A comparative tasting of Vins de Taller
As we’ve mentioned before, Vins de Taller doesn’t get a lot of love up in Empordà. This is due primarily to their being just outside the Denomination of Origin and being under the much larger and very unfocused, DO Catalunya. But somehow we ended up with a bottle each of their two last vintages and decided to do a large comparison of the two as while they have some of the most incredibly vineyards in Empordà due to founder Atoni Falcó’s horticultural expertise, they’ve changed up enology work in the cellar recently and as we found, it is quite apparent.
For this tasting we invited local Empordà wine lover Jaume Pallàs as well as local wine blogger, Dani Coll of Envinats to join in and see how things go.
Pale salmon in color with apricot, white peach, and light strawberry aromas. Good acidity with a medium body and lightly persistent red fruits in the finish.
100% Marselan 13% 6€
Much more brilliant in color and reasonably similar to the ’13 but with bitter structure and brioche although unfortunately not showing well overall due to cork taint.
100% Marselan 13% 8€
Aromas of golden apples, vanilla, and old spices that verge on being rather vegetal at times. Juicy apple in the mouth, grapey, rather wild, and an unfortunately short finish.
40% Roussanne, 30% Chardonnay, 30% Marsanne 13% 6€
Much more balanced than the ’13 with better structure and minerality as well as stone fruits, better balance and decent acidity.
40% Roussanne, 30% Chardonnay, 30% Marsanne 13% 8€
Astringent mineral notes along with white peach. Smoky, sweet vanilla notes and large in the mouth with medium acidity and lemon peel in the finish.
75% Viogner, 25% Roussanne 13% 13€
Merlot Jr. 2014
Red cherry notes as well as unbalanced vanilla cream, black pepper, and herbs. Volatile acidity is uncontrolled in addition to unchecked vegetal notes.
100% Merlot 14% 6.50€
Woodsy forest floor and dark cherry aromas. Full and balanced in the body. Overall pleasing but running just short of having any large degree of depth. Very similar to a previous tasting four months ago although the structure of the wine is falling off.
100% Merlot 14% 8.50€
Dark cherry, plum, and clove aromas that present a broody, complex nose. Good body but with lingering green notes that creep in to the finish.
44% Marselan, 44% Merlot, 12% Cot (Malbec) 14.5% 10€
Young red cherry notes along with light spices including coriander. Full in the mouth with good acidity that’s fresh but at a cost of the overall depth of the wine.
56% Marselan, 27% Merlot, 17% Cot (Malbec) 14.5% 13€
Ancestral Wine Cellar - Khikhvi 2014 95
First harvest of Khikhvi. Light apricot notes, peach skin, lemon peel. Citric in the mouth, fresh, lively acidity, vibrant. Very holistic, full and deliciously good.
100% Khikhvi · 12% · 30GEL
Petriaant Marani - Khikhvi 2015 94
Bruised red apple, touch of lemon peel, limestone minerality, and some white pepper notes at the back of it. High acidity and full in the mouth. Luscious, involving, elegant wine.
100% Khikhvi · 14% · 25GEL
Domaine Augustin - Adéodat Blanc 2016 93
Lemon and white peach, strong kick of salinity, and toasted notes. Very fleshy and full on the palate, peach notes more prominent as well as Meyer lemon, medium plus acidity and a lengthy finish.
100% Grenache Gris · 14.5% · 20EUR
AA Badenhorst - Secateurs Red Blend 2012 93
Forest bramble with ripe red fruit, touches of cherry, ripe red plum, tiny bit of prune, cumin, anise, black licorice, wet cement mineral note, underlying fig jam. Crisp medium plus acidity, medium tannins, medium plus length, medium alcohol, overall medium plus body that’s ripe and lively but super fresh and balanced at the same time. Bit of rugged wildness to it but doesn’t get out of hand. Easy to drink but with just enough underlying complexity so that it stays interesting.
56% Syrah 27% Cinsaut 6% Grenache 4% Cabernet Sauvignon 7% "Others" · 13.5% · 12EUR
Domaine Treloar - Motus 2015 93
Dark ruby, minor rim. Big, mighty bouquet of red cherry and other brambly forest fruit, vanilla, almond blossom, orange peel, and cocoa. Rich and full on the palate with a wealth of tannins still integrating, leading into a crunchy, lingering finish.
80% Mourvèdre 10% Syrah 10% Grenache · 14% · 14EUR
Domaine of the Bee - Cuvée 2015 93
Ruby with minor garnet rim. Rich red fruits with an underpinning of ripe plum, orange peel, licorice, cocoa. Broad, round tannins with a touch of toast and sweet cocoa in a long finish. Manages to stay very light on the palate despite the higher alcohol.
50% Grenache 50% Carignan · 15% · 25EUR
Tchotiashvili - Khikhvi 2014 93
Apricot, yellow peach, orange peel, and a touch of honey. Quite complex aromatically. Orchard fruit much more prevalent in the mouth with young apricot notes. Rich and elegant, touch of astringency in the finish.
100% Khikhvi · 13.1% · 28GEL
Domaine Fontanel - Prieuré 2014 92
Dense ruby with brick flecks. Crisp red fruits, lifted by a waft of volatility making for a light nose with a spicy licorice and leather component. Crisp and lively with red cherry fruit in the mouth and a nudge over medium acidity. Nice, lingering finish.
50% Syrah 25% Grenache 25% Mourvèdre · 14.5%
Cave Abbé Rous - Cornet & Cie Blanc 2016 92
Peach, orange peel & blossom, honey, dried apricot, and a hint of green apple. Very nicely balance in the mouth, green apple notes more prevalent, medium plus acidity and a lengthy finish. Fresh, lively, very pleasing wine to drink.
60% Grenache Gris 25% Grenache Blanc 5% Marsanne 5% Roussanne 5% Vermentino · 14.5%
Clos Henri - Petit Clos Pinot Noir 2016 92
Earthy, red cherries, young, crisp cranberry, light herbal notes, leafy, minor chalk. Medium tannins and medium plus acidity as well as length. Light sweetness on the palate but with a very pleasant, lingering structure and lightness to it.
100% Pinot Noir · 13.5% · 16.50EUR