Tasting the latest of Vins de Pedra
It was back in 2012 that I witnessed the first breaths of Vins de Pedra. During a spring visit to La Vinyeta and chatting with owner, Josep Serra, it was impossible to miss a new series of wines that were markedly different from the look of those of his winery. As it turned out, they were by his soon-to-be wife, Marta Pedra and made in the region of DO Conca de Barberà.
Marta couldn’t have chosen a better time to start making use of some family vines and initiate this new project in the region as it’s one that’s just starting to get better recognized, largely due to its Trepat grape in addition to the standard fare of grapes in Catalunya. Watching the evolution of Marta’s wine has been distinctly rewarding as the initial two have grown to a family of five that cover a wide range of tastes and dare I say, actually manage to give a sense of just what Conca de Barberà seems to be comprising as a distinct style.
Below is a round up of the most recent vintages from the winery:
Blanc de Folls 2016
Briny lemon peel with light green apple, flecks of spearmint. Fresh with lively lemon notes on the palate and good lift to it, although finish is mostly lengthy acidity.
13% Macabeu, Chardonnay, Parellada 7.50€
Light pineapple, lime zest, water cress, backed apple pie, stony granite minerality with bit of thyme and bitter almond. Very well integrated on the palate, full bodied with crisp, driving acidity but a good kick of green orchard fruit to push it along.
13.5% Chardonnay, Parellada 13€
Negre de Folls 2016
Light ruby color. Good deal of reductive notes initially that eventually give way to light raspberry notes, sawdust, and a bit of charcoal. Quite direct red fruit notes on the palate that leave it a bit short and without much weight.
13.5% Grenache, Tempranillo, Trepat 7.50€
Dark garnet in color. Crisp raspberry and light red cherry notes along with hints of garrigue, white pepper, and a bit of strawberry marmalade. Bright and structured on the palate with quite buoyant raspberry and mature strawberry. Quite pleasing take on the grape.
13% 100% Trepat 13€
La Musa 2015
Dark ruby color. Forest floor, mossy with light red cherry and raspberry notes, minor plum, sage. Fresh and lively on the palate, very nice integration of the fruits and a medium finish to round it out.
14.5% Cab Sauvignon, Merlot, Grenache 13€
Wines 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 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
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%