Wednesday, 25 January 2012.
A selection of wines from the Castillo Perelada stable, from the Cava (first two wines), Emporda (next four wines) and Priorat (last two wines) DOs. Presented to Cambridge University Wine Society by Castillo Perelada's export manager, Mr Patrice Lesclaux; UK importer is Barwell & Jones, which as far as I understand is somehow related to Coe Vintners.
The Cavas were impressive and very drinkable; the reds from Emporda all had a characteristic herbiness on the nose, like that of wild thyme / rosemary, and all showed a balancing acidity and thus nice freshness, none of them felt excessively heavy. The last two reds from Priorat were more rustic and mature in style, trading opulence and forward fruit for more secondary characteristics. Somewhat unfortunate that all the reds were slightly high in alcohol, but I suppose they are al meant to be enjoyed with food.
Cava Brut Reserva
Entry level Cava, annual production of 2m bottles. Native grape varieties, dosage at 8g/l.
Fresh, citrus dominates with hints of apples; some brioche / baked bread notes, secondary notes showing; some toast too. Elegant, gentle mousse; nice width to the body, fat fruit; gentle yet persistent acidity, soft; very drinkable probably because it has some dosage, makes it feel more rounded. Feels classy, really well put together; not just your average quaffer; excellent as aperitif. Impressive effort.
2007 Cava Gran Clausto Brut Nature
60% Pinot Noir / 40% Chardonnay, 2 yrs lees contact, no dosage; annual production 100,000 bottles. Won 'Best Cava' at New Wave Spanish Wine Awards 2011.
More biscuity and yeast on the nose, developed, toast and butter; hidden notes of citrus and apple again. Acidity more noticeable, bracing and rather austere; tight knit, nervy acidity. Absolutely bone dry, lingering acidity really quite long, lip smacking, fresh. Serious stuff, high quality.
2009 3 Fincas
A Crianza level red, their most widely available wine with an annual production of 1m bottles; 12 mth new oak (70 American / 30 French); 14% abv.
Green and smoked herbs, really something badly burnt and charred, smoldering bbq coal; smoky, aniseed, woody; very weird and a touch alcoholic; theres some red berries behind all that but I really has problems gettign past the smoky / burnt notes. On the palate its fresh, lots of fruit, rounded red berries; fruit forward, not fully extracted; fleshy and soft, tannins hardly noticeable. Balanced mouthfeel, all components are together but feels light to my liking, could even chill this...
2006 5 Fincas
A Reserva level red, Merlot / Garnacha Negro / Cabernet Sauvignon / Syrah blend; 18mth new oak (50/50 American / French); 14%abv.
More overt fruit in the nose, jammy dark fruit, compote and cassis; sweet oak and vanilla too, wine gum and licorice, maybe even leathery; after an hour in the glass, develops into a slight minty note. Presence in the palate, more extracted fruit, slightly fuller feel, sweet spice on the palate; still so fresh, nice acidity, doesn't feel heavy. Some fine grained tannins towards the finish. Showing well now, but will keep a couple of years; drink now - 2015.
2007 Finca La Garriga
Single estate, sandy soils, annual production 10,000 bottles; 100% old vine Carinena; 16mth new American oak; 15% abv; Gold medal DWWA 2010.
Sweet red berry and currants, some cassis and cooked notes,;wine gum, also lots of dried wild herbs and woody notes (rosemary, thyme etc), appropriately named I guess. Lots of fruit, intensity and concentration; sweet spices, red berries, really full; lots of acidity too. Very fresh, delicious lingering finish; smooth, almost imperceptible tannins; the exceedingly high alcohol is well hidden. Great composure for a Carinena / Carignan; now - 2015+.
2006 Finca Malaveina
Translates as 'bad female neighbour'; red clay soils; Merlot / Cab Sauv blend; 14.5% abv.
Sweet ripe blackberry, cassis abound, wine gum and pastilles; massive fruit, hints of woody aniseed and herbs again, leafy also; voluptuous nose, screams Cabernet Sauvignon. Full, extracted dark berries; textured, feels thick; lots of sweet jammy fruit, tannins are linear but grippy, decent acidity. Muscular and rather punchy, a lot more so than the La Garriga, despite being lower in alcohol; for food and aging, now to 2020+.
2005 Cims de Porrera, Priorat DO.
Annual production 9000 bottles; 100% old vine Carinena, some exceeding 100 year old; 18mth new French oak; 14.5% abv.
Red fruit, ferral / animal notes; some tanned leather and herby tones; sweet but soft spices, sweet licorice, and also oak. Rather meaty, plenty of fruit but it isn't forward, generous and wide, still fresh acidity; nice texture, lots of secondary characteristic, a more mature / rustic style of wine both in the nose and palate. Linear and grippy tannins, with classy finish; will age, drink now - 2017+.
2006 Solanes, Priorat DO.
Annual production 30,000 bottles; local varietals mostly Carinena / Garnacha, old vines 70-100+ years old; 14mth new oak.
Dark fruit, somewhat closed though; sweet and ripe berries, sweet spice; touch of herb and mint. Lots of fruit which is ripe but isn't immediately fruit driven, a more rustic style of wine, some ferral and animal characteristics to this too, woody notes at the finish. Chunky tannins, low acidity, drink now - 2015.