyard in the term of Capmany (Alt Empordà), in the north east corner of Catalonia at the east side of Serra de l’Albera. A stunning landscape surrounded by 4 hectare of vineyards, where they in 2006 built the cellar in a simple but modern building. The design makes it possible to work with the aid of gravity and combine the recent advances in technology with the traditional wine-making.

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The vines grow on different soil types, found in the Empordà, highlighting granite soil, acidic and poor in organic matter.

Gresa Soil: Mixture of sand and grey granite. It is the Olivardots estate soil from which the first wine took its name. This soil brings elegance and aromatic complexity to the wine.

Slaty Soil: It is located in the higher part of the Empordà surface area, about 200 m above sea level. It adds mineral complexity to the grapes.

Sandy Soil: Where they have the oldest plot of Carignane vines, which are about 100 years old. It provides delicacy and elegance to the wine.

Gravelly Soil: Located in the flattest part in the center of the region, slightly tilted toward the southeast. It is a land formed by pebbles, sand with loamy texture. Here lie the vineyards of the white varieties.

dsc_003132 to go!

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Rimarts Cava, I’m a believer in D.O. Cava

353/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Cava – Sant Sadurni d’Anoia – Cava Rimarts – Cava Uvae

I’m a believer……..,

uvae-rimartsCava Uvae, Xarel·lo and Chardonnay

Brilliant gold color. Fine persistent bubbles, excellent and everlasting rosary of beads ascending in the glass. Nose of baked products, Danish come to mind, spices, ripe red cherries with hints of All Spice. Light efervescent tones of the same flavors. Flavors balanced by a light acidity and a very pleasant evolution. A smooth, long, pleasant and lasting finish. Nice Cava to enjoy with a good friend or with a good book. Not really a food Cava.

DSC_0421During the summer of 2014 I got to spend quite some time in Sweden, with family and friends, enjoying the Swedish summer, great food and……., Catalan wine. I brought a truck load of wines with me. As I wanted to share the experiences, I have (what come bottled) had during the past few years, with my loved ones. One of the many wines that survived the journey, was the Rosae from Rimarts, which I wrote about in June this year. Now, I have also had the opportunity to try their Uvae! Hope you like it as much as I did!

rosaeCava Rosae, 100% Pinot Noir

Attractive pale and soft salmon pink color. Fine and persistent bubbles forming a dense crown. Fresh and highly complex aroma with very smoky tones, subtle nose, red fruit finish. The palate is balanced, broad, savoury, rich and elegant, its evolution shows varietal character, ending with a very long and elegant palate with great sensations. This is an elegant and dynamic Cava, which asks you to either love it or hate it. It is NOT a Cava to enjoy just as it is, because it does demand some food to go with it. I tried it with Jamon Iberico, Bellota and it worked wonders. I do believe it would work well with grilled food as well, both meats and fish, as the smoky character it possesses would be enhanced by a summer bbq! I consider this one to be a Super Catalan Cava!

Portada - Rimarts

33 to go!

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Finca Valldosera, Right On in D.O. Penedès

352/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Penedès – Can Trabal – Finca Valldosera – Subirat Parent 2013

Right On………,

576_1347266415650-valldosera-Subirat-parent-vi-2011Subirat Parent 2013, 100% Subirat Parent

Yesterday it was about the Sumoll, today I introduce Subirat Parent, in the form of Valldoseras take on this lovely and fresh variety. Shiny yellow color with green reflexions. If you have once had a Subirat Parent wine, you will be able to quite easily distinguish it just by smelling it. It has a very special and unique aromatic profile which is quite intense. The aromas are predominately those of flowers and ripe grapes. Some orange blossom and tropical fruit, apricot and pineapple. Very clean and pleasant on entry. The palate has very good acidity, giving it freshness and roundness. Medium bodied, balanced and sweet. Very clean and pleasant on entering the mouth. Medium aftertaste and a slightly bitter finish. It shouts out, DRINK ME, please!

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In the Massís del Garraf where this delicate and at the same time very appreciated variety of grape is thriving, the Subirat Parent finds the best conditions for growth, offering its delicate aromas and flavors. Subirat Parent is an indigenous variety, family of malvasías, a grape forgotten over the years. It gives unique, perfumed, floral, subtle, sensual, pleasant and round white wines. It is also grown in Rioja, where it is known as Malvasía Riojana. It is also known as Malvasía de Alicante, Malvasía Francesa and Blanquirroja. It is mostly used in D.O. Alella and D.O. Penedes, as well as being certified for Cava making. There are extensive plantings in the Canary Islands where the veriety is used for a wide range of styles. One of its attributes is longevity; the variety often plays a supporting role in Rioja’s white blends when a period on oak is needed.

malvasia34 to go!

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Bodegas Puiggròs, Cissy Strut in D.O. Catalunya

351/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Catalunya – Odena – Bodegas Puiggròs – Signes 2008

Cissy Strut…….,

171210-Signes-Sumoll-Bodegas-Puiggros1Signes 2008, Red Grenache and Sumoll

Garnet red with a display of several shades of red colored layers.The wine shows a intense fresh aroma ofmenthol, spice and covered with elegant notes of underbrush with secondary notes of the barrel aging.  Cocoa, vanilla and some toast. Powerful on the palate whit marked tannins. Mediterranean aromas, sweet balsamic, ripe fruit. Good palate, balanced, with a slightly bitter, lingering finish. The Sumoll and Red Grenache are from vines older than 60 years. Manual harvest in boxes of 20 Kg. Aged for 10 months in new French oak barrels. Malolactic in barrel.

The Sumoll is a red grape variety, although there is also a white strain. It is a rustic variety, native to the Penedès region of Catalonia, drought resistant and with uniform development. The grape is round and big. It is used to produce red, white, rosé wines and Cava. Its former presence is also evident in the number of different names in Catalan dialects: sumoi, chimoi, saumoll, somoi, sumoy, ximoll, somoll, ximoy, xemoll, among others.

Sumoll Grape Variety

The name is related to the local slang term sumollar, which means maturing or withering, from the Latin verb submolliare. Young wine from the Sumoll grape has a slight roughness that disappears with aging. Its production is low and treatment for achieving quality wines requires high skills in wine production. Before and after phylloxera, the Sumoll was a variety widely grown throughout Catalonia. The entry into the European Union in 1986 accelerated discredit of local varieties, which were not considered able to make good & competitive wines. It has been replaced by other varieties and nowadays it is rare, with less than one hundred hectares planted (247 acres). This trend has changed over the last years. Wine growers are starting to recover and appreciate this variety, as they see an opportunity to create original wines that differentiate themselves by creating their own specialties, gaining a distance from the big industrial companies using only the stocks of international ubiquitous fashionable types – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Chardonnay. The Sumoll is one of the varieties used in the following DOs, Catalunya, Pla de Bages, Tarragona. In Australia four hybrid varieties have been created from Cabernet Sauvignon and Sumoll: CiennaVermillionRubienne, and Tyrian. The purpose of this crossing is to adapt Sumoll qualities to suit the Australian climate.

PG1The production of wine started in 1843 from the vineyard Cal Pau Palomas, in Òdena, comarca of the Anoia in the province of Barcelona, although in the olden days it was never commercialized. In 2008, with great effort, the vineyards were recovered and refurnished the country house to create a small winery, Bodegas Puiggròs.

PG2When drinking a wine, one should think of its aroma, its color, its density, but also about the life within; life that begins in the Earth, nurtured by the rays of the sun, educated by the hand of the cultivator, through the time devoted to its maturation, and last, but not least, the dedication, patience and the “sentits” of its creator.

pg4The vineyards of Bodegas Puiggròs are located primarily in Òdena and at an altitude between 450 and 650 meters, having a distinctive terroir, by virtue of its unique geography, orientation and surrounding climates: Mediterranean and Continental. The soil in this area is mostly clay/limestone. The growing season is long and the maturation process, although very delicate, complex and prolonged, is the key to reaching the full potential of the quality available in this area. Bodegas Puiggròs cultivates varieties of Cariñena, White Grenache, Sumoll and Red Grenache.

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pgaentitsSentits Blancs 2009, 100% Garnacha Blanca

Pale lemon yellow. Good aromatic nose, which includes white flowers (Jasmine), tropical fruits and honey combined with light hints of dried fruit (toasted almonds). The palate presents a sweet entry with a good acidity. It is balanced, full, glyceric and unctuous. It combines very well with any fish, shellfish and crustaceans. Recommended to accompany mild meat and snails.

35 to go!

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The winery Vinicola del Nordest, Get Ready for D.O. Emporda

350/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Emporda – Mollet de Peralada – Vinicola del Nordest – Garrigal 1999

Get Ready…….,

exactGarrigal 1999, 35% Garnatxa 35% Samsó 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot

Ruby red color, terra-cotta colored rim and a  middle layer. Powerful aromas of red and black fruits with a background of spices and toast, from the aging. The palate is round, fleshy and structured. The acidity is very fresh and the tannins are very round, giving the impression of creaminess. It has an excellent balance with a good palate and long finish. It is a wine with a strong personality. It is a wine that has a pleasant mouthfeel and a long aftertaste. It got to spend a year on American (70%) and French (30%) oak.

vinicola_nordest

Vinicola del Nordest Is a winery which ages and bottles wines under the D.O. Empordà. It is located in the village of Mollet de Peralada, located in the foothills of the Les Alberes, where there are around 300 hectares of vineyard.

vi_do_emporda_02

The wines are made in the cooperative just across the road under proper analytical and temperature control. From there, the best wines are selected to produce a range which goes from the “nouveau” style of a Vi Novell through a ranges of whites, rosés and varietals wines to the reds.

