10-04-2012

Wine in the Costa Brava & Empordà

See our full guide to the region for all your wine tourism needs. Or, take a wine tour.

It became official with National Geographic listing the Costa Brava as one of their Best Trips of 2012. But wait, Spain (and more to the point, Catalonia) has been welcoming tourists for decades. Isn’t this a has-been, a tourist trap, a definitive no-go for people who want to enjoy themselves? In truth, no. Sure, it can be crowded during the summer as is the entire coast of Spain, but the trick Costa Brava has up its sleeve is that if you want to get past just staying in an apartment on the beach, there is a great deal more to offer.

History? Oh yeah. As shown in the picture above with the ruins of Empúries from which the Empordà counties the Costa Brava lies in take their name, history is here. 2,000+ years ago, Phoenicians, Greeks, and then the Romans all made landings here and established structures and villages that still stand to this day. They also brought something else: wine.

For the gastronomically-inclined, beyond the multiple Michelin-starred restaurants are wineries galore. We cover all of them in our Empordà & Costa Brava enotourism guide. Starting in Blanes, the “gateway to the Costa Brava” there are the two Cava wineries of Ses Vernes and Mont Ferran.

Head a little further up the coast between Platja d’Aro and Palamós, you’ll find Calonge. Home to a number of wineries such as the upscale Clos d’Agon, you’ll also find a whole wealth of natural winemakers (known locally in Catalan as “vi de pagès”), bottling their wines in much the same, delicious manner as they have been for centuries. They’re a great quality and value level.

As you move up to the full bay of Costa Brava between Escala and Roses, you’ll encounter the wines from the Empordà plain such as Perelada and Espelt. The later of which even has a wine museum in Roses called, Coll de Roses that warrants a visit for anyone in the neighborhood.

While sadly, el Bulli is no longer with us near Roses, el Celler de Can Roca is down in nearby Girona for everyone’s three star Michelin needs. Of course, the entire region of the Costa Brava and Empordà is awash in good food (such as the fantastic la Plaça picture above). It’s only natural as it needs to match the wine.

So, go to the Costa Brava for your holiday. Just make sure to take our wine guide along to mix in some grapes with your holiday.

WINES

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
97+ 3 Stars

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
95 3 Stars

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
95+ 3 Stars

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
94 3 Stars

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
93 2 Stars

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
93 2 Stars

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
93+ 3 Stars

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
93+ 3 Stars

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
93 2 Stars

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%
93 2 Stars