Satisfy My Soul and 15 Delicious Reds from Catalonia!

412 – 426/365 – Catalonia – 15 Delicious Reds

Satisfy My Soul……….,

I haven’t quite decided what to write about tomorrow and I can’t really say what I am going to do with the blog in 2015. That it will continue, in one way or the other, is clear and I am thinking that I might post once a week and then only do videos, as to change the theme somewhat. As for New Years Eve…., there will be wine, that’s for sure and there will be Cava, no Champagne! So, I’ll either do a piece on a good red or a Cava, or why not both? Catch me tomorrow and you’ll see, but whatever it is, it will Satisfy My Soul and hopefully yours as well! Thank you Bob! And now for some of the great reds from Catalonia! Enjoy!

a_7_177La Llopetera, 100% Pinot Noir

Just the fact that Sanahuja makes this wine using Pinto Noir gives me chills! And how they have managed to give it utmost care is to be admired. I really, really, want you to try this wine! I’m sure you’ll be intrigued and positively surprised whit regards to what can be produced here in the Conca de Barbera, if the wine maker is skilled. This wine has been made without any filtration or clarification, fermented with natural yeasts from the vineyard. As a result, the wine has virtually no sulfur. The aging is 6 months in French oak barrels. The Escoda-Sanahuja winery practice ecologic viticulture and to some extent biodynamic as well. This wine has been made using biodynamic principles.

Light ruby color. The nose shows a lot, a virtual dance (samba?) takes place. Berries in masses, Mediterranean forest, fresh cut fennel, underbrush, chalk……. The palate is delicate, easy, wide and quite fleshy. The wine has clear varietal and mineral character, which include fine notes of red fruits on light backgrounds of wood. Super fresh and elegant. It will get even better with time, my guess is that should have been drunk now, as it is still unruly and young. Will age slowly improving in character and elegance, give it another few years and I’m sure this will be a great one!

DSC_1083L’Antana 2009, 100% Merlot

This wine displays the benefits of slow, even ripening during a mild growing season. Though there is fullness and a lush character to this Merlot, there is also restraint and elegance. Promising aromas of cherry, red plum, raspberry, and dried herbs lead to a clean fresh entry with impeccably balanced acidity suporting intense red fruit flavors of cranberry, plum and raspberry. Round, supple tannins provide an enticing framework for the flavors and contribute to a lingering finish. Age a few more years and you won’t be disappointed!

1980213_1473071126244012_988613148_oTerra Remota Usted 2009, Garnacha and Syrah

Splendid garnet red colour with light reflections of tile. A wine with finesse that I dare call opulent and big. Smoked bacon, cherry and truffles are the aromas that are primary and easily detected. Caramel, liquorice and tobacco are present but all intertwined in the most stylish way. A silky and smooth entry, classy and elegant with silky tannins. Toasted almonds, mineral notes and lingering soft spices. The after-taste is long almost chewy but the tannins are soft.

DSC_0802Sons 2012, 100% Monastrell – Fermented in clay amphoras in the vineyards of Sicus.

The Sons is a wine that I intend to keep one bottle of and open it in 12 – 14 years as I am sure it can stand at-least that amount of time.  The color is dark cherry, slightly bluish, pink rim with heavy and fatty tears, receding slowly. The first nose says a lot, leave me alone for a while and you shall be rewarded. A multitude of aromas evolve during the 2 hour tasting and there is a lot of fruit but also herbs and underbrush. Elegant floral aromas with intense aromas of red fruits such as mature strawberries, raspberries and currants. It is a mouthful, almost to be cut with a knife. The strain of Monastrell holds everything and concentration of the vintage gives very deep rustic shades, with cherries, raspberry, carob and chocolate.  No food is needed and one glass of this bundle of joy can last forever!

93-ceps93 Ceps, 100% Sumoll (one of my favorite, Catalan, red grape varieties)

As the name indicates, 93 Ceps, (93 vines), the Sumoll grapes come from only 93 vines! The vineyard is 60 years old and located in Santa Maria de Martorelles. The harvest was carried out during the first two weeks of October, collected in boxes of 15 kg. The harvest is de-stemmed and tread lightly and led throughout by gravity, without the use of pumps. The wine is fermented and macerated in stainless steel tanks of 1000 liter. 21 day resting period with 3 pigeages daily. Malolactic fermentation is done in barrels of 225 liters of various backgrounds and different levels of toast. Aged for 14 months in new French Allier oak barrels. Production below 1,000 bottles.

Medium cherry red color, shiny and bright, clean. The nose has good intensity, expressive and crisp varietal definition. Fresh red fruit (cherries, strawberries, plums) are dominating. Menthol, with notes of Mediterranean forest (thyme syrup , rosemary) are nicely laid out and carries the wine further to a second dimension. There are marked aging notes (aromatic cacao, lactic, smoked and curious notes of oriental spices (turmeric, curry leaves, cardamom) and a hint of graphite pencil lead. Intense spicy finish. A wine with a great personality.

brao-vinyes-velles-2011_g_577Braó 2011, selection of vines, 60 years of age to almost centenarian plants of Garnacha, Garnacha Peluda and Samsó (Carignan)

Braó was widely used as a word for strength and courage. These are the words that best define these very old and wonderful vineyards, which against all possible odds have offered rare and unique grapes. Bright cherry colour, intense, clean and bright with violet hues. Abundant slow-falling, dark tears staining the glass. Nose of ripe fruit, sweet spices, expressive, complex, elegant. Tasty, fruity, ripe tannins. Powerful, bulky attack. Slow, concentrated, silky and tasty in the mouth. Some intense tannins, a little bit rough but compensated with a very refreshing and defined acidity. Long and persistent finish with fruity notes. A serious wine full of life and joy!  12-13 months French oak. Powerful wine, structured, deep but with great elegance and finesse to drink now or store for many years.

DSC_0054Cal Batllet, 5 Partides 2009, 100% Carignena, from very old vines!

Aged for 15 months in French oak. 100% new barrels. The barrels are of 225 liters and the fermentation is carried out in open barrels at a maximum temperature of 26 º C, 4 pigiage daily, gentle extraction, long gestation and high control. Respecting the grapes fully! “Gratallops Vi de la Vila” is the new appellation for the wines produced from Gratallops, inspired by the Burgundy philosophy of village wines.

The color is dark ink but not opaque, it is more of a deep purple. Red and black fruit with an overlay of jammy blackberries and red currant. This is a complex wine and the secondary notes were a bit hard to read as they were evolving minute by minute, but ground coffee and underbrush were present most of the time, blue berries and cassis showed up to join the show as well as slight hints of cedar and spices. The mouth receives a harmonious mix of savory ripe fruit, smooth and velvety with a multitude of rich flavors endorsed by time, better by the minute. Have I found new favorite from Priorat? Yes, because they are ALL my favorites!

destrankis-2012Destrankis 2012, 80% Garnacha and 20% Cariñena

Bright red cherry color with violet tones, middle layer. The nose is full of fruit, light touches of menthol, green leaves and pine. Good combination of fresh red fruit, herbs, thyme, rosemary and mineral notes. The palate shows some minerality. This is a fresh and balanced wine. Licorice, balsamic and butter, with a slight touch of camphor. The palate is light but persistent, with a subtle mineral background showing where it comes from. If you like Grenache, this is a wine for you!

Sot Lefriec 2004Sot 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!

DSC_0036Negre de Negres 2012, Garnacha Tinta, Carignena, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah

Down and down I go, round and round I go, like a leaf that’s caught in a tide….., Black Magic is found in abundance in this Super Catalan that Alfredo Arribas had created by most probably using magic? This is a wine that shouldn’t exist, at least not in this region, because it defies all sensory logics when it comes to what the Priorat region equals and what wines from here in general are all about. Even the price is magical, an absolute value for money! And that, my friends, is why it is a Super Catalan.

Bugader-400x400Bugader 2006, Syrah 85%, Garnacha 15%

Cherry color with violet borders, high layers. Fine and elegant nose, floral notes, red and black fruits and a hint of wood. Its evolution is insatiable, pastries, balsamic, elegant wood, herbs, butterscotch, chocolate, cocoa, coffee….. What I have in the glass, is a great wine, very well put together (produced) and well balanced, harmonious and amazing nose. It is one of those wines that puts everything in perspective, primary, secondary and tertiary aromas dancing together as one at the end! Once in the mouth it is elegant and polished. Large and round, not tired or exhausted, very long and sweet. Very elegant balance. Make sure to decant at least half an hour and make sure to get two bottles when you buy this one, you’re gonna need them both!

escur10_174x241Els Escurçons 2010, Garnacha and Syrah

How much soul can a wine have? After trying Els Escurçons I´d say, unquantifiable! This is a wine with a beautiful dark cherry color, garnet rim and medium high layers. Bright and clean. The nose, after a while of areation, is spicy with creamy aromas, slightly oaky, ripe and complex. It is very expressive showing varietal fruit notes, like mature black berries. Mediterranean herbs, like thyme, fennel, rosemary and even a slight scent of lavender. Complex, in terms of the roasted notes found, chocolate and balsamic.It is powerful and elegant on the palate with a broad and intense entry, good acidity and polished tannins. It has a long finish with aromatic retronasal memories of spice, red fruit, herbs, wildflowers and light toast. Soul in a bottle! Love this Super Catalan!

DSC_0461Sileo 2013, 80% Garnacha and 20% Samsó

This IS the color of dark cherry! Some purple hues, clean and clear. Thick and abundant tears. The nose is clean and honest aromas of red and black fruit appear, strawberries and blackberries on a slightly spicy background which highlights the vanilla and coconut and light smoky notes. The palate is fresh, satiny, with sweet tannins and well integrated with the alcohol. It is a powerful, elegant and expressive wine, which blends red fruit with notes of pastry and fine woods. Long aftertaste where the fruit blends with notes of wood. Got to love this one!

0001692_HLaurel 2012, Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha and Syrah

Dark cherry color with cardinal red reflections. Clean and bright, abundant tears. High intensity nose, expressive, full, concentrated and enjoyable. Ripe black fruit dominates and gives way to floral notes, spicy, toasted (which after a while become roasted) and deep minerals. The palate has a powerful entrance with a lot of volume. It is a fleshy red wine, with great weight deriving from the fruit, tasty, unctuous step, with excellent acidity and ripe tannic sensation. Balanced, long finish and very persistent. Laurel 2012 comes from the small winery Clos i Terrasses, led by Daphne Glorian, creator of the legendary and excellent Clos Erasmus. Laurel 2010 is a blend of Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, aged for 15 months in second year barrels, in which the Clos Erasmus was aged. Recommend decanting about two hours. Another true Super Catalan!

Ay de mi 2010,Vins del tros,Terra Alta,Spain,vino-vi.com,-400x400Ay De Mi 2010, Garnacha Negra and Syrah

Oye Como Va, means “Hey how’s it going”….., Ay De Mi translates to “Oh My!”. And f I was a lazy bugger, which I admit to being at times, I would simply conclude the tasting with just that….., Oh My!!! Aromatic, well made and tasty are words that immediately come to mind! But let me be a bit more specific. The color is cherry red with purple edges. Tears that stain the glass. Primaries of black fruit with hits of spices, cinnamon and vanilla. Delicate notes of aromatic herbs and licorice at the background. Ample and rich on the palate with high presence of very ripe fruit, red sauce, ground pepper, cinnamon and caramel latte. Polished tannins and earthy feeling to end. The Garnatcha Negra and Syrah for this cool wine comes from the D.O. of Terra Alta. From vines growing at 400 meters in elevation with significant temperature fluctuations from day to night, this is a cool and balanced wine. It has aged for 12 months in barrels 50% newer and 50% older. Try with savory roasts, braises, and rich, meaty fare.

