La Gravera, If You Can’t Live Without Me, Why Aren’t You Dead Yet? in D.O. Costers del Segre

375/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Costers del Segre – Alfarrás – La Gravera – Onra Moltahonra Blanc 2011

If You Can’t Live Without Me, Why Aren’t You Dead Yet?

onraOnra Moltahonra Blanc 2011, 70% Garnatxa Blanca and 30% Sauvignon Blanc

Brilliant and golden yellow color. Clean nose with heavy aromatic complexity. Some coconut, but mainly I noted white fruit meat, pear and apple. Smoky notes and cedar came along nicely in the background. Slight perfume, or aftershave, or if it was just the guy next to me? With aeration, lemon, pineapple and peach continues to add dimensions to the experience. Good entry, slightly salty. It is filling the mouth with sensations of white fruits, herbs and a buttery feel. Mature, quality, long and fresh finish.

I travel, I visit, I taste and I write for you! I’m your man, not only in Costers del Segre but all over Catalonia. So, any time you have questions, especially regarding wine and wineries in Catalonia but also other questions, you are more than welcome to ask! If you would like me to visit, and write about a particular winery in the vicinity, let me know about it! We now have only 10 days left of 2014! I have been writing consecutively for 355 days and I will finish what I set out to do on January 1st! What happened 2015? I really don’t know, I’m not Nostradamus……, but I will be tasting and drinking wine during the year to come as well. Will I continue writing? Guess we’ll all just have to wait and see!

YOURMAN_NEON-2I’m your man and this time we once more spend our time together in one of the less known wine making regions in Catalonia. Never the less, it is an area of great beauty and some high class wines. The region also hosts the second winery (my first choice is Can Rafols dels Caus) that could be considered for the next James Bond movie or for the next Alien film with Sigurney. Outstanding architecture with well thought through processes for elaboration.

503d950228ba0d7ece00002e_lagravera-sala-ferusic-architects_exterior_nit_1-528x352The project of La Gravera was conceived under low cost criteria, where optimizing energy and material means and resources became important. Economic sustainability is generally linked to environmental sustainability. And it is very evident in this case. An old warehouse from 1958, which belonged to a gravel quarry, has been recovered, revived and transformed it into a vineyard, eliminating industrial elements. SALA Architects FERUSIC was the company contracted to carry out the design and achieved something truly amazing, considering the budget.

503d952028ba0d7ece000030_lagravera-sala-ferusic-architects_moble_2-528x352The building elements are governed by economies of scale and mass production, to minimize their impact on the environment and therefore the economy and organization was done with criteria of spatial, functional and hygrothermal design, in mind. The project was structured in relation to the following points: a cabinet four feet high organizes service spaces, the center of action where human activity is assisted by machines, and Zone 900, a conference room with a carpet of welcome stripes and a bright ceiling, below which the cellar is found, and where the monitoring unit controlling the vineyard in real time is located, and where the design and pedagogy of the wine develops. In conclusion, this low cost approach states one obvious fact, Less (money) Is More!

la-gravera-copiadaThe draft was from the beginning that La Gravera should perform as a small winery where the whole process can be controlled. From the vineyard to the bottle and, all with a highly technical system. Doing small things that may surprise the wine lovers of design. Its aim also goes through a proven commitment to quality and a small production. The range of wines consist of white, pink and red and feature a broth medium-high segment, and 100 % organic wine.

lagravera-winery-by-sala-ferusic-architects-barcelona-02The differential of Celler La Gravera is the fact that this is a very small, very manageable collection, with a number of grape varieties,  a plot of 14 acres with nine different types of grapes. “It allows us to process the cupages with great success ,” says the young winemaker Jordi Viader. The winery is a totally unique personal museum, unique, unusual, no plagiarism or copies. Everything, absolutely everything, is looked at through the prism of surreal design, the encounter with the afterlife, but understandable and functional. It is a winery that deserves architectural design awards.

