La cuesta de enero


From my latest column on Barcelona Metropolitan, I offer up a selection of wines with a great quality-cost ratio. There are many here in Catalonia and as space was limited in print, I’ve included the full text plus a few more options below.

Broken, battered, spent–and that’s before we get in to the state of our wallets after the holidays. In January, we always find ourselves at the point wherein we have to dig ourselves out of what happened during December, shameful, shameful December… I find that wine is an excellent companion for these endeavors and given the state of most budgets this month, I’d like to recommend a series of wines all under 10€.

Altavins Almodí 2013
Licorice, cloves, red fruit, menthol. Even in the body with good balance. Touch young still and dry finish that will hopefully smooth out a little.

100% Hairy Grenache 14.65% 7€

Altavins Ilercavònia 2014
Peach, apricot, lychee to the nose. Balanced on the palate and delicate with slight citric notes in to the finish.

100% White Grenache 13.65% 8€

Mas de les Vinyes Criança 2010
Elegant, light aromas of white pepper, red fruits, and herbs. Balanced in the body with chalk and clay textures that lead in to a clean finish with slight lingering bitter notes of lemon peel.

20% Cab Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 25% Syrah, 20% Grenache 15% 8€

Coca i Fitó Jaspi Negre 2011
Complex mineral notes with a touch of fresh balsamic aromas in the nose. The body is full in the mouth and well balanced between fruit, oak, and alcohol. The finish is full of dark fruits and spice notes from the oak.

45% Grenache, 25% Carignan, 15% Cab Sauvignon, 15% Syrah 14.5% 8.50€

Castell de Perelada 3 Fincas 2013
Initially neutral in the nose but opens up to reveal a granitic nose. Very balanced in the body and light on the palate with a good body and excellent, lingering acidity.

Grenache, Carignan, Cab Sauvignon, Merlot 14% 5.50€

Castell de Perelada Cigonyes Negre 2013
Dark fruits, cloves and brambly with a toss of tart cherry although the malolactic treatment may be a bit forceful. Initially healthy acidity that comes in over the young plums in the body and lingers in to the finish. Super easy to drink and pair.

Grenache, Syrah 14.6% 7.50€

Coll de Roses Blanc 2013
Citric lime notes and clay. Steely Chablis quality. Crisp in the month with excellent acidity through to the lingering finish. No end of enjoyable for any time of the year.

Chardonnay, Macabeu 12.5% 9€

Coll de Roses Negre 2013
Expressive red fruits with a touch of limestone, cedar, and black pepper. Smooth and even in the mouth with a touch of cloves into the finish.

Grenache, Tempranillo 14.5% 9€

Espelt Vidivi 2012
Light cocoa notes with dark fruits and white pepper. Dark fruits in the body with pronounced tannics that lead in ti a dry finish with lemon peel notes.

Grenache, Merlot 14.5% 8€

Cellers d’en Guilla Magenc 2013
Grapey nose from the Muscat with notes of clay, lime peel, raspberry, sandalwood, very light minerality. Strong acidity in the mouth with an astringent finish.

White Grenache, Macabeu, Grey Grenache, Muscat 13.6% 6€

Cellers d’en Guilla Rec de Brau 2013
Blackberry, menthol, currants to the nose. Light dark fruits in the body that’s a bit empty in the mid-palate. Young boysenberry notes as well as good acidity that trails in to a long finish.

Carignan, Grenache 14.5% 7€

Roig Parals Mallolet 2013
fresh red fruit notes with a touch of tobacco. Fruit forward in the mouth with giod acidity in to a short finish. Bit brash as it opens.

Carignan, Grenache 13.8% 5.50€

Roig Parals La Botera 2011
dark and red fruits, cumin, cedar, cigar box light. Full across the mouth, good acidity, cloves, medium tannins that carry in to the finish along with red fruit notes

Carignan, Grenache 14% 9€