Mas de Sant Iscle, Left Coast Boogaloo in D.O. Pla de Bages

331/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Pla de Bages – Sant Fruitós de Bages – Mas de Sant Iscle – 2011

Left Coast Boogaloo…….., 2011, 60% Ull de Llebre 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon

Bright cherry red color throughout. The nose is full of ripe plum, blueberries and light notes of licorice in the background. Medium-high aromatic intensity, very clean nose and frank with a very fruity feel. Smooth entry and slightly greedy in the mouth, but it quickly displays its youthful vigor, with tannins that are a bit too dry but not too aggressive. Meaty, good tannic feel, with a well balanced acidity that gives the wine freshness and vivacity. It is easy to drink and it has good persistence, I especially like that it produces the same taste as the nose indicates, loads of ripe plum! A very nice wine, well crafted and affordable.

At the Mas de St. Iscle they have been producing wine since the early nineteenth century under the leadership of the Vilanova family, now in its fourth generation, with a special emphasis on the local varieties, the white and red Picapoll.

Mas de Saint Iscle is one of the oldest properties in the Pla de Bages region. This medieval hamlet is documented since the year 950, once the Muslim were expelled  it has been inscribed within the Marca Hispanica under the authority of Charlemagne, at the same time a monastery, founded by St. Benedict Mon Bages, was erected and became the cradle of wine culture in the region.

The Mas de St. Iscle became a shelter and resting point for travelers. Monks, peasant and nobles alike. You could basically view it as todays roadside hotels. Located along the old road that people traveled  from Barcelona to Cardona, laying in the midst of the irrigation canal, an impressive feat of medieval engineering during the fourteenth century that involved the construction of a canal to bring water from the Llobregat river through Balsarenys, and ending in Manresa.

The cultivation of vine has been a constant in this place. At the beginning of the century, a century after the region recovered from the phylloxera that ravaged the Bages, Jaime Vilanova a renowned winemaker from the Ancient Valley of Cardener acquired the estate of Mas San Iscle, with 70 acres of planted vineyards, olive and cereals around the Romanesque church of Sant Iscle and Santa Victoria de Bages. The rest of the history still remains to be heard!

57 to go!