Cellar Can Ràfols dels Caus, Autumn Leaves in D.O. Penedes

305/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Penedes – Avinyonet del Penedes – Cellar Can Ràfols dels Caus – Ad Fines 2003

Autumn Leaves………,

prod-large-ad-finesAd Fines 2003, 100% Pinot Noir

Bright cherry red color, medium layer, clean, thick and slow legs. Intense aromas of red strawberry, underbrush, sweet baked tomato, roasted apples. Very inviting with some light spicy aromas. Balsamic notes, scrub, mint? (Spearmint). In the mouth it is soft spoken, silky and tasty. Come over as easy to imbibe with delicate tannins. Not to broad, quite gentle fruit, medium long finish, black fruit, sweet spices, cocoa, and a very cool touch of cured meat. A lovely, delicate and inviting Pinot Noir! Ad Fines is probably the best Pinot Noir monovarietal produced under the D.O. of Penedes. I like it a lot but do I think it’s worth the price tag? Hmmmmmmm, well while we’re at it, let’s decide that after another glass!

And so the story goes, that about three years ago, I was at the right place at the right time! Meet with Xavi Nolla as he was introducing me to a winery in Montsant, which I have already covered. At the time Xavi was doing wine tastings every Tuesday at Lola Tapes in Tarragona. We went a couple of Tuesdays to taste some excellent wines and great tapas.

Lola Tapes in Tarragona, wine tasting with Xavi Nolla

At the time, the knowledge of Catalan wineries was quite limited so this excellent sommelier was, and still is, a great source, recommending several cellars! One of them being Can Ràfols dels Caus! Thank you for the tip, my friend!

img350-bodega-aerea

Only a few days after getting the insight, a phone call was placed and we were off to the massif of Garraf, a national park and protected area, southwest of Sitges, towards Vilafranca and within the D.O. of Penedes.

img350-tierra-garraf

Upon arrival we were well received, greeted and shown the sites by Marc Rusca Baena, the in-house sommelier. After this, the first visit, there has been additional ones! And if I decide there will be many more. Will YOU join me next time? Well, that’s all up to you, I’m always available for a visit and tasting at Can Ràfols! Ops, just remembered that I am going there this Sunday with a small group of wine lovers from Barcelona!

Marc Ruscas Baena and a friend,having a glass or two!

The Garraf wine-growing region is a protected area within the traditional boundaries of the Garraf National Park. The Can Ràfols dels Caus estate is situated at an altitude of 300 m, and stands on a rise between the ravines of two watercourses surrounded by vineyards growing on the terraced slopes. From some of the highest vineyards, such as “la Calma” or “el Rocallís” the sea can be seen, some 15km away.

Don't be surprised if you find fossils while waking around, there are plenty of them!

This situation is paramount for obtaining healthy grapes, as they are sheltered from the damp air coming in from the coastline, but are equally protected from the sporadic hailstorms in the Sierra of Ordal or the Pre-Coastal mountain range.

544794_439125682771755_578577147_n

The Garraf Massif has an unusual mesoclimate. The daytime is sun-drenched and hot despite the tempering effect of the sea, which sends in a cooling breeze towards the afternoon. This allows the vines to complete their growth cycle and reach full ripeness.

Automated granite "doors" leading into the winery!

Only 50 hectares of this 455-hectare estate are vineyards, 2 hectares being used for olive groves, 1 hectare for almond orchards and the rest for woodland, scrubland and rocky terrain. The size of the single vineyards ranges from 0.15 hectares (the smallest) to 2 hectares (the largest).

Part of the winery exterior

Can Ràfols dels Caus has always been a forerunner and trend-setter, and some twenty-five years after Carlos Esteva started his wine venture, he decided to take a giant step forward by building a new cellar. The aim was not to squeeze in more vats, barrels and bottles, but to work better.

Carlos and friends welcomed at the winery!

With this project, the winery’s potential for producing quality wines has multiplied, as the cellar is now geared to promoting micro-vinifications, separating batches even more and research. The cellar has been designed so that it is completely carved out of the Dolomitic limestone of the Garraf, invisible from above ground and totally integrated into the landscape.

306288_420918327925824_1249613166_n

This would probably be the perfect location for the next James Bond movie. The scoundrel being a crazy wine maker, wanting to take over the world by making his wine so addictive he would have the whole human race in chains! Carlos is slightly crazy, like all artists, but in a good way! To see what he saw, being a visionary, in 1979, is simply “have to see to believe, based”!

Part of the winery interior

This place is simply amazing! The location, the grounds, the mansion, the winery, the whole concept and the wines, oh the wines! Just writing about it………., I might stop writing and set of for a quick visit! Sure, I can write about it, but the only truth is, you have to sample it yourself.

577525_420918751259115_1139758430_n

All I can say is, it will be worth your while! If we were talking Guide Michelin, this would be a 3 star, worth a trip of its own! Enough with the superlatives!

398250_420917894592534_1158202912_n

Can Ràfols dels Caus winery produces a range of wines, most of them are great! I believe the current count is 7 or 8 reds, 6 whites, probably around four Cavas and three rose.

319870_420917941259196_1287736653_n

579406_439125466105110_1946602575_n

 

Time for Wine (Part Two), I’ll Take You There in Vilanova i La Geltru

163/365 – Catalonia – D.O. All of them! – Vilanova i La Geltru – Temps de Vi 2014 (Wine Fair) – Sot Lefriec 2004

I’ll take you there….,

I'll Take You There 1

…., not only to the Priorat, Penedes, Terra Alta and the other appellations and the more or less well know wine cellars. If you let me, I’ll also take you to Temps de Vi wine fair in Vilanova i La Geltru and tomorrow it starts! Unfortunately I won’t be there the first day but not to worry, there are two more days (Saturday and Sunday) and I’ll be reporting daily from this amazing wine fair. That would be my way of taking you there, and if you feel like joining the party next year, please let me know and I’ll point you in the right direction! One of the stands that is going to be well visited is the one of Alemany i Corrio! And today’s wine is one of their top range wines! Come to think of it….., if Tuscany can have their Super Tuscans, I hope too start a new trend of “Super Catalans”!

Sot Lefriec 2004

Sot Lefriec, 50% Merlot, 30% Carignan and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon (D.O. Penedes)

The fermentation of this particular wine takes place in small tanks on wild yeasts. There are no pumps in the winery as the wines are moved using inert gas to avoid any uncontrolled oxidation. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignan were harvested approximately 10 days later than usual or what would be considered normal for the varieties and region. Prefermentation maceration and alc. fermentation around 30-35 days for Merlot and Cab. Sauv. and around 25 days for Carignan , which is also longer than usual. During these periods, there are daily remontages and pigeages. Sot Lefriec 2004 has spent 23 months ageing in French oak barrels, 70% new oak. This is a super small garage producer, that works out of Vilafranca del Penedes, so if you see a bottle of Sot Lefriec on a shelve be sure to grab it fast!

web_alemany_i_corrio_1_1

Dark cherry layered with a bright purple rim and intense tears. Ripe black fruit on the nose with floral aromas and a successful soft toasted oak and vanilla aromas presenting cocoa, toffee and spices, smoked pepper, thyme and clove. Powerful and tasty tannins and balanced acidity with successful long life, clean and pleasant with great fruit that carries all the way to the end and a long lingering after-taste. This is to be considered a “Super Catalan”!!!

tempsDEvi

And as the real party is about to start, let’s share the program for the coming days! As I mentioned, the first day is a no go for me as I have to spend it with some wine lovers from California! Giving them the grand tour tomorrow! I just love it when I get the opportunity to show people what Catalonia can offer. I’m sure they won’t be disappointed. The Temps de Vi actually had some activities that started last week, like the Riedel experience which was taking place at the Victor Balaguer library in Vilanova i La Geltru, a quite cool location for a exquisite wine tasting!

