The rise of Teixar, the newest Vi de Finca in Catalonia
When tasting wines for the Montsant book there were thankfully many surprises unearthed. For a region that just a few years ago was written off as “basically a cheap Priorat”, it was exciting to see that so many good wines were to be found and that were emblematic of the region and a defined style. One of these was the Teixar from Vinyes Domènech. A masterful wine of mostly “Hairy” Grenache, successive tastings of different vintages showed that this wine owns its space and is one of those truly stellar gems of Catalan winemaking.
Naturally it comes of no surprise that it is now the fourth certified “Vi de finca” in Catalonia. If this terminology is unfamiliar, that’s not a surprise. In the rest of Spain it’s called “Vino de pago” (although the two systems are separate) and essentially, it’s a wine that has been produced for at least 10 years under the same name completely sourced from a single property and of high quality. That’s of course the quick version. The longer version if a bit more intricate.
Suffice to say, this mark is somewhat akin to Grand Cru in France although a bit different. Regardless it is one of the highest certifications to be found in Spain or Catalonia and Teixar is the first to receive it in DO Montsant. The other three are from two in neighboring DOQ Priorat (Vall Llach’s Mas de las Rosa and the Clos Mogador) and then a curious vineyard in Penedès owned by Torres called Jean Leon.
The Teixar marks a wonderful addition to this group and we look forward to the vintages to come.
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
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%
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
Martivillí - Sauvignon Blanc 2018 92
Crisp green apple, crunchy and mineral, with a light chalky base to the aromas and excellent complexity. Balanced on the palate, very pure with a long finish.
100% Sauvignon Blanc · 13% · 8EUR
Domaine Madeloc - Crestall 2016 92
Ruby with light garnet rim. Mix of red and dark brambly fruits, eucalyptus, light leather, and orange blossom. Broad red fruits on the palate, lightly sweet aspect from the oak, rich dry tannins with a full structure and a long finish. Needs more time but quite good now.
100% · 14%