302/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Alella – Alella – Bodegas Roura – “Tres Ceps” 2006
You Sent Me Flying……..,
Cherry to ruby red color, bright surface and garnet rim. Elegant ageing aroma, candied fruit with some creamy oak notes, sweet/oriental spices and a background of roasted touches. Good intensity. Spicy. Sweet-toothed on the palate, very flavorful,fruity and meaty. Good balance between acidity-tannins. Velvety, with a large after taste and good persistance. Would need some nice cured meats, game and/or creamy cheeses. A red winner from Alella!
This is a region which used to be renowned around the world for high quality wines and I for one know that to be the case nowadays as well. I am discovering new wine cellars in this urban region, where some wineries have their vineyards amongst houses of the small towns in the area. Certainly a very exciting place to visit and the closeness to Barcelona makes it ideal for half a day trip. Welcome to Alella, with a view to a kill.
The Roura winery, founded in the early 80 in the hamlet of Vall de Rials, is a small, modern winery with quite a good reputation for their wines. They are not big or great wines but descent wines for a price/quality comparison that works well for the daily wine consumption. The produce their wines using grapes from the 32 ha. of vineyards the own and by purchasing grapes from another 22 ha. They produce a rose wine and a Merlot-based red, two white, a Xarel.lo and one Sauvignon Blanc. Additionally they make a aged red and a young red, with 4 months of American oak. Two barrel-fermented white wines complement the current range of wines from the cellar and the sparkling range consists of 4 Cava wines. This winery is working under the appellations D.O. Alella, D.O. Cava and D.O. Catalonia.
During the early 1980s, in the beautiful valley “Vall de Rials”, Roura conceived a project to continue a task that was begun more than 3000 years ago by Phoenicians and that reached its peak with the Roman Empire. There is historical evidence that Alella wine was exported to Rome from year 140 B.C. until year 250 A.D. It was highly appreciated by Roman nobility. Roura, convinced about the possibilities of the area, with its traditional vines and some new ones that had been recently introduced, embarked on the project of making high quality wines.
The winery started its commercial career in 1990, by providing the market white a white wine from 1989, a red Crianza wine from 1987 and a Cava Brut Nature. New references were gradually added and the present complete range of wines was reached through a gradual growth. During the continuous expansion phase in 2004, a new winery of 1,600m2 was opened and was attached to the D.O. Catalonia, in order to produce and bottle quality wines, mainly for the Latin American and Asian markets.
The initial winery, with a total surface of 4,000 m, has the capacity to produce 500,000 litres and its current average production is 300,000 bottles, half of them being still wine, while the other half is Cava. Two cold stores are used for the fermentation and stabilization of wines. The first one includes a controlled fermentation system with a cold water circuit (11 tanks of 15,000 litres and 1 tank of 8,000 litres); the second one uses cold air for stabilization (8 tanks of 22,000 litres and 2 tanks of 12,000 litres).
The subsequent winery expansion, divided into two half-underground floors of 1,600 sqare meters each, has been equipped with the new oenology technologies. It only holds the brands VALL DE RIALS and NORD-EST, with an average production of 500,000 bottles. With such expansion, the production capacity increases and the quality of the new products can be improved due to its high technification.
The granitic soil in a decaying state (granitic sand) allows a very fast drainage when rainfall is excessive and, at the same time, it facilitates deep root growth. This allows the existence of humidity deep in the ground in drought periods, which allows a better relationship of the plant with the environment. The micro-climate shows short mild winters and moderately hot summers, whit a fresh and pleasant sea breeze and the night’s dew. Varieties grown are: Merlot, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Chardonnay, Xarel·lo and Sauvignon Blanc. Vines are planted in spacings of 2,500 per Ha; an espalier arrangement and double Royat pruning are used.
For the Xarel.lo variety, the goblet pruning system is used for old vineyards, while the espalier pruning system is used for the newly planted vines. Regarding the D.O. Catalunya, Roura provides a wine sampling with samples from different Catalan areas. Afterwards the wine samples are selected and assembled in order to offer good quality at competitive prices. For wine ageing they use 270 barrels of 220 litres each. 210 of these are made out of French oak, and the other 60 are made out of American oak.
Roura Sauvignon Blanc 2009
A fresh white wine produced by Roura under the appellation of D.O. Alella. Works well with cold fish starters and mushrooms dishes but also with a mild goat cheese. This is a pale, bright yellow coloured wine with greenish reflections. First nose has a touch of tropical fruit (pineapple?) and more and more grassy herbs as it opens up. And a bit of asparagus. The wine has a great mouthfeel, very smooth, with lots of lemon and grapefruit, and more herbs. There is a lot of acid that carries well into the finish but it is in check and pleasant.
82 to go!