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One of the winery’s specialities is the production of naturally sweet wines, the Moscatel, Mistela Negra and Garnatxa typical of the region.

vinicola-del-nordest-anubis-mistela-negre-emporda-spain-10421219

The village of Mollet de Peralada is also registered in the D.O. Cava and the sparkling wines have been made here since the winery’s inception. There is also a small shop at the winery where other natural produce of the region may be purchased, as well as having the opportunity to taste the wines.

covest-cabernet-sauvignon-378745Covest, 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Garnacha Negra, 2009

Clear and bright, deep ruby ​​color with violet notes on the rim. Intense aromas of black berries, slight cedar, green peppers, fruity. Palate is well structured with soft, round tannins. Black-currant, licorice, blueberries. Round and long to medium long finish. An easy going red from Emporda, well made and considering the price a really good buy!

36 to go!

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Mas de l’Abundància, Treasure in D.O. Montsant

350/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Montsant – El Masroig – Mas de l’Abundància – Flvminis 2012

Treasure……..,

flvminis

Flvminis 2012, 55% Grenache, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Carignan

Intense red color with bluish tones. High viscosity. On the nose it shows high intensity, frank and clean. Expressive. Loads of fresh red fruit and mature blackberries. On the palate, the entry is fresh and good performance due to the concentration of tannins which are soft. The whole experience is very enjoyable and the wine has a nice flow to it and a long finish. High freshness, dominated by red fruits. The balsamic notes appear after a while together with chocolate and vanilla resulting in a long and intense aftertaste!

The word that best defines the year of 2012 is “dry”. 2012 was marked by a lack of regular rainfall during the growing season. The year started with a mild winter, with only a few days of frost. Spring brought some rain during April that helped sprout the vines, however this was the only rain until October. As usual in the area the summer was typical, with high temperatures and extremely limited rain. With little rain and a warm summer, the vineyards had a very high level of water stress, which led to wastage in production and highly concentrated fruit. In October it finally rained again which helped to improve the ripening of the varieties that had not yet been harvested like the Cabernet and the Carignan.

lAbundancia

Mas de l’Abundància is located in the region of Priorat (Tarragona) and belongs to the D.O. Montsant. Up until the disentailment, in the 1830s, it belonged to the Prior of Scala Dei (the property still has three magnificent landmarks with the same boundaries of 1790). It had previously belonged to the Dukes of Cardona and Entenza, who gave it to the Prior on the 27 January 1727. It was always a self-sufficient estate, with planted vines, olive trees and a vegetable garden that allowed for its own subsistence.

The soil type is “llicorella” (Tertiarycoal) and alluvium from the Quaternary; it has its own spring water and is located between the Siurana River and the old village of Les Pinyeres, a place of country worship, where from immemorial times the virgin of the same name is revered. The current winery was created in 2002 by the del Rio Mateu family, with the dream of returning to the origins and follow an family tradition, which hash´t been broken for generations, with a desire to produce a wine of the “terroir”. From the beginning the objectives were to implement effort, faithful dedication to the cultivation of the vine and extreme care in wine-making.

Since 1995, when the project began, the two mottos are: “You can be humble but you should be excellent” and “Not only well made, but also pretty“. For me, all that remains now is to visit the cellar, and hopefully I´ll get to taste their white wine, de Calpino, which I have heard is something spectacular, but that´s a story for another day!

37 to go!

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Celler Aixalà i Alcait, Superfly in DOQ Priorat

349/365 – Catalonia – DOQ Priorat – Torroja del Priorat – Celler Aixalà i Alcait – Destrankis 2012

Superfly……..,

destrankis-2012Destrankis 2012, 80% Garnacha and 20% Cariñena

Bright red cherry color with violet tones, middle layer. The nose is full of fruit, light touches of menthol, green leaves and pine. Good combination of fresh red fruit, herbs, thyme, rosemary and mineral notes. The palate shows some minerality. This is a fresh and balanced wine. Licorice, balsamic and butter, with a slight touch of camphor. The palate is light but persistent, with a subtle mineral background showing where it comes from. If you like Grenache, this is a wine for you!

205_1351770410650-pardalasses-les-Clivelles-2010-vertThe grapes come from two farms owned by the Aixalà family and their small family cellar is located in the village of Torroja del Priorat. The cultivation of the vines is done through sustainable viticulture, without herbicides or pesticides, while respecting traditional or biodynamic principles. The wine has been aged for 9 months in new and almost new barrels of French and American oak, followed by 6 months in bottle. 4000 bottles were produced.

pardelasses-232104The Aixalà i Alcait is a small wine cellar, a micro bodega would be the correct description, in the sense of vineyard size, yield and bottles produced. They make well defined wines and considering that the work is done by mule, as that is the only way to access the vineyards, and grapes are being hand harvested, the price for their wine is very very reasonable.  The main challenge is to make sure that their level of English is at par, as most of their production is sold outside the country. Aixalà and Alcait are trying to, as far as it is possible, work with organic principles, respecting nature and tradition and making sure they express the personality of the terroir.

CostersAlzina3Currently, they produce four labels, Pardelasses, Destrankis, El Coster de l’Alzina and Les Clivelles de Torroja. You have to get your hand on at least one of these! Superfly wines!

38 to go!

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