Castillo de Perelada, Bom Dia, Boa Tarde, Boa Noite Amor in D.O. Emporda

118/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Emporda – Perelada – Castillo de Perelada – La Garriga 2010

Bom Dia, Boa Tarde, Boa Noite Amor………

…., good morning, good day, good night my Love, in Castillo de Perelada you’ll have the opportunity to say all three, spending a couple of days here is a minimum and the best way to get here is by vintage car. If you, like me, choose a vintage Alfa Romeo, you get a bonus! If you get hold of a rare Hispano-Suiza, I’ll personally treat you to a two night stay at the castle! 248 km. or two and a half hours is the distance/time it takes us to travle by car from yesterdays small castle to Perelada, but once here, you can relax and enjoy, why not start with one of their Cavas!

1924 Hispano-Suiza H6 C Dubonnet 'Tulipwood' Torpedo

1924 Hispano-Suiza H6 C Dubonnet ‘Tulipwood’ Torpedo

Miguel Mateu was a unique person. He was born in 1898, son of Damián Mateu, himself the founder of the automobile company Hispano Suiza. He was active in many spheres of business, cultural and even political life, being at different times Mayor of Barcelona and Spanish ambassador of Spain in Paris. Thanks to all these activities, he met throughout his life a great number of international personalities, both in the political and the cultural fields. 

It is in the cultural sphere that Don Miguel’s legacy is most keenly felt, with his very wide range of artistic interests, and being an avid collector from a young age.

1904In 1923 he bought the Castle estate at Peralada, made up of the impressive fortress and palace which had previously belonged to the Counts of Peralada, as well as the buildings which had once been a Carmelite monastery. From then on, Don Miguel turned Peralada into his own private cultural centre, building up the collections which would become the castle museum which is today open to the public.

Schloss-Peralada-Provinz-GironaWine has been made at the Castillo Perelada since the Middle Ages, as shown in several documents and parchments from the period to be found in the library. When Miguel Mateu bought this ensemble of monuments in 1923, one of his primary objectives was to revitalize the wine producing tradition, a tradition that is more alive than ever these days and which has incorporated the most modern technology to create wines that that make full use of the nuances of the soils and vines of the Empordà.

1990Arturo Suqué took charge of Castillo Perelada after the death of his father-in-law, Miguel Mateu, in 1972. Today he’s still the president of the company, although the winery’s everyday life is headed by his son Javier. During these decades, Arturo Suqué has led a deep transformation based on an obsession for quality with a main goal: place Castillo Perelada among the most prestigious Spanish wineries. Being faithful to Miguel Mateu’s love for culture, Arturo Suqué and his wife Carmen Mateu started the Peralada Castle Festival, a cultural event that is today internationally recognized.

image_941721_fullThe Empordà is a small area where there is a variety of soils found in few other places in the world. Slate slopes. Sandy valleys. Fluvial sediment, clay-silt, gravel soils… Lands that have borne witness to how different civilizations cultivated the art of wine. The heterogeneity of the land on which the vines grow allows the Castillo Perelada to obtain grapes with a wide range of nuances.

The library is out of this world!

The library is out of this world!

The history of winemaking in the Empordà dates back more than 2,500 years. The vineyards of the Empordá, the most ancient in the Iberian Peninsula, were introduced by the Greeks when they founded Empúries, then developed by Roman colonizers and finally settled by Benedictine monks from the monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes. Nowadays, a number of different sized vineyards coexist in the vineyards, representing the continuity of the experience acquired, offering a very solid selection of bottled wines.

James Bond could easily fit right in!

James Bond could easily fit right in!

The history of the Empordà has been deeply influenced by the work of the vine, and also its territory, with its characteristic buildings, dry stone walls and terraces, which make up the unique landscape of the Empordà. Magical scenery, mentioned by writers such as Josep Pla and immortalised by artists like Salvador Dali, the illustrious sons of this land of the Tramontana wind. A world full of enchantments, which includes the popular “platillo” cuisine of the Empordà, and the nouvelle cuisine, as represented by chefs of great international prestige, marrying perfectly with these exceptional wines.

castillo-perelada-imbodegas3_109-size590-BODEGA1Making use of the uneven land in the area, Castillo Perelada will build a new bodega adjacent to the farm. It will consist of 14,000 m² of a new building which will house the most advanced wine production technology in order to make modern wines of the highest quality. Perfectly blended with the Empordà landscape, the new Castillo Perelada bodega will make use of the sloping land to merge the building into the natural setting as much as possible. The idea is to build a unique building with an exterior appearance that is distinctive yet blends in with the landscape. Together with the park that will surround it and the castle itself, this new construction will become a new attraction for visitors while creating a unique and distinctive image for the Castillo Perelada wines and Cavas.

Hotel and spa Perelada The Hotel Peralada has 55 comfortable rooms with magnificent views over the golf course, the Serra de l’Albera and the town of Peralada with the Pyrenees in the background. Tranquility and an exclusive environment in a unique sitting with infinite areas where you can relax: Spend the morning looking through the morning newspapers in the library, lie back on the outdoor pool terrace or savor the wines of Castillo Perelada in the Wine Bar while you admire the sunset. There are also four different gastronomic areas serving the best cuisine of Empodrà and the Mediterranean, the freshest products on the market and wines from the cellar.

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La Garriga 2010, 100% Samsó (Carignena)

Finca (vineyard) La Garriga , along with vineyard Malaveïna and Espolla, are the three major vineyards of the estate. The Garriga is ​​100 % covered by the native variety Samsó (Carignena), with vines older than fifty years. It has strong varietal character, minerality (especially nose) and freshness makes it easy to confuse it, if tasted blind, with a wine from Priorat, a light wine from the Priorat, that is. It’s amazing how easy it is to drink a wine of this maturity, intensity and complexity; as a whole, it is a tremendously palatable and powerful wine.

Although the Hispano-Suiza is a beautiful car, I prefer to arrive in a Alfa Romeo!

Although the Hispano-Suiza is a beautiful car, I prefer to arrive in a Alfa Romeo!

The color is intense and begins to show edging of some evolution, which is perceived and confirmed both on the nose and palate, but it is a delicious , intense and elegant wine. There are aromas of ripe fruit, sweetish fruit, rich tertiary notes (mushrooms, humus) and mild minty freshness. A very complex wine. It seduce the mouth with a juicy, intense, dense but dry input, with notes of orange peel. Although it is not present in the mouth, the same complexity arises in the the nose, fruit (strawberry and red fruit) with good intensity and spicy notes and at the background, a soft minerality and subtle notes of aging. A lovely wine, only wish a had another bottel here right now as it is to easy to consume!

261 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle

Clos Dominic, Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car, DOQ Priorat

46/365 – Catalonia – DOQ Priorat – Porrera – Clos Dominic – Clos Dominic Blanc 2009

Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car…….

Servicing the car is something to be taken seriously! Now, I do know this should be about wine and, bare with me, it will. I have to, however, stress the importance of my car! Friday, two days ago, I managed finally to get the old Peugeot to the garage for servicing, new brakes, tires and full service. All new fluids should keep it going for a while longer. Without the car, no visits to cellars and no stories to write home about.

Had this beauty during a stint in England. Drove it across Europe and to Sweden where I exchanged it for....

Had this beauty during a stint in England. Drove it across Europe and to Sweden where I exchanged it for….

Passion for wine is comparable to passion for cars. during Fridays visit to the garage I remembered, 25 years ago, how I would visit a friend that worked at a Peugeot garage in Sweden and we would talk cars, passion for cars!

.... this beauty which, unfortunately is not being used to much. Al though it did manage to get to Spain from Sweden during winter!

…. this beauty which, unfortunately is not being used to much. Although it did manage to get to Spain from Sweden during winter!

During that time I drove Alfa Romeo, my first Alfa, after which there has been many more and I still have one now, although it is not the work car. Now I don’t claim there’s such a thing as a perfect wine, and there is certainly not a perfect car, least of all Alfa Romeo.

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But…., the soul and the passion is what matters. If a car (like a wine maker) has soul and passion, that can go a long way.  My love and passion for cars will always remain and the memories of the first Alfa will always be present, in one way or the other. Just like the memories of the first wine.

Dominic at Clos Dominic!

Dominic at Clos Dominic!

Dominic and Paco have both soul and passion and this shows clearly in the wine produced at the backstreet garage/bodega in Porrera. But who needs a huge elaborate winery when the wine comes from the vineyards. One of the best vineyards of Priorat belongs to Clos Dominic and, as simple as that, this is the reason for their extraordinary wines. Soul and passion!

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It all started in 1986, when Dominic and Paco acquired their first vineyards. Borrowing money from friends and family they continued by getting a hold of “La Tena” vineyard which is now the core of the production of Clos Dominic wines. Paco is the vintner and Dominic is the wine maker, nowadays together with their children.

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It’s a a family affair and the boss here is Dominic, that’s for sure. When I have visited, I have met both on several occasions, but I have gotten to know, the well spoken and very humoristic, Paco better! I dare say he’s the funniest wine maker in Priorat!

Paco the vintner inspecting the vines!

Paco the vintner inspecting the vines!

The first time I came to try some of their reds, my arrival was announced by friends in Priorat that are family friends of Clos Dominic. That day they had a group of wine lovers from France visiting and as I arrived they were in the midst of tasting some wines. I was noticed by both Dominic and Paco as I came down to the cellar stairs and immediately received as a long time acquaintance.

Paco with a friend outside the cellar!

Paco with a friend outside the cellar!

I was offered a glass of their white, of which I took a whiff and in that stride asked to have a case put on the side for me. Paco told me, almost laughing, that he only had two bottles left. So it had to be the two then! Much later that same afternoon, the French group decided they also wanted to buy, not only the reds, but also the white! To late! I am still smiling today, when I think of this wine loving moment. But it goes to prove, the small wineries here don’t have abundance of bottles just lying around.

Barrel room at Clos Dominic!

Barrel room at Clos Dominic!

I was told, and I guess the story is the same all over Priorat, that 80% of all wines produced here are exported. So when a nice one, different one, one with soul comes along, you’d better make up you mind quickly or suffer the consequences, like the French had to do. Out of the two I managed to get, one is still safe and sound, but not much longer. I don’t save wine, I enjoy it in the glass!

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Clos Dominic Blanc 2009, Garnacha Blanca, Macabeu, Pedro Ximenez, Picapoll Blanc and Riesling

Dominic_blanc

Bright yellow to gold colour with nice fatty tears. Very aromatic nose with clear barrel notes. Toasty, smoky and spicy with fruit as secondary. The entry is wide with aromas of vanilla and toast. Followed by aniseed. It is crisp and balanced, has personality and long after-taste. I have never come across any white like this one, just look at the grape coupatge! It is simply a different wine and maybe that’s why I like it like I do. You need to love powerful whites to enjoy this one! Only 300 bottles are produced so first come…….

327 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle