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!

Pascona Pirate Party, Drink Up Me Hearties in Falset

136/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Costers del Segre – Battliu de Sort – Borda de Cebria – Biu Blanc 2012

Drink Up Me Hearties…..,

….., Drink up me hearties, yo ho! Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me! A toast to piracy and its many shiny rewards. As a career, what could be more rewarding?”  Are YOU in your happy place? Your office? My happy place is  my office! Yesterday, this was the best party to be at, only wish that all of you scallawag goat-herders were here!

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This is my office, or one of many office spaces I occupy. Welcome to my life! Where is the best place to be on a Thursday afternoon? Right here in my office! This time in Falset, Pascona Montsant Estate, where Toni hosted a Pirate party, with a twist?

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Well yes, since the rum wasn’t flowing bit the wine sure was! A couple of hundred friends got together and had a ball, Jack Sparrow was there as well, where else would he be, as the wine was free!?! Visca Pascona Montsant!

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A bunch of wine cellars where present, as the party was also a mini fair for local, Catalan, wineries! From D.O. Montsant, Celler Comunica, D.O. Priorat showed up with L’Infernal, D.O. Costers del Segre with Celler Batlliu de Sort. Cellers Som i Serem came, saw and conquered, from D.O. Tarragona. Mes Que Paraules from D.O. Pla de Bages and Finca Parera from D.O. Penedes. D.O. Emporda was represented by Terrer d’en Tassis, Celler Mas Foraster from D.O. Conca de Barbera and finally Cellers Frisach from D.O Terra Alta! Not a bad bunch, considering they are all Pirates!

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The brewery of Moritz might have felt out of place but let me tell you, a beer after all that wine was just what I needed! I am very please that nine of the Catalan appellations were represented. The only ones missing were D.O. Cava, D.O. Catalonia and D.O. Alella. Would have been nice with someone from Alella, but as Cava and Catalonia as D.O:s are more generic, they can be excused!

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This is exactly what an office party in my neighborhood looks like. A nice theme, some great wines and excellent finger food! The DJ played all the right tunes, the atmosphere was just the right kind and many, many friends were around! It almost got to be crowded at the office, which is very rare since the office, most of the time, is outdoors!

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Next year I’m dressing up as Hector Barbossa, just gonna let the beard grow and get a sword! Let the good times roll.

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Biu Blanc 2012, Riesling and Viognier

Bright yellow with thin greenish, thick and slow tears. Aromas of citrus, notably lemons and some grapefruit, white fruits, pears and green apples and soft touches of mountain herbs, anise and something reminiscing of dry flowers. The palate has good and fresh entry, remarkable structure with very distinct sour notes, good acidity, lime and lemon peel, hints of white fruit, hint of alcohol and some bitter notes. Long aftertaste.

243 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle