These wines of solidarity
Despite this being a rather mild winter, even for Mediterranean standards, it seems that once spring arrives, there is a change of heart for people and they are more open and giving. Perhaps it’s for this reason that “solidari” or charity events start to pop up. It could also be that it’s simply for the sake of getting some tax deductions, but let’s give people the benefit of the doubt.
In recent years, the local wineries have taken to creating “wines for a good cause” with the premise being quite simple: buy the wine and the proceeds go to a specific charity. For some of the wineries it’s the same one every year and for others, it changes. Whatever the case, I’ve had the chance to taste many of these wines and find them to not only be great in their motivation but also wines worth your euros.
Masroig Vi Solidari 2013
This is produced in the cellars from the village of El Masroig in DO Montsant. They’re all labeled with various illustrations by the children of 21 different schools and this year the funds raised go to support treatment of childhood cancer. While you don’t know which specific cellar’s wine you’re getting, the blend is a base of Grenache, Carignan, and Syrah for the most part which are all excellent grapes for the region. This particular bottle held rich red fruits as well as a touch of currant and dark prune. Overall medium acidity, medium body. New vintage available starting in at the end of May.
Grenache, Carignan, Syrah 14.5% 12€
This wine was started by enologist and cellar owner Irene Alemany in DO Penedès to fund the purchase of a specific microscope at her local hospital. The first vintage worked so well that she’s decided to continue making the wine with the proceeds going to benefit research in to the prevention of breast cancer. This vintage holds bell pepper and roasted vegetable notes along with dark fruits. Smooth and even in the mouth with a medium plus body and medium acidity alongside pepper notes that drift in to the finish. Now available.
Merlot, Carignan, Cab Sauvignon 13% 9€
This was originally printed on my Barcelona Metropolitan column but is presented here in its full length.
Álvaro Palacios - L’Ermita 2016
Very light red cherry, raspberry, tea leaves, dried fennel, light touch of anise, bay leaf, dried flowers, touch of fig compote, truffle. Exceptionally light and delicate on the palate, very very fine red fruits, integrated tannins, plush with a slightly buttery, velvety aspect, very long finish.
85% Grenache 14% Carignan 1% "Others" · 15% · 1160EUR
Ancestral Wine Cellar - Khikhvi 2014
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
Álvaro Palacios - Les Aubaguetes 2016
Linear plum and dark cherry notes, powdery cocoa, orange peel and blossom, raspberry at the base along with minor vanilla and dark spice touches. Delicate on the palate, light touches of dark fruit, good wealth of tannins yet held in check, medium plus acidity, very long finish. Needs much more time in the bottle.
77% Grenache 21% Carignan 1% Grenache Blanc 1% Macabeu · 14.5% · 455EUR
Petriaant Marani - Khikhvi 2015
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
AA Badenhorst - Secateurs Red Blend 2012
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
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
Terroir Sense Fronteres - Guix Vermell 2017
Crisp red cherry fruit, touch of spice, flecks of pepper, baking spice, compacted, wet earth. Delicate on the palate, stays fresh, surprising high wealth of tannins, long finish.
100% Grenache · 13% · 250EUR
Tchotiashvili - Khikhvi 2014
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
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
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%