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We are not only talking technology, but also the passion for winemaking. “My experience in domestic and international markets, traveling the world, making our wines, with proven quality, we are presenting and selling through hotels and restaurants on several continents, with a great acceptance among them,” says Sergi Garcia , CEO of Bodegas Lagravera.

onra_graveraThis very cellar in the D.O. Costers del Segre believe that as a basic premise, it is pertinent to continuously improving the quality of its wines. The slogan that have endorsed the Lleida winery is “wine that comes from the stones .” This is because their vineyards are located on land with lots of stone, basically a gravel pit located in the comarca of Noguera. They are highly mineralized wines. “We aim to give our customers what they want, while we want to be faithful with what they want ,” says Garcia. Lagravera wines are intended for the HoReCa market segment and specialty stores. Current global production is around 50,000 bottles per harvest.

10 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and SweetEasy Wine Tours

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The winery of Mas Blanch i Jové, Settle Down in D.O. Costers del Segre

342/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Costers del Segre – La Pobla de Cérvoles – Mas Blanch i Jové – Saó Expressiu 2008

Settle Down……..,

4_1Saó Expressiu 2008, 55% Grenache, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Tempranillo

Intense and vivid  cherry red colour with blue streaks, high layer. Complex aroma, elegant and mature with highlights of red and black fruits accompanied by a blend of balsamic and aniseed flavours that provide a distinct freshness. Cocoa and vanilla are there, but subtle. Soft yet potent on the pallet, consistent and elegant with an emergence of forest fruits and sweet spices. Good acidity, elegant, tasty with soft tannins. Velvety and fresh tannins. An expressive wine that talks to you. One of the best from the region of Costers del Segre!

The vineyards are located in the town of La Pobla de Cérvoles and as all Catalan vineyards they carry names, in this case they are  l’Esporgada, Els Llinars, El Pla d’en Mas, El Senill and St, Joan. All in a mountainous ecosystem with strong Mediterranean influences neighboring the Priorat and Montsant wine regions.

Mas Blanch

The 11 hectares of vines are located 700 m. above sea level and the vineyards thrive due to the combination of low rainfall, high temperature differentials between daytime and night time and just the right amount of sunshine. The lands are argillaceous, chalky and poor in organic components, limiting the grape production to only 3.500 kg. per hectare and thereby resulting in a superior concentration of sugars and polyphenols.

The grape varieties cultivated here are the ones most suitable for the region and the ones that have proven to give great wines. They grow Red Grenache, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Merlot, White Grenache and Macabeu, all of them offering  distinct characteristics and are of exceptional quality.

Mas Blanch2

Wine….., slow….., food…., slow….., is there really anything in life that should be hurried? Well, maybe jumping into freezing cold water, not that I have that problem, just saying! Pace of life, should be taken seriously. It’s to short and with todays society everything is fast paced, let’s at least keep the wine and food, and the company of friends, at a very very very……., slow pace! STOP! THINK! ENJOY! Have a great day ya’ll!

You might not think so...., but this is called working!

In 2006 a small winery, MAS BLANCH I JOVÉ, was created in LA POBLA DE CÉRVOLES (Lleida) where quality wine is produced under the D.O. Costers del Segre. The project was however initiated much earlier by the grandparents, as in many cases here in Catalonia. This is where slow wine is the best!

Pobla de Cérvoles

The vineyards are located in Les Garrigues, on the western border of the Priorat region, a mountainous area more than 700 meters above sea level. The uniqueness of the vineyards’ soil, the low rainfall, the ample sunshine and the significant temperature differentials between day and night allow for, following the thorough and meticulous laboring of the land, to produce very well made wines.

Not even Indiana Jones would find it!

Such a cool design! The winery is entwined with the mountain rocks it emerges from. Seeking to be in harmony with the surrounding landscape, to become a part of nature. To this end, they winery’s walls are overlaid with large stones, extracted from the same site, olive trees are planted on the exterior surface and adjoining areas.

Got to love the interior as well!

The building is covered with earth and vegetation so as to fuse with the surrounding mountains, and the whole structure is painted in an earthy ochre tone. The electrical power is partially derived from solar energy stemming from panels located on the winery’s rooftop.

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La Pobla de Cérvoles is a town located in the region of Les Garrigues and the only municipality in this county that has been declared a protected mountainous area. There are about 250 inhabitants, while in the summer time the number increases. There are two wineries, within the village, open for visits. The Celler Cérvoles and Mas Blanch i Jove.

Make me better! As soon as I open and drink you, you'll be better!

45 to go!

 

Clos Pons, Stone Flower in D.O. Costers del Segre

341/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Costers del Segre – L’Albagés – Clos Pons – Sisquella 2012

Stone Flower……..,

sisquellaSisquella 2012, Albariño, Garnacha Blanca and Moscatel de Alexandria

Straw yellow color, clear and shiny. Powerful sweetness on the nose with notes of pineapple and lemon, ripe white fruit also appears after some time, toasted vanilla and a light touch from the French oak. Quite floral overall feel. It is elegantly spicy with citrus notes that are present but not overwhelming. This is a very fresh wine with a medium long after taste. With the ancient name of the lands of L’Albagés, Clos Pons Sisquella restores white wine making in the area of the Garrigues, a region otherwise known for the reds.

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The construction of the winery completes the wine project which started in 2005 by the Pons family. The design of the space is fuelled by the philosophy of tradition and respect for the land, reflecting the history of the company. Based on the concepts of order, symmetry, land and buildings of stone and wood, characteristics of the area of Les Garrigues, the project revolves around its adaptation to the environment and the project’s interaction with it.

The rectangular floor plan located on the top of a hill offers magnificent sunsets, overlooking the vastness of Les Garrigues and the Catalan Pyrenees. The Winery is perched on a hill that overlooks the entire vineyard. It is a construction that adheres to the concept of the French Château or the American Estate. This means integrated production, with the grapes being converted into wine on the same site where the vines grow.

New technology and traditional methods are combined at this facility, where everything is designed with the idea of working with respect for quality while maintaining the maximum properties of the terroir in the wines. Stone and wood feature in a new construction that aims to achieve maximum integration into the local landscape and maximum respect for the nature surrounding it.

Martí Magriñá i Poblet is the wine maker of Clos Pons and one of the first oenologists to qualify at the Rovira i Virgili University in Tarragona, he is a recognised authority in the Spanish winemaking sector. His professional career has taken him to the most acclaimed wine regions worldwide. He has worked at wineries in France, California, Chile, and Spain. This experience means that he has an open approach to the possibilities of the world of wine, where oenological techniques manage to get the best out of each terroir. Recognition of his work is shown in a series of awards, including medals and high scores in top competitions and magazines around the world.

47 to go!

Cal Cabo Celler, Buttercup in D.O. Costers del Segre

317/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Costers del Segre – Sant Martí de Maldà – Cal Cabo Celler – Curvus 2010

Buttercup……..,

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Curvus 2010, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Ull de Llebre

Cherry red to ruby with a mahogany rim, medium-high layer and tinted tears with a slow flow. The aroma appears as tertiary notes, cigar box, cedar, moist mushrooms. A nice scent of nutmeg, clear earthy character and a background of candied ripe fruit. Easy entry, smooth and elegant presence of tannins. Powerful finish with an aftertaste of vegetables and spices, sweet black pepper and leafs. A well elaborated wine, nice coupatge. The varieties have been separately aged in French, American and Hungarian oak barrels over a 10 month period. After blending it has spent another 3 months to rest in tanks.

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Cal Cabo is a very small family winery that produces wines covered by the appellation of Costers del Segre, and extra virgin olive oil under the name of Mas de Sant Pere. Rosa Maria Bisa Felip is responsible for this project which started in 2009. During 2010 they bottled and started selling their first vintage. Earlier, like in many small wineries, her father had made ​​wine for home consumption using the grapes from the vineyards of the family. The cellar is located in Sant Martí de Maldà, a town that is part of the municipality of Sant Martí de Riucorb and situated along the Cistercian Route . It is a journey that follows the outline of the Cistercian monasteries of Santes Creus, Poblet and Vallbona, located in the Alt Camp, Conca de Barbera and Urgell, respectively. The vineyards and olive growths that cover some 13 hectares are irrigated by the river Corb, hence, today’s wine and one of the wines produced is named Curvus.

