Photo by Vinologue

The general trend of wineries in Empordà is to have an array of wines ranging from lower end to higher end. The definition of what these price points are can vary a great deal. In the case of Marià Pagés, that’s 2€ to 7€ a bottle. For La Vinyeta, it’s 5€ to 20€. For Castillo de Perelada, it’s 4€ to 110€.

This last range might seem like a very large disparity, but it’s due to their Finca Garbet wine that’s leagues away from the others in terms of price. It’s also important to note that, as far as we know, this is the most expensive bottle in the region. The good part is that Perelada knows this and they go a long way to making the wine unique in its presentation, as opposed to wines like this you pick up in California’s Napa Valley for $150 that are basically just plunked in to a bag.

It all starts with where the grapes come from. This Garbet property from which the wine takes its name is located between Colera and Llançà in the Cap de Creus area. Locals know it well as there is a beach there which used to have a stop (without a station) on the Regional line and it was the only beach in the area you could get to via train. The seven hectares of stony vineyards are set back from the beach though on these very steep terraces, facing southeast. This means it’s all hand-harvesting (with three separate passes) and generally tough work caring for these vineyards which are blasted by Tramuntana wind and sun all year.

Photo by VinologueThe grapes themselves are all Syrah and once harvested, they spend 14 months in French oak. Then, once bottled and readied for sale, the overall package is made quite special with a nice box and a wrapped bottle that’s hand numbered–we were the recipients of bottle #39. There are inscriptions by the family stating the significance of the wine and their history with it. Overall, it’s a nice presentation. Then of course, there’s the wine itself.

Finca Garbet 2005 when first opened doesn’t bowl you over with oak aromas despite the 14 months it sees in the barrels. Initially, the nose is big and fruity, boasting all the best elements a high-quality Syrah can show. The body is dry with an understated finish and lovely aspects of beeswax. As it decants, it develops an herbaceous nose with an undercurrent of tobacco. The body perks up even more with a fuller juiciness that all the while maintains a backbone of acidity and sits softly on the palate in a full, balanced manner. Most definitely an excellent wine, but certainly priced as such. 14% 110€


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