Castell del Remei’s Oda Time
I recently received some new wines from Castell del Remei. If you’ll recall (although I’d be thoroughly amazed if you did), I reviewed their younger wines a few months back. The Oda white and red wines represent a very different profile as they take up the mid-range offer from the winery and do it admirably.
Of course, they’re using Merlot and Cab for the red and then Chardonnay and Macabeu for the wine which means that only one of the grapes is a local variety. This is not that untypical in DO Costers del Segre (literally, slopes of the Segre River) which is a very unknown region to anyone who doesn’t live in Catalonia. On many levels, this is a shame given that there are some quite fine wines being made in the region and I don’t feel they get a lot of attention.
This is most true for the higher altitude wines up by the town of Tremp which I’ve just been tasting lately for an upcoming magazine article. The wineries up there might be splitting off in to their own DO someday as they’re vastly different from what you find further south but I quickly digress as Costers del Segre is a complicated topic which is probably why it doesn’t see that much attention.
For those looking to dig a little bit in to the region, these two wines offer up a very nice entry point and are leagues more complex in terms of what is offered from their reliable, yet basic young wines. Now I’ll just have to taste the most recent vintage of their top-end wine, 1780 some day to round out their portfolio.
Oda Blanc 2014
Straw colored, barrel notes from aging prevalent, light lemon pith, yellow blossoms. Good integration in the mouth, medium acidity and finish and overall quite pleasing.
13% Macabeu, Chardonnay 12€
Oda Negre 2014
Leathery, red cherry and raspberry notes, with a driving undercurrent of blueberry, light clay as well. Medium intensity in the mouth, cedar notes become more prevalent while staying fresh, lively and expressive. Should be aged longer.
14.5% Merlot, Cab Sauvignon 12€
Bottle samples were provided by the winery
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