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This is indeed a small winery with a limited production of only 3,000 bottles per year, for which they only use a portion of their grapes, the rest is sold to other producers. They work with the red varieties Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo (Ull de Llebre), from which they obtain three wines: the aforementioned Curvus, which is a red wine, a pink and a red, both named 1-11, in memory of the contribution of grapes that valley residents historically had to make their lord. To visit you have to call ahead, as they only receive pre booked groups and in limited numbers. During a the winery tour you can taste their products in a small tasting room; there is also the possibility to have breakfast or alfresco dining should the weather allow. Well worth the trip if you like small, familiar wineries!

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74 to go!

 

Tasting 8 Wines, The Usual Suspects D.O. Costers del Segre

307-314/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Costers del Segre – Falset – Hotel-Hostal Sport – Tasting 8 Wines

The Usual Suspects…..,

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… they came, they examined, they sniffed, they sipped and they spat, or should I say most of them did! Was expecting a well arranged tasting with some nice wines from D.O. Costers del Segre. At yesterdays tasting I got that, and more! According to the invitation from Marta and Ruth, Hotel-Hostal Sport in Falset, who were arranging the tasting, we were supposed to taste 6 wines, which is some kind of standard for these types of tastings. Final number was 8! And the wines they make in the Costers del Segre, Yes! The Usual Suspects is one of my absolute favorite movies and so is the soundtrack and main theme. The usual suspects also refers to the sommeliers, wine makers and wine lovers in general that visit the well arranged tastings at Hotel Hostal-Sport, once a month. There’s a bunch of people that always come to these tastings and I am happy to be amongst them! We have Emporda, Montsant and Priorat to look forward to!

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As always Marta, owner, manager and in house sommelier at Hotel Hostal-Sport, started of by introducing the representative from the D.O. and in this case I have to say I totally missed the name but I have to say that when it comes to wine and especially to the specifics of Costers del Segre, she knew what she was on about! It was a pleasure to listen to her.

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This was the ninth of 12 tastings over the year to come, covering the D.O:s of Catalonia. These tasting are a way to promote Catalan wine and the Catalan D.O:s at the symbolical price of 5 Euro per tasting, so, if you want to know more about the wines from the regions of Catalonia, make sure to get to Falset and enjoy some really good wines together with other wine lovers! Can’t wait for the next DO-tasting!

A little bit about the characteristics of D.O. Costers del Segre before we get going with the tasting notes!

The vineyards are spread out throughout the northeastern interior of Catalonina, with the region of Pallars being the most northern one. It is not an appellation with one border, as the growing areas are spread out like a multitude of vineyards. The vineyards are located in the sub-areas of Artesa de Segre, Urgell, Garrigues, Pallars Jussà, Raimat, Segrià and Valls del Riu Corb. The D.O. as such was created in 1986, so it is one of the younger appellations of Catalonia. Currently there are 588 wine growers and farmers, working on a grape producing areal of 4.197 ha. Total number of plots is 2.667 and wine producing cellars (commercial) are 42! Small numbers but big wines! 

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The different sub-zones have very varying geological and climatic features. The link is the middle basin of the River Segre, between the Pyrenees and the Ebro. They are all located in the interior and have quite dry conditions, away from the maritime influence and marked by high insolation, low rainfall and persistent moisture mists during the winter. The vineyards are located between 200 and 400 m. altitude. The soil is calcareous sand coated with a great uniformity throughout the denomination.

The Artesa and Pallars subzones are the most northerly, with their vineyards at a higher altitude and Pyrenean influence. Raïmat at the eastern end, has a gentle relief and continental climate. The sub-area Segrià on the plain of Lleida, is characteristic of rain-fed lands. Les Garrigues and Valleys Riucorb have dry soils, to be considered drylands.

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After the phylloxera, the vine cultivation decreased substantially. In this way, starting during 1909 the new vines grafted on American rots (Americanos) resistant to phylloxera, provided the province of Lleida with 15,161 hectares, of which 13,343 were replanted phylloxera resistant vineyards and 1,818 were lands that were previously not used for vine growing. The 102,920 hectares not reconstituted are mainly devoted to the cultivation of olive trees. In the western area, the varieties destroyed by the phylloxera were: Pinós, Samsó, Sumoll and Garnacha. The varieties grafted on American stocks: Monastrell, Macabeo, Trepat, Grenache and Sumoll. At the same time some French varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon were imported.

The grape varieties recommended by the regulatory body are; Garnacha Negra, Tempranillo (Ull de llebre), Cabernet Saugvinon, Merlot, Monastrell/Morastrell, Trepat, Mazuela/Samsó, Pinot Noir and Syrah with the recommended addition of white grapes; Macabeu, Xarello, Parellada, Chardonnay, Garnacha Blanca, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Moscatel de Alejandria, Malvasia/Subirat Parent, Gewurztraminer and Albarinho.

Llabustes Wine No. 1 – Vila Corona, Llabustes Chardonnay 2013, 100% Chardonnay

Pale yellow straw color, elegant green reflections. Clean and intense aromas of  flowers, acacia and a hint of rose. Yellow and white fruits, a lot of pineapple, apple and pear are quite subtle, banana is also there but fading in the background. No mineral and no notes of aging. On the palate, it is a dry wine with moderate acidity, noticeable alcohol but without being intrusive. It has a integrated body. Taste of citrus, exotic and white fruits, slight touch of almonds. You won’t find a better Chardonnay from Costers del Segre, the value is amazing!

Anima de RaimatWine No. 2 – Raimat, Anima de Raimat 2013, Chardonnay, Xarel.lo and Albarinyo

Straw to slightly golden color with greenish reflexions, showing the youth and freshness. Complex.  Intense nose with primary notes of tropical and citrus fruits, round and clean nose. Expressive to complex, secondary of currant, elderberry, peach and some white fruit, pear and melon. Structured, well balanced with good acidity. Dry, medium long after taste with balanced acidity. Well made and simply a very pleasant wine!

OnraWine No. 3 – Lagravera, Onra Moltahonra Blanc 2011, 70% Garnatxa Blanca and 30% Sauvignon Blanc

Brilliant and golden yellow color. Clean nose with heavy aromatic complexity. Some coconut, but mainly I noted white fruit meat, pear and apple. Smoky notes and cedar came along nicely in the background. Slight perfume, or aftershave, or if it was just the guy next to me? With aeration, lemon, pineapple and peach continues to add dimensions to the experience. Good entry, slightly salty. It is filling the mouth with sensations of white fruits, herbs and a buttery feel. Mature, quality, long and fresh finish.

Petit GrealoWine No. 4 – Vinya l’Hereu, Petit Grealo 2010, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon

Transparent ruby red color with violet hues. Red and black fruit, light smoke, herbs like lavender, rosemary and fennel. Nice touch of white pepper and balsamic. Medium intensity, medium and balanced tannins. Smoke again, leather and coffee. Candied fruit. Potent wine, persistent and refreshing. A pure, fresh character of clay!

oda castell de remeiWine No. 5 – Castell del Remei, Oda Negre 2009, 55% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Ull de Llebre and 5% Garnatxa

Cherry color, with a bright cherry colored edge. Colorful tears and dense. High intensity. Aromas of barrel and cedar, aromatic coffee came as secondary after quite some time. Balsamic. Marmalade, blueberry jam. Sweet and voluptuous entry. The tannins are mature, integrated and the acidity is fresh, enhancing the persistency. Loved the finale with the sweet fig carrying the wine a long way.

bru de verdu 2012

Wine No. 6 – Celler Cercavins, Bru de Verdu 2012, Ull de Llebre, Syrah and Merlot

Dark cherry color with garnet rim. Clean and bright. Slow and slightly tinted tears. It has a clean and intense nose with outstanding very fruity aromas, ripe black fruit and licorice intermixed with subtle spices and lightly toasted. Mild vegetables and balsamic background appears after a while. The entry is powerful, fleshy and dry, marked by intense roasted notes, light spices and a delicate mineral touch. Good acidity that refreshes and distinctly tannic. Persistent finish that leaves roasted and fruity sensations.

vilosell 2012

Wine No. 7 – Tomas Cusine, Vilosell 2011, Ull de Llebre and Syrah

Beautiful cherry color with violet edges. Very bright and thin legs. Nice aromatic complexity with a  wide range of aromas. Vegetables, red fruits, hot spices and licorice give way to ripe fruit, sweet spices and chocolate. Subtle floral background. Intense and spacious volume. Silky and full of juicy fruit, blackberries, accompanied by toast and mineral notes and subtle hints of licorice. Mature and well polished tannins. Good acidity. Long and persistent finish that leaves fruity sensations. A round, tasty and very friendly wine!

Bui del sort negre 2013

Wine No. 8 – Batlliu de Sort, Biu de Sort Negre 2013, 100% Pinot Noir

Unclear, light purple to ruby color. Ops, not a favorite. Primary of sewer and rotten eggs, like I haven’t experienced that before! Swirl, swirl, swirl and here we go…, raspberry, unripe cherry, slight coffee aroma and some green beans. Light entry, dry, fresh acidity, light tannins, violet, salinity, green bell-pepper. Different, interesting even though we got of to a bad start. Would actually enjoy an additional glass of this wine

And the WINNERs are (had to go for two this time) Lagravera, Onra Moltahonra Blanc 2011 and Tomas Cusine, Vilosell 2011.

77 to go!

Cellers Vila Corona, I’m All Over It in D.O. Costers del Segre

300/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Costers del Segre – Vilamitjana – Cellers Vila Corona – Llabustes Chardonnay 2013

I’m All Over It…….,

llabustes-chardonnay-13Llabustes Chardonnay 2013

Pale yellow straw color, elegant green reflections. Clean and intense aromas of  flowers, acacia and a hint of rose. Yellow and white fruits, a lot of pineapple, apple and pear are quite subtle, banana is also there but fading in the background. No mineral and no notes of aging. On the palate, it is a dry wine with moderate acidity, noticeable alcohol but without being intrusive. It has a integrated body. Taste of citrus, exotic and white fruits, slight touch of almonds. You won’t find a better Chardonnay from Costers del Segre, the value is amazing!

Portada_03_01Vila Corona Cellar is located in Vilamitjana (a village in Pallars Jussà, in the Catalan Pyrenees) and has been there and in production since 1993. It is surrounded by a vineyard of 10 ha. planted in 1989, with the varieties Riesling and Chardonnay, for their white wines and Tempranillo (also known as Ull de Llebre), Grenache, Morastell, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon for their red wines. The have a total of 6 wines, the Chardonnay and Riesling as mono varietal whites and four reds, three mono and  one, the Tu Rai….., as a blend.

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The Cellar’s location is characterized by a mediterranean-continental climate, but influenced by the surrounding mountains. It is part of the Tremp Basin with specific microclimate favoured by the mountains. The vines are planted about 500 m. This situation causes very marked temperature inversions, which facilitates a slower ripening. The rainfall ranges between 500-560 ml/m2/year and snowfall at an average of 1,5/year. The temperature fluctuates between -14ºC and 39ºC. The vineyard is planted on rocky land originated by erosion or Areny’s rock, from the Late Cretaceous and Garumnia formations. Areny’s sandstone is a quartzite composed of potassium, feldspar, quartz, quartzite, mica and fossils, all cemented with calcite. Garumnia’s formation is composed by red lutites, with minor intercalations of fine-grained channelled stoneware. This composition facilitates the drainage of the land, favorably influencing the quality of wine.

vinya184 to go!

 

Castell d’Encus, Águas de Março in D.O. Costers del Segre

289/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Costers del Segre – Talarn – Castell d’Encus – Ekam 2013

Águas de Março……..,

ekam-221048Ekam 2013 , Riesling and Albariño

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.

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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.

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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!