Cara Nord – Trepat 2016 & Negre 2015

I’ve enjoyed seeing the continued evolution of the Cara Nord project which is led by two heads of Catalan cellars, Tomàs Cuisiné and Xavi Cepero and then American importer, Eric Solomon. While they make one wine outside the region, the “Mineral” in DO Montsant, the base of everything else is up in DO Conca de Barberà.

In the Negre we see the Catalan implementation of what is better known as “Rhône GSM” or Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre except that it’s at higher altitude, 800m to be exact, and we see Mourvèdre take on one of its more original names, Garrut, although it’s better known as Monastrell throughout Catalunya.

In the Trepat we see a grape that I hope gains more prominence as it’s normally been used to fuel the Rosé Cavas (yes, DO Cava extends into DO Conca de Barberà) but many have been working on varietal wines which I quite frankly find very exciting. This wine doesn’t let down and shows that the grape has come a long way and the evolution is continuing. If you wanted to call a Catalan grape a “Pinot Noir”, I’d say this fits the bill much more so than Grenache.

Negre 2015
Ruby color with garnet rim. Very subdued aromatically, light red cherry notes along with black pepper, and chicory. Vanilla and cedar notes more prevalent on the palate leading to blend of red and dark fruits that holds good length.

Grenache, Syrah, Garrut (Mourvèdre) 14.5% 10€
*+ Q

Trepat 2016
Garnet color. Brambly red fruits with a bit of earthy moss. Dark cherry and very subdued with a slight cranberry hint at the corners. Full and crisp on the palate with the red fruit notes coming through more and medium finish to it overall.

100% Trepat 12.5% 13€