Le Mas de mon Père cuvée Red de Toi 2021 (Vin de France)

Frédéric Palacios is the most important independent winemaker in Western Aude. Above all Mr. Palacios is a lover of his land, something that he carries in his blood given that he is the grandson of a winegrower. His 6 years of experience in the Minervois and Saint-Chinian wine regions have allowed him to understand how the vines work and the balance that biodynamics actions brings to the final result. His cuvée 'Red de Toi' is a 1oo% Merlot vinified with whole grapes to highlight the pure fruit. 

A medium opacity Merlot with a brink towards brick colours. On the nose there are delicious notes of black fruit jam that later invite others of an earthy type, hommos, truffle, blackberry... a whole trip to the Arzens forest in Languedoc. On the palate a round and southern entrance. The development of light structure (12.5% vol.) boasts juicy fruit and very good freshness thanks to carbonic maceration. Silky and vibrant, where wild fruit is the protagonist on a graphite background. Clean finish, still with good tension and with a tannin capable of withstanding months of aging.

Frédéric Palacios awaits you in Arzens village (near to Carcassonne), a place in the middle of the Malepère highlands where six of the current seven hectares biodynamically managed are located, 200 and 435 meters above sea level. This carbonic maceration Merlot is valued at $14 to $16. It was a pleasure to visit a serious, hardworking man and convinced in the power of Nature in the spring of 2022. As a pairing I'm thinking about a Trout rillette (shallot, lemon); parmesan biscuit, mascarpone cream with citrus fruits and virgin sauce (onion shallot tomato oil).

Castillo de la Gloria rosado 2021 (DO Navarra)

Hay muchos castillos en la Comunidad Navarra que da gloria ver: el Castillo de Olite, la Fortaleza de Javier, el Castillo de Fras, Santa María de Ujué, el Castillo de Cortes, el Castillo de Monjardín y el Castillo de Sangüesa. Estos castillos ofrecen una combinación de arquitectura medieval, monumentos históricos y paisajes naturales impresionantes. En homenaje a cada uno de estos castillos sale este rosado económico apto en época de desaceleración.

Nota de Cata: Tempranillo visualmente color rojo con destellos anaranjados y reflejos cobrizos. Una nariz muy discreta como corresponde a un vino de menos de cinco euros. Podría tratarse de un combo guinda y frutos rojos sobre un fondo herbal. En boca viene de primeras una redondez que enlaza golosamente (13'5% vol.) con un amargor de pitiminí. Hay densidad y hay frescor. Los aromas de boca francos se vuelven a centrar en la fruta roja de baya. Un final todavía tenso sin olvidar ese toque amer tan navarro.

El turismo en Navarra ofrece muchas opciones, y si hablamos de vino o gastronomía las oportunidades son casi infinitas. Respecto a este rosado sin pretensiones podemos englobarlo en un vino para el día a día, para andar por casa. De venta en una conocida cadena de alimentación germánica. Como maridaje podemos empezar con las alcachofas de la huerta navarra que sirven en el restaurante Trinquete de Tudela. Y sino, los pimientos rellenos a la vizcaína del restaurante la Abuela en Cortes, muy familiar.

Bret Brothers cuvée Combe Descroches 2017 (AOC Saint-Véran)

A real open-air vines mosaic, St-Véran village forms an exceptional cultural landscape, the fruit of 2,000 years of history. Nowhere else in the world has man sought to link wine production to its place of production in such a precise and intimate way. One of the best places of production for Chardonnay is the wine-growing Macon.

Visually a clean and flawless Chardonnay. An intense and complex nose around mineral, herbal, fresh butter and pear hints. Entry into dry and wide mouth. Development with character and mouth-aromas on the palate where the aging notes are eclipsed by herbal, cereal, ripe citrus and mineral notes. Long finish with a pleasant bitterness.

Bret Brothers value this cuvée at around 30 euros, which is normal for Burgundy of the village type. As a pairing look for a Valencian style risotto with mongetes, shrimps and spicy saffron cream. As a second match try a Fish terrine (saithe), capers; pickle; parsley, cream of broccoli, black tuile; Hazelnut, ed mullet sashimi; gribiche mayonnaise (served cold).

Les Portes du Castelas 2019 (AOC Côtes du Rhône)

Concrete tank winemaking is a centuries-old winemaking method that has been around since Roman times. With modern winemakers, concrete tanks are still used today to ferment grapes into exciting wines. The tanks are made from concrete, hence their name, and feature a curved rectangle shape with a perforated cover. The tanks can range in sice from a few hundred gallons up to 30 000 gallons or more. It is an underground or above-ground tank made drom concrete, often reinforced with steel or other materials, that is used for fermentation of grapes for delicious wine like this:

A Grenache - Syrah - Mourvèdre from the vicinity of Vacqueyras with medium-high opacity on sight. His edge was still in his youth after uncorking in the spring of 2021. An intense and delicious aromatic with red fruit from the young forest notes (zarazamora, strawberry...). A round and chewy entry in the mouth. The development of medium intensity leaves a fruit that is highly respected and a protagonist in this concrete vinification. Great balance between richness and vivicity The silky texture covers the mouth with wild strawberry and candies notes. Crocquant. Finish where the blackberry touch and tannin as spicy as present returns.

Concrete tanks are generally preferred for winemaking due to the porous nature of the material and its expansive temperature control ability. The porous nature allows a more even distribution of temperatures, allowing for better conditioning of the tannins during fermentation, a longer fermentation time, and more gentle handling of the grapes. Vibino values this red made by Grandes Serres winery at 14.10 euros, which in our opinion is deserved. In addition to this vintage, only 3,000 examples have been bottled. As a pairing, some grilled Occitan lamb ribs with fried peppers and red potato puree.

Guillaume Gilles cuvée Les Peyrouses 2019 (Vin de France)

Guillaume Gilles is a winemaker in the Cornas wine-region of France. This Lyon borned artisan produces a variety of central Rhône wines including Cornas, Ardèche and 'Wine of France' label. He has been producing wines from 1999 and specializes in the production of organic and low intervention wines. He is the technical director of the Guillaume Gilles Wines, a family-run estate that produces high-quality Rhône wines using traditional methods and innovative techniques.

A cloudy gold Rousanne – Marsanne with amