381 – 395/365 – Catalonia – 15 Selected Great Whites
The end is nigh and so I recap on some of my favorite wines from Catalonia. The whites below are a few of many excellent wines found in my neck of the woods and in no particular order. As you might know, if you have been following my blog, I don’t give scores and so shall it remain. Just some good wine to enjoy on your own or with friends! Have a great Saturday and make sure you have something nice in your glass!
One of the most elegant and impressive wines, all categories, I have and the good fortune to try this year. Attractive yellow color with delicate gold reflections. Clean and bright. Glyceric tears. My first impression was that of indecisiveness, I couldn’t get my senses to interpret what was going on in the glass, as there was too much information that came too fast. Very complex sensations, hard to put in words. After a while I got my head around it. Very elegant, very fresh and seductive aromas. Intense ripe white fruit and citrus aromas and fresh flowers. Some vegetal notes but in a good way. Herbs, sage, fennel and soft menthol. All interspersed with the creaminess given by the oak. Once in the mouth it is very present, taking over and claiming the mouth as its own. Long travel, very deep, intense and concentrated. Excellent acidity which gives loads of freshness throughout its path. Elegant, long and persistent finish. This is a Super Catalan!
Straw yellow color. Expressive exotic nose, white flowers are all over the place, mineral and well marked acidity that keeps it fresh and alive over time. The palate is creamy and has good volume. A wine with complexity and soul. It was made using old and young vines of Garnacha Blanca. The grapes were picked early to ensure good natural acidity. Followed by short maceration and fermentation. The wine was kept two months on its lees to gain texture and complexity. This is a wine to fall in love with!
Vi de la Vila, Escanya-Vella 2011, 100% Escanya-Vella
Don’t know why really, but the wine was totally unclear as I opened the bottle but after about half an hour it displayed a clear and vivid colour, slightly golden. The primaries present some ripe white fruit and aromatic herbs. Continuing with notes of quite light floral and mineral touches, citric lime and hints of tropical fruits, like pineapple. Complex and fresh nose. Easy entry, easy to drink and easy to enjoy. Good body, balanced and well defined acidity, complex taste as was the nose. mouth-filling with good acidity, giving it length and freshness. This is a wine I am happy to recommend any time a day!
Els Bassotets 2012, 100% Chenin Blanc
Deep golden yellow and turbid, due to the absence of filtration. High intensity shows a complex nose full of nuances. Aromas of white fruit and very ripe yellow citrus fruits, yeast and sweet spices, lifted by a subtle wood. The palate is oily, with a silky smooth texture, superb acidity, deep, aromatic, good finish, long and persistent that puts more wood on the nose, lots of fruit and mineral notes.
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.
Light yellow color with golden reflections. White stone fruits, honey, menthol and grass. Perfumed nose with subtle hints of peaches, apricots and the Muscat standing out with its honeyed aroma on a background of white fowers and aromatic herbs, leaning towards the typicity of white Grenache. large entry, managing to maintain freshness and intensity, slightly salty and the taste of wet stone. Great body and the honey, although mineraly, is noticed in the mouth as well. Fresh, persistent. large and ending on a slightly bitter and herbaceous note. Lovely wine!
The color is straw yellow with golden reflections, clear and bright. The nose is elegant and seductive, initial intense and complex aromas of white stone fruits (peach, apricot) accompanied by a bouquet of floral notes, spices, vegetables and balsamic on a strong background of toast. A number of very subtle aromas emerged constantly, menthol, white flowers and vanilla. Exquisite acidity and the alcohol is totally integrated. Notable is the perfect balance between fruit flavors, and the contribution of the barrel. Fresh, fleshy and unctuous on the palate, it exhibits lactic, citrus fruit and oak-ageing notes and culminates in a long, persistent finish. Wonderful wine that has no match! If you ever come across it, be sure to try it, I guarantee you are in for a unique experience. My preferred choise is to share it with good Friends!
Idoia Blanc Fermentat en Bota 2012, 70% Xarel·lo, 12% Garnacha Blanca, 12% Macabeu and 6% Chardonnay
A white with an unusual blend: 70% Xarel.lo grapes, from vines between 20 and 40 years of age, perfectly assembled with Chardonnay, white Grenache and Macabeo. Fermented and aged in oak barrels. Aged for 6 months in new French oak barrels, lightly toasted Allier. Nice golden yellow color of medium intensity and with extraordinarily bright golden reflections. On the nose subtle aromas of vanilla, nutmeg and coconut, with some extra freshness provided by the lime caramel, aniseed, bay leaves and hay, and at the very end a slight sweet aroma of ripe banana. In the mouth it is intense, quite fatty and great longevity. Long and fresh with round tannins which carries to the very end. Good balance and intensity.
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 colour is straw yellow with greenish reflections, clear and bright. This wine is characterized by its deep and elegant nose. Subtle and elegant aromas, rich in nuances, fresh fruit (mango), dried apricots with hints of minerals and stone fruit, apricot, peach and loquat. Dense, soft, warm tropical notes, complex, beautifully balanced, good acidity, long and persistent aftertaste. Wouldn’t mind spending an evening with this wine, some good friends and possibly salad with fresh cheese, prawns or spicy seafood. Works well with Asian cuisine.
Coma Romà Xarel·lo Macerat 2012, 100% Xarel.lo
A noble and not so soft spoken wine! Fine yellow straw colour, bright and clean, dense tears that slowly flows down the inside of the glass. Aromas of ripe white fruit (pears and apples, candied fruits), banana peel, soft milky notes (yoghurt mousse) balanced creaminess and floral notes, aromatic herbs, fennel and a gentle balsamic background, a slight touch of wet stone. The palate has a very good entry, very tasty ripe white fruit, good acidity, light citrus touches that appear after a while, very palatable, intense, broad, soft notes of spice (white pepper), and pleasant persistence. Long finish, white fruit and slightly smoky aftertaste.
The Xarel.lo grapes, from vines that are older than 70 years, is skin macerated before juice extraction and subsequent fermentation in new French oak barrels, under temperature control. The wine stays in the same barrels for about 5 months and in contact with its lees. Production is limited to 900 bottles. Get a bottle now!
Aikarai 2013, 100% Muscat de Frontignan
Pale, straw color with green reflexes & lime hues, delicate and glyceric tears. On the it is nose bursting with intense aromas of fresh grapes combined with a pleasant fragrance of exotic fruist, white rose petals, jasmine & oriental musk and finally fusing into a citric breeze. Freshness and smoothness, balance and elegance, nice body and texture, very hip with fruit sensations, citrus and peach pit notes, creamy finish with a bitter touch. Structured & elegant with fine flavors of white flowers, peach & citric peels and very subtle notes of coriander spices. Big-boned and mouth filling with a smooth texture, balanced by a long dry finish and zesty acidity. Magnificent aperitif. Matches well with oily fish, mild or creamy style cheeses, like goat cheese with dry fruits and nuts. The handpicked grapes come from low-yielding vines & single plots reserved for the production of the Aikarai. Gentle whole bunch pressing is followed by the sequential wild yeast fermentation in small stainless steel tanks at a very low temperature between 12 -14 ºC for aprox. one month The Aikarai is a young and sexy wine and even though easy to drink, quite complex and with depth.
One of the latest wines of Ficaria Vins shows the potential of both white Grenache of the region as well as the elaboration and will to try something that in the old days was obvious. The Montsant is not only about great reds, so please, let the white Grenache shine and Roll With It! Bright yellow with green hues. The nose shows lots of fruit, white fruit, pear, apple, and floral notes, jasmine and some aniseed. Easy yet expressive on the palate, good acidity, fresh and aromatic. It is fleshy and expressive, with a long aftertaste, cool and pleasant. Super Catalan for sure, white this time! You could match this wine very well with a wide variety of dishes: pasta, rice, fatty cheeses. A good white wine to enjoy during the summer heat!
Les Vistes 2012, 100% Xarel.lo, barrel fermented with its lees. Barrel aged.
Bright golden, clear and brilliant with slow and fat tears. The nose is floral and buttery, the oak notes are round and the vanilla is light. Notes of fudge, warm eucalyptus and some peach. There is a strong presence of mineral elements, enhanced by the permanence of wine on the lees during aging. The palate is full and complex, but maintains its freshness and balance due to its good acidity. The evolution of this wine in the glass is remarkable, slowly evolving and showing different levels of aromatic complexity.
Bright straw yellow colour. The nose transmits fresh aromas of citrus, herbs like rosemary and a likeable saltiness. This is a very Mediterranean style wine but with something that doesn’t really “fit the bill” to be fully considered a typical middle sea wine. It carries saltiness that reminds me of one wine and then some minerals and floral notes which awakens other memories, of other wines. It is strange in a way, very magical, how it changes throughout the tasting. Some expressive mature white fruit, pear and peach. It is full-bodied, flavoursome and very well balanced, elegant on the palate. Splendid and unique, nothing like it really. Well made and high accolades for price/quality.
4 to go!