Temps de vi riedel

Temps de Vi (Time for Wine) Friday, May 30th events;

The winery Can Ràfols dels Caus, Infinite Restaurant and the jazz band Nicolau Experience are together taking people on a wine and food joourney with jazz music to complement, or as the call it here “Trimaridatge”! A five course meal with selected wines from Can Ràfols dels Caus. Starts at 21.00, but should be booked in advance as I am certain it will be one of many popular events this weekend! 

Temps de Vi Can Ràfols dels Caus Infinite

At the very same time, other will book and enjoy a pairing at the Hotel Ceferino, which is hosting a joint event with Gramona, one of the major Cava producer of D.O. Penedes! Againm five courses with five amazing Gramona products!

Temps de vi gramona

Today’s chosen winery, is doing a vertical tasting at Resturant Marejol, Starts at 20.00 hours and if I could go tomorrow, this would probably be my choice! So many wines, so little time! Damn! The main event area is going to be set up with all the winery stands, offering their latest and best of their products. In close vicinity there are performance stages and on stage 2 at 20.00 hours you’ll be able to enjoy a homage to the Gerry Muligan Quatrtet! What a party! If you feel like starting of early, you should be in front of stage one at around 18.00 hours! That’s when Scarbeats start with their “Beatles Live Performance”! This is merely a selection of the many activities taking place during Friday. For the additional information and the schedules for Saturday and Sunday, pleas have a look at the official web site of Temps de Vi! Happy wine and music days!

Some wine tasting are taking place on sail boats!

Some wine tasting are taking place on sail boats!

Welcome to Vilanova i La Geltru, so that you can experience first hand, the best that Catalonia has to offer!

216 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle

Can Ràfols dels Caus, Nobody Does It Better in D.O. Penedes

157/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Penedes – Avinyonet del Penedes – Can Ràfols dels Caus – La Calma 2009

Nobody Does It Better….

In time, I will cover most of the wines from this gem of a winery, but for now the chosen wine is La Calma. Enjoy!

gran-caus-la-calma-2009_g_10001241-1La Calma 2009, Chenin Blanc

The  La Calma 2009 is made from the varietal Chenin Blanc. The vines were planted about 30 years ago in calcareous soils, and there is no use of insecticides or herbicides. After harvesting, which is 100% manual, the wine is fermented in temperature controlled French oak barrels for 32 days, after which it is aged for 4 months in French oak barrels. It is stylish, different, complex, seductive and almost impossible to get a hold of!

Intense golden yellow color, clean, very bright, with plenty of robust tears. Intense and complex aromas displaying ripe yellow fruit, plums and apricots, dried fruits, dried apricots, candied fruit, balsamic, slight anise and hints of pastry. Very good on the palate, strong, dense, warm, rich, long and elegant mouth with excellent acidity that refreshes. Long and persistent fruity notes, toast and minerals. Delicate and delicious.

The story

About three years ago! Right place right time! Meet with Xavi Nolla as he was introducing me to a winery in Montsant, which I have already covered. At the time Xavi was doing wine tastings every Tuesday at Lola Tapes in Tarragona. We went a couple of Tuesdays to taste some excellent wines and great tapas.

Lola Tapes in Tarragona, wine tasting with Xavi Nolla

At the time, the knowledge of Catalan wineries was quite limited so this excellent sommelier was, and still is, a great source, recommending several cellars! One of them being Can Ràfols dels Caus! Thank you for the tip, my friend!

img350-bodega-aerea

Only a few days after getting the insight, a phone call was placed and we were off to the massif of Garraf, a national park and protected area, southwest of Sitges, towards Vilafranca and within the D.O. of Penedes.

img350-tierra-garraf

Upon arrival we were well received, greeted and shown the sites by Marc Rusca Baena, the in-house sommelier. After this, the first visit, there has been additional ones! And if I decide there will be many more. Will YOU join me next time? Well, that’s all up to you, I’m always available for a visit and tasting at Can Ràfols!

Marc Ruscas Baena and a friend,having a glass or two!

The Garraf wine-growing region is a protected area within the traditional boundaries of the Garraf National Park. The Can Ràfols dels Caus estate is situated at an altitude of 300 m, and stands on a rise between the ravines of two watercourses surrounded by vineyards growing on the terraced slopes. From some of the highest vineyards, such as “la Calma” or “el Rocallís” the sea can be seen, some 15km away.

Don't be surprised if you find fossils while waking around, there are plenty of them!

This situation is paramount for obtaining healthy grapes, as they are sheltered from the damp air coming in from the coastline, but are equally protected from the sporadic hailstorms in the Sierra of Ordal or the Pre-Coastal mountain range.

544794_439125682771755_578577147_n

The Garraf Massif has an unusual mesoclimate. The daytime is sun-drenched and hot despite the tempering effect of the sea, which sends in a cooling breeze towards the afternoon. This allows the vines to complete their growth cycle and reach full ripeness.

Automated granite "doors" leading into the winery!

Only 50 hectares of this 455-hectare estate are vineyards, 2 hectares being used for olive groves, 1 hectare for almond orchards and the rest for woodland, scrubland and rocky terrain. The size of the single vineyards ranges from 0.15 hectares (the smallest) to 2 hectares (the largest).

Part of the winery exterior

Can Ràfols dels Caus has always been a forerunner and trend-setter, and some twenty-five years after Carlos Esteva started his wine venture, he decided to take a giant step forward by building a new cellar. The aim was not to squeeze in more vats, barrels and bottles, but to work better.

Carlos and friends welcomed at the winery!

With this project, the winery’s potential for producing quality wines has multiplied, as the cellar is now geared to promoting micro-vinifications, separating batches even more and research. The cellar has been designed so that it is completely carved out of the Dolomitic limestone of the Garraf, invisible from above ground and totally integrated into the landscape.

306288_420918327925824_1249613166_n

This would probably be the perfect location for the next James Bond movie. The scoundrel being a crazy wine maker, wanting to take over the world by making his wine so addictive he would have the whole human race in chains! Carlos is slightly crazy, like all artists, but in a good way! To see what he saw, being a visionary, in 1979, is simply “have to see to believe, based”!

Part of the winery interior

This place is simply amazing! The location, the grounds, the mansion, the winery, the whole concept and the wines, oh the wines! Just writing about it………., I might stop writing and set of for a quick visit! Sure, I can write about it, but the only truth is, you have to sample it yourself.

577525_420918751259115_1139758430_n

All I can say is, it will be worth your while! If we were talking Guide Michelin, this would be a 3 star, worth a trip of its own! Enough with the superlatives!

398250_420917894592534_1158202912_n

Can Ràfols dels Caus winery produces a range of wines, most of them are great! Five whites and five reds, 3 Cavas and 2 rose.

319870_420917941259196_1287736653_n

579406_439125466105110_1946602575_n

222 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle

 

Can Ràfols dels Caus, We Have All The Time In The World, D.O. Penedes

35/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Penedes – Avinyonet del Penedes – Can Ràfols dels Caus – El Rocallis 2007

We have all the time in the world…….

About three years ago! Right place right time! Meet with Xavi Nolla as he was introducing me to a winery in Montsant, which I have already covered. At the time Xavi was doing wine tastings every Tuesday at Lola Tapes in Tarragona. We went a couple of Tuesdays to taste some excellent wines and great tapas.

Lola Tapes in Tarragona, wine tasting with Xavi Nolla

Lola Tapes in Tarragona, wine tasting with Xavi Nolla

At the time, the knowledge of Catalan wineries was quite limited so this excellent sommelier was a good source, recommending several cellars! One of them being Can Ràfols dels Caus! Thank you my friend for the tip!

img350-bodega-aerea

Only a few days after getting the insight, a phone call was placed and we were off to the massif of Garraf, a national park and protected area, southwest of Sitges, towards Vilafranca and within the D.O. of Penedes.

img350-tierra-garraf

Upon arrival we were well received, greeted and shown the sites by Marc Rusca Baena, the in-house sommelier. After this, the first visit, there has been additional ones! And if I decide there will be many more. Will YOU join me next time? Well, that’s all up to you, I’m always available for a visit and tasting at Can Ràfols!

Marc Ruscas Baena and a friend,having a glass or two!

Marc Ruscas Baena and a friend,having a glass or two!

The Garraf wine-growing region is a protected area within the traditional boundaries of the Garraf National Park. The Can Ràfols dels Caus estate is situated at an altitude of 300 m, and stands on a rise between the ravines of two watercourses surrounded by vineyards growing on the terraced slopes. From some of the highest vineyards, such as “la Calma” or “el Rocallís” the sea can be seen, some 15km away.

Don't be surprised if you find fossils while waking around, there are plenty of them!

Don’t be surprised if you find fossils while waking around, there are plenty of them!

This situation is paramount for obtaining healthy grapes, as they are sheltered from the damp air coming in from the coastline, but are equally protected from the sporadic hailstorms in the Sierra of Ordal or the Pre-Coastal mountain range.

544794_439125682771755_578577147_n

The Garraf Massif has an unusual mesoclimate. The daytime is sun-drenched and hot despite the tempering effect of the sea, which sends in a cooling breeze towards the afternoon. This allows the vines to complete their growth cycle and reach full ripeness.

Automated granite "doors" leading into the winery!

Automated granite “doors” leading into the winery!

Only 50 hectares of this 455-hectare estate are vineyards, 2 hectares being used for olive groves, 1 hectare for almond orchards and the rest for woodland, scrubland and rocky terrain. The size of the single vineyards ranges from 0.15 hectares (the smallest) to 2 hectares (the largest).

Part of the winery exterior

Part of the winery exterior

Can Ràfols dels Caus has always been a forerunner and trend-setter, and some twenty-five years after Carlos Esteva started his wine venture, he decided to take a giant step forward by building a new cellar. The aim was not to squeeze in more vats, barrels and bottles, but to work better.

Carlos and friends welcomed at the winery!

Carlos and friends welcomed at the winery!

With this project, the winery’s potential for producing quality wines has multiplied, as the cellar is now geared to promoting micro-vinifications, separating batches even more and research. The cellar has been designed so that it is completely carved out of the Dolomitic limestone of the Garraf, invisible from above ground and totally integrated into the landscape.

306288_420918327925824_1249613166_n

This would probably be the perfect location for the next James Bond movie. The scoundrel being a crazy wine maker, wanting to take over the world by making his wine so addictive he would have the whole human race in chains! Carlos is slightly crazy, like all artists, but in a good way! To see what he saw, being a visionary, in 1979, is simply “have to see to believe, based”!

Part of the winery interior

Part of the winery interior

This place is simply amazing! The location, the grounds, the mansion, the winery, the whole concept and the wines, oh the wines! Just writing about it………., I might stop writing and set of for a quick visit! Sure, I can write about it, but the only truth is, you have to sample it yourself.

577525_420918751259115_1139758430_n

All I can say is, it will be worth your while! If we were talking Guide Michelin, this would be a 3 star, worth a trip of its own! Enough with the superlatives!

398250_420917894592534_1158202912_n

Can Ràfols dels Caus winery produces a range of wines, most of them are great! Five whites and five reds, 3 Cavas and 2 rose.

319870_420917941259196_1287736653_n

In time, I will cover most of them but for now the chosen wine is El Rocallis. Enjoy!

El Rocallis, 100% Incrrocio Manzione

El Rocallis, 100% Incroccio Manzoni

El Rocallis, Can Ràfols dels Caus, 2007, 100% Incroccio Manzoni

Bright and clear, clear yellow to slight pale gold. Wide watery rims and legs. Clean nose of medium  intensity. Primary aromas of butter, toast and pear. Followed up by ripe apple, cream and honey at the very end. The palate is dry with medium well balanced acidity. Nice texture, medium intensity flavors of apple, butter, tropical fruit (orange peel) and slight yeast/toast. Balanced wine with good complexity, large and long aftertaste, very fresh. Easy to drink and best enjoyed if not served to cold!

579406_439125466105110_1946602575_n

339 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle