Sunday, July 31, 2016

Diversity of Costers del Segre shows in wines of Celler Cercavins

Costers del Segre is the largest designated wine making appellation in Catalonia, Spain.  It's also one of the most open, allowing red and white wines to be created with many varieties of grapes and still be permitted to put the region on the label.

I met the three partners who own Celler Ceravins in Costers del Segre recently and learned about their dynamic young winery that in working with a broad assortment of grapes.  We walked on the rocky, arid soil that brings distinctive minerality and concentration to their wines. I also had the wonderful opportunity to dine alfresco on a typical Catalan meal of cannelonis filled with finely ground meat and topped with bechamel, snails, roasted meats, and more - enjoying the company of these enterprising gentlemen, all while taking in the blooming beauty of Costers del Segre in spring.

Here are some of the highlights of the Celler Cercavins wines I tasted:

Guillamina is a crisp and fragrant blend with 54% Sauvignon Blanc, and the balance being White Garnacha, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay and Albarino. This lush wine has a fresh lemon finish and is altogether appealing.

Guilla is another white wine made from 100% Macabeu, a grape best known as one of the trio in Cava.  This fresh wine had a nose of lemon curd with buttery notes, and a lot of tart lime on the palate.  It gets four months aging in American and French oak barrels which adds some richness to the flavor profile.  Its long finish adds to its sophistication.

Bru de Verdu 2014 is a red wine with strong blackberry and black pepper flavors, smooth tannins and a very long finish of black cherries. It's a deeply fragrant red that can cellar for years.  Produced from Syrah, Merlot, and Tempranillo, it was aged for 14 months in French and American oak.  This bold, lush wine won a bronze medal from Decanter in 2016 and 2015.

Collecio 2012 - This wine is 100% Merlot. With a ruby color, it has a stewed black plum aroma and spiced cherry flavors, well-integrated tannis, and a long finish.

My time in the Costers del Segre opened up a new world of wines to me in a part of Spain best known for Cava. I came away from my visit to Celler Cercavins with an appreciation of their innovative winemaking in this striking landscape.

Wines of Celler Cercavins are available at New York City restaurants Barraca and Macondo.

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