And then there was only 1 to go, tomorrow is the last day of 365 in a row!

Catalan Wine 365 and SweetEasy Wine Tours

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Mas Oller Winery, Make Me Smile in D.O. Emporda

362/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Emporda – Torrent – Mas Oller – Plus 2010

Make Me Smile……..,

6d2e03d70c23b9e23279f5442d45e193…., always just smile! ………you’ll see the sun come shining through for you! You’ll find that life is certainly worth while if you just smile! One thing I can guarantee is that this wine is going to make you smile! Happy wine loving days my friends!

wine-mas-oller-plusPlus 2012, 65% Syrah and 35% Garnacha

Intense cherry color with blue and violet iridescences. Clean and bright with abundant tears. Clean and expressive nose, predominantly fruity aromas that are quite intense. Ripe fruit such as red plums and black cherries. Gradually becomes more complex offering floral, spicy notes carrying nice and fine aromas, herbs and an increasingly intense minerality. The palate is elegant, silky, with a load of fruit. Good acidity and sweet tannins. Long and marked by a mineral persistence. This is a complex, balanced red wine with great value for money ratio.

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The Empordà is a legendary wine-producing region, where the Greeks first introduced grapes back in the year 600 BC. The Empordà is situated in northeast Catalonia and Mas Oller is an old estate owned by the Esteva family. It was in Torrent, in the county of the Petit Empordà with views of the city walls of Pals and the Medes Islands, where Carlos Esteva –owner of the prestigious winery Can Ràfols dels Caus– rescued the family estate from oblivion, building a cellar in what was the old cow shed and replanting vineyards in what had formerly been the best wine-producing estate in Pals.

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Nowadays, nearly 300 years after it was built, Mas Oller has become a benchmark winery in the D.O. Empordà with wines which express the essence of the area and a philosophy firmly rooted in quality. In the year 2000, Carlos Esteva decided to plant vines in order to produce new, prestigious, high-quality wines. Some wine was made from the young vines in the earlier vintages and was sold locally. Now, the vines have reached the right age for achieving the desired concentration of fruit. The first wines were launched in April 2009 and the response since then has been extremely positive.

Islas Medes

The Mas Oller Estate lies between the sea and the mountains, in the   path of the strong northerly wind, the Tramontana and has a diversity of different soil types: clayey, sandy and slate. Conceptually and geographically, therefore, the Mas Oller project brings together Northern Catalonia, the Empordà and Roussillon, with wines which are both expressive and fresh. At present, the Estate has 15 Ha. (37 acres) of vineyard in production and an additional 2 Ha.(4.5 acres) of newly-planted vineyard. The three red varieties are Grenache, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon and the two white varieties are Picapoll and Malvasía de Sitges.

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The vineyards surround the old country house and the grapes are selected manually in the vineyard before being transported in bins to the cellar where the grapes undergo a second round of selection. All of the grape musts are macerated at cold temperatures in order to obtain themaximum expression and extraction of colour and aroma. Their philosophy is based on reviving the winemaking tradition of the Empordà with a modern interpretation. The team consistsof Carlos Esteva, owner and winemaker, Peter Schoonbrood, wine concept and project manager, Martin Cuervo, head of the vineyard and winery.

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23 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and SweetEasy Wine Tours

Vinyes d’Olivardots, M’Agrada in Empordà

354/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Empordà – Capmany – Vinyes d’Olivardots – Finca Olivardots Vermell 2011

M’Agrada……….,

finca-olivardots-11Finca Olivardots Vermell 2011, 70% Syrah, 20% Grenache and 10% Carignan

Ruby red color with dark ruby edge. Intense and bright. Elegant, aromatic and intense aroma of fresh, floral fruit with great expression of Syrah. Violets, blueberries and cassis, all supported by balsamic notes, herbs and a light background vanilla and some lactic sensation. In the mouth it displays freshness. Opulent attack, nice and velvety in the mouth. Soft, balanced input with volume and creaminess and fine tannins. Like the nose, the wine is very expressive, emitting fruit and balsamic sensations: blueberries, plums and cassis, seems everlasting!

viticultura01The Syrah and Grenache grapes come from vineyards which are between 10 to 15 years old and the Carignan grapes come from old vines with an average of 50 years of age. All of them are situated in the flattest land of the region at an altitude of 90/100 meters above sea level where the soil is formed by pebbles, sand and granite. Manuel harvest in crates of 10 Kg, carrying out a first sorting in the vineyard and a second one, grape by grape, in the cellar. Cold soak (2-4ºC), alcoholic fermentation of each variety is done separately in small stainless steal tanks at controlled temperature of around 26ºC. The aging process is 6 months in used French oak barrels. Bottled in May 2011 without fining or filtering.

celler01On a gresa soil, in the middle of rolling hills, where silence reigns and the view is lost sighting the vines, Vinyes d’Oivardots was born. Carme Casacuberta, a graduate of chemical sciences and oenologist,together with her husband Antoni Pena, industrial engineer, both passionate about wine, with a great love for nature and moved by the illusion of creating their own wine, made the dream come true in 2002. They purchased the estate Olivardots and planted the first vineyard in the term of Capmany (Alt Empordà), in the north east corner of Catalonia at the east side of Serra de l’Albera. A stunning landscape surrounded by 4 hectare of vineyards, where they in 2006 built the cellar in a simple but modern building. The design makes it possible to work with the aid of gravity and combine the recent advances in technology with the traditional wine-making.

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The vines grow on different soil types, found in the Empordà, highlighting granite soil, acidic and poor in organic matter.

Gresa Soil: Mixture of sand and grey granite. It is the Olivardots estate soil from which the first wine took its name. This soil brings elegance and aromatic complexity to the wine.

Slaty Soil: It is located in the higher part of the Empordà surface area, about 200 m above sea level. It adds mineral complexity to the grapes.

Sandy Soil: Where they have the oldest plot of Carignane vines, which are about 100 years old. It provides delicacy and elegance to the wine.

Gravelly Soil: Located in the flattest part in the center of the region, slightly tilted toward the southeast. It is a land formed by pebbles, sand with loamy texture. Here lie the vineyards of the white varieties.

dsc_003132 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and SweetEasy Wine Tours

The winery Vinicola del Nordest, Get Ready for D.O. Emporda

350/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Emporda – Mollet de Peralada – Vinicola del Nordest – Garrigal 1999

Get Ready…….,

exactGarrigal 1999, 35% Garnatxa 35% Samsó 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot

Ruby red color, terra-cotta colored rim and a  middle layer. Powerful aromas of red and black fruits with a background of spices and toast, from the aging. The palate is round, fleshy and structured. The acidity is very fresh and the tannins are very round, giving the impression of creaminess. It has an excellent balance with a good palate and long finish. It is a wine with a strong personality. It is a wine that has a pleasant mouthfeel and a long aftertaste. It got to spend a year on American (70%) and French (30%) oak.

vinicola_nordest

Vinicola del Nordest Is a winery which ages and bottles wines under the D.O. Empordà. It is located in the village of Mollet de Peralada, located in the foothills of the Les Alberes, where there are around 300 hectares of vineyard.

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The wines are made in the cooperative just across the road under proper analytical and temperature control. From there, the best wines are selected to produce a range which goes from the “nouveau” style of a Vi Novell through a ranges of whites, rosés and varietals wines to the reds.

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One of the winery’s specialities is the production of naturally sweet wines, the Moscatel, Mistela Negra and Garnatxa typical of the region.

vinicola-del-nordest-anubis-mistela-negre-emporda-spain-10421219

The village of Mollet de Peralada is also registered in the D.O. Cava and the sparkling wines have been made here since the winery’s inception. There is also a small shop at the winery where other natural produce of the region may be purchased, as well as having the opportunity to taste the wines.

covest-cabernet-sauvignon-378745Covest, 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Garnacha Negra, 2009

Clear and bright, deep ruby ​​color with violet notes on the rim. Intense aromas of black berries, slight cedar, green peppers, fruity. Palate is well structured with soft, round tannins. Black-currant, licorice, blueberries. Round and long to medium long finish. An easy going red from Emporda, well made and considering the price a really good buy!

36 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and SweetEasy Wine Tours

Hotel Hostal-Sport Time, I Gotcha in D.O. Empordà

348/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Empordà – Tasting in Falset – Hotel Hostal-Sport – Garnatxa Solera Marià Pagès

I Gotcha…….

hotel-hostal-sport

…. once again, Hostal-Sport hosted a tasting of wines from one of the 12 appellations in Catalonia. Yesterday it was time for D.O. Empordà. Professional, enthusiastic and always smiling….., Laura Masramon Grau, sommelier and highly knowledgeable when it comes to the Empordà, was in charge and showed us what Empordà is all about! If you ever feel like visiting the Empordà, you should definitely get in touch with Laura, as she will show you the soul of the region! The next tasting, and last for the year, is on the 7th of December, covering DOQ Priorat, Vi de Vila producers! I expect some real gems and I for one am not going to miss it!

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Empordà is a landscape of contrasts, situated in the far north east of Catalonia. The Pyrenees, to the north, and the Mediterranean Sea, to the south, form natural boundaries. The breathtaking Costa Brava setting makes Empordà a truly unique place, linking the coast to the mountains, influenced by the famous northerly Tramontane wind. Empordà is a landscape of great natural beauty, with several natural protected areas and an awe-inspiring coastline of beaches and coves. It also boasts a great cultural and historical heritage: menhirs, megaliths, Gothic architecture, Romanesque art, charming small villages, the surrealist art of the genius Salvador Dali… all making the area highly attractive, even more so if the people and fine gastronomy are also considered, especially the Empordà traditional dishes and the nouvelle cuisine, headed by figures such as Ferran Adrià. All of which are complemented beautifully by Empordà DO (Designation of Origin) wines.

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There is no doubt that the wine culture and the knowledge of the wine trade reached Catalonia around the 6th century BC. The area was then the most important Greek colony in Spain, and Emporiae was the Greek city that later gave its name to the district of Empordà. Four centuries later, archaeological and documental evidence exists to demonstrate that the wines of the lands of Emporiae and other areas of the Tarraconensis were known in the domestic markets of other provinces of the Roman Empire and in the metropolis itself.

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In the Middle Ages, when vines were grown near abbeys and monasteries, the terraced vineyards cultivated by the Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes covered the slopes of the Rodes Mountain range. It is here that the winemaking monk Ramon Pere de Noves is believed to have excelled in the art of winemaking and have written a treatise on the subject. There is also evidence to show that the Monasteries of Sant Quirze de Colera and Santa Maria de Vilabertran also owned vineyards in Empordà.

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In the 18th and 19th centuries, the vines demonstrated their colonising capacity and became a symbol for the agricultural growth that fuelled significant demographic growth in the production area. A unique landscape of cypress trees with dry stone terraces, walls and cottages was shaped. The phylloxera plague first appeared in Catalonia in 1879, in a vineyard in Rabós d’Empordà. It brought a ruinous end to this thriving era for Empordà wines. The recovery was tough. The vineyards never recovered all the land they had occupied prior to the plague.

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The cooperative bodega movement was initially promoted by the Mancomunitat of Catalonia, and later by the Republican Generalitat around 1930. This was the start of a new era of improved winemaking processes; new bodegas were built and sales networks were extended. In addition to these developments, private initiatives were underway and the result was that the quality of wine of Empordà gained fame and popularity in many markets.

Garnatxa_Celler_Maria_Pages_DO_Emporda_AnabelGardellGarnatxa Solera Marià Pagès, 100% Garnatxa

Intense lovely amber color with a mahogany hue, thick and rather slow tears, unclear, slightly veiled. The nose is somewhat reduced as a result of its aging, oak notes of old wood and varnish, nuts (walnuts and almonds), soft licorice notes, nice scents of Mediterranean herbs  (lavender and thyme), soft honey notes, marzipan and soft background of dried apricots and figs. Soft on the palate with a slightly sweet touch, lovely presence in the mouth with good balance, good acidity, soft touches of liquor, dried orange peel, great volume, fine texture, slightly smooth and gentle persistence. Long and persistent aftertaste of dried figs. Powerful, sweet and fruity! My favorite of the evening!

catalan-wine-365-new1139 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and SweetEasy Wine Tours

Espelt!!! Simply Irresistible in D.O. Empordà

344/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Empordà – Mas Espelt – Espelt Viticultors – Quinze Roures 2013

Simply Irresistible……..,

quinze-roures-708105-s48Quinze Roures 2013, 50% Grey Grenache and 50% White Grenache

Bright yellow color with greenish reflections. The nose carries balanced aromatic notes. Spicy, nutty, wild herbs and some silky aromas of vanilla and cocoa. The nose is powerful and quite long, showing of the great personality of this wine and allowing the wood to show at occasions. It continues with exotic fruits like, pineapple and ripe melon, honey and toasted nuts. It has a refined taste, very savory. Sweet entry, ripe fruit and good freshness. It has a touch of acidity that gives it a lasting finish, ending with notes of honey. Price/quality is excellent and the wine is Simply Irresistible!

Once again in the Empordà, where magic happens every day! What a beautiful wine region this is, with vineyards stretching out into the Mediterranean sea. The views are incredible and the wines made here follow suit. This is a place for total relaxation and enjoyment.

Going over my notes I realize it is hard to do the place justice. I am merely a visitor, whereas the winemakers here, live here, breathe here and probably are going to die here. They have captured the very essence of the region, so I am today going to share their words. But please, what ever you do in life, make sure you see Empordà before you die!

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The Empordà Region

“An amphiteathre overlooking the sea, encircled by mountains, which transforms with the seasons. In winter, the magical, silent surprise of the snow rarely reaches it. In spring, the greens are tender and gentle. In summer, the land is parched, the yellows are bright and dry. At the end of the summer, everything becomes infused with a sweet light, as if touched by peaches. In September, the vines of the Empordà region are and elegant, golden grey. Each harvest expresses the perfect cycle of the Earth.”

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Tramuntana

“Of all the wind that caress the bunches of grapes in this land, the most powerful is the Tramuntana that blows from the north. A land wind that is impetuous, inclement and tenacious and that can last up to a week, and which, when it arrives oppresses us and when it leaves liberates us. It is considered responsible for the strange force of the landscape of the Empordà region and for the impulsiveness of its people. Our wines, like us, are touched by this fury and this peace that the Tramuntana gives us.”

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Sauló, Sandy Gravel

“The lands of Vilajuiga and the bare, mineral coasts of the Cap the Creus are covered with a fine layer of gravel, a sandy earth that has its origin in the meteorisation of the granite. The climate of the Empordà region is responsible for its tortouse geology, softened by this sandy substratum that allows the vines to take root and feeds them with minerals from the rocks in the subsoil to provide the flavor, color and aroma that characterize our wines.”

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Rauxa, Impulsiveness

“It is said that the Empordà is a land of lunatics, of crazy people. A land in which impulsiveness dominates in the character of its people. This characteristic has led us to plant vines in this land that is hard to cultivate, to look for the exact setting, close to the Cap de Creus, where the vines grow contemplating a landscape of great beauty. From this ecstasy, and this beauty a vine grows which necessarily transmits character, poetry and quality.”

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Raïm, Grapes

“The generosity of the sun has meant that the non-local varieties we have planted have adapted to our land. Cultivating 17 varieties of vine is like having 17 children each one is different. This diversity, rather than complicating our work, makes it more enriching. As oenologists, it s a journey that encourages us to seek the greatest expression of each grape, to make subtle combinations to obtain modern wines full of passion, souls and personality.”

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Pagés, Farmers

“Love of the land is the origin of our job. From this love we have obtained the certainty that we can not go against nature. We must make the most we can of this dry land and then give it its own philosophy. We must know what to do before planting, how to use fertilizer, which pruning system to use, we must know the exact moment for harvesting. Because the wine is made on the vine. This is the greatest wisdom of the wine grower.”

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Geni, Genius

“One meaning of genius is character, energy, another is ability to create or invent new or admirable things. Character and energy are used to make the most of the land and to create our wines, full of hues, of expression, able to transmit emotion, to reach the heart, to linger in one’s memory. Wines with genius that follows the star of geniuses such as Dali or the author, Josep Pla, with an unquestionable L’Empordà DO.”

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Divi, Divine

“The gods that have always been worshiped here loved wine. The first Greek gods intervened so that the vines would take root. The Romans asked their gods for their best auguries for their harvest. The gods of the monks in Sant Pere de Rodes monastery gave them the wisdom to cultivate the vines. Over the centuries this divine plan that we still respect today was not able to be conquered by the Barbarians, the Arabs, or the Turkish pirates or even by the devastating phylloxera.”

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Comabruna 2010, 100% Carignena, from vines up to 120 years  old. Aged for 14 months in French oak barrels.
A modern and well made wine. Dark cherry with a violet rim, thin layer and nice legs. The nose is elegant and “older” than the indicated vintage. Was expecting it to need more time to balance the nose, but the aromas of ripe red fruit are there (currants and plums), elegant toasted notes, spices with hints of clove. Slight menthol and licorice. Secondary gives coffee. The palate is intense and velvety with ripe fruit, good acidity, toasted oak. Good balance and well structured, ripe tannins. Long and smoky aftertaste. It lingers and lingers…….

 

43 to go!

 

Celler Hugas de Batlle, My Point Of View in D.O. Empordà

340/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Empordà – Colera – Celler Hugas de Batlle – 30.70 – 2012

My Point Of View……..,

30.70-201330.70 – 2012, 30% Muscat de Alexandria and 70 Garnacha Blanca

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!

id-886220-260287787440067-642143354-oAn innovative coupage bringing together two of the most traditional whites of L’Empordà: White Grenache and Muscat de Alexandria. One provides the body and volume thanks to its perfect adaptation to the climate of Colera, the other gives the wine its attractive, summer, perfume. Together, the two make a fresh, pleasant wine, the essence of the land where it was created. The hillsides of Colera inspired the construction of this wine, it is almost like being at the rocks by the sea as the waves keep slapping them and the water playing, moving up and down, just like a nice tune by Herbie Hancock.

DSC_0989Varieties that resist the Tramontana wind that blasts the leaves. Vines grown near the sea provide the unmistakeable and almost sickly Mediterranean sweetness of the Muscat and Grenache grapes, always turned golden by the sun, which even wild boar and small birds get to enjoy before the autumn arrives. A maximum of the perfume and harmony is extracted from these grapes and placed in the bottle, sealed with a cork to help preserve the aromas. A fresh mouthful of the Colera vineyards.

48 to go!