Vins de Foresta – Marselan 2013
Marselan is a curious beast that’s been popping up here and there. Originally created as a cross between Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache, it was successfully bred near the town of Marseillan, France from which it takes its name. Despite these two very well-known grapes, this cross has absolutely no characteristic of either. It was designed to be for the hot regions of Southern France such as the Languedoc but has taken quite well to the climate and tendencies of Catalonia and is an “experimental” grape in several DOs.
You can read a bit more in this article as well as reviews of the Mig Mig from La Vinyeta here and here. Of course, it’s important to note that Mig Mig has only half of its blend coming from Marselan with the other half being Lledoner Roig.
Coming across a wine of 100% Marselan is a bit rare and even more rare is coming across one that’s excellent. Joan Olivella and Lluís Carsí of Vins de Foresta have seemingly breached the quality barrier with this wine and are making an extremely tasty wine down in Penedès, albeit outside the DO. You probably won’t find it though given they produce only about 400 ambient yeast fermented bottles each year–such is the case with “experimental” wines. But, if you do happen to come across this, it’s an incredibly fine curiosity worth tasting as it will be like nothing you expect it to be and that, is the awesome sauce of wine these days.
Dark, ripe boysenberry purple and inky with a dark ruby crest. Dark fruits in the nose with mineral notes of graphite as well as tar. Fresh fruit aspect overall with good lift. Mix of red and black fruits in the medium body that gives a full palate sense, broad acidity and a very long finish. Some ways has the aromatic density of a hot vintage of Carignan but the freshness of cold climate Malbec.
100% Marselan 13.5% 16€
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
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%
Domaine Augustin - Adéodat Blanc 2016
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
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