Tasting the Castell de Raimat collection
Sometime back, I joked that the Costers del Segre winery, Raimat was more reliable than god. The reasoning behind this is that they have a very nice price point for their wines and so you find them on countless menus throughout Catalonia. Despite the affordable prices, though, they’re always solid, reliable lines, thus the god comparison, which may be a bit over the top, but still then again, maybe not when you look at something like the platypus.
We were invited to take part in special tasting of their “Castell de Raimat” line which are all single varietal bottlings. As we’re usually encountering the multi-varietal blends when out and about, we were thrilled to take part in this event which was presented at Vinoteca Els Cirerers in Barcelona. So, without further ado, the rundown:
Albariño 2012 shows off a perfect take on this grape. It’s overall neutral with petrol notes developing in to a bit of bitter melon in the nose. Nicely citric in the body, but not overpowering, it leaves a granitic aftertaste in the finish.
Chardonnay 2012 starts out nice and bright in the nose with a hint of white fruit and a touch of tropicality. Banana elements come up in the nose that I didn’t care for and the body has a bit much of a sweet aspect for my tastes that drift in to pineapple and make it a bit cloying overall. But, I typically don’t like how Chardonnay is typically vinified, so this isn’t a shock.
Xarel·lo 2012 gives off a bit of mango to the nose and other tropical elements along with white pepper. Bright in the mouth, the acids comes up nicely, but both the nose and the body stray far too much in to a dairy, Parmesan quality that put me off as I generally love Xarel·lo for its light, breeziness that dances in the mouth, but I didn’t find this aspect in this wine.
Merlot 2010 was surprisingly full of dark fruits in the nose with a touch of vanilla from the barrel regimen. The body was well balanced with nice acidity, but didn’t have a lot of tannins or depth overall. Still quite pleasant for general drinking with a nice punch of character to it.
Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 had aromas that smacked a bit much of being heavily extracted and gave way to tobacco elements. The body tosses out all kinds of dark fruits and while well built with a nice tannic structure, it pulls back just at the right moment to fill up the palate, but not overwhelm. It’s not a fancy Cab, but it’s most definitely satisfying.
Syrah 2008 was similar to the Cabernet Sauvignon in the nose initially, but with a good hit of air, the refined elegance of its aging regimen came out. Roasted corn and root vegetables came out in the body along with a nice earthiness. The acidity was refined and wonderfully pleasing. Overall, it started out quite large in the glass, but with just a little decanting, it showed off a really, really great balance and a delicious bottle.
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
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 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
Aquila del Torre - Primaluce 2015 93
Bruised yellow apple, bit of fig compote, chalky mineral notes, and hazelnut. Light oxidized touches that work to embellish the wine. Rich palate that carries lovely texture with the age of the wine.
100% Sauvignon Blanc · 13.5%
Lis Neris - Picol 2017 92
Lemon citric notes and peel, prominent toasted aspect, apple blossom, wet mineral notes. Wide on the palate with a medium plus acidity and long finish.
100% Sauvignon Blanc · 14%
Domaine Augustin - Adéodat Rouge 2015 92
Medium ruby. Fresh red cherry, raspberry, and young strawberry, lifted and breathy, saline tinge along with light stoniness and rosemary and garrigue. Fresh red fruit on the palate, medium acidity but still light on the palate, fresh, and while the alcohol sticks out a little, holds and excellent, long finish.
Grenache Carignan Mourvèdre · 14.5% · 20EUR