Experiencing Perelada’s Finca Garbet 2005

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 maintaines 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€

For more on Castillo de Perelada and other wineries in the area, pick up a copy of our Empordà enotourism guide.


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
95 3 Stars

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
94 3 Stars

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
93 2 Stars

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
93 2 Stars

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
93 2 Stars

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
93 2 Stars

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
93+ 3 Stars

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%
92 2 Stars

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%
92 2 Stars

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
92 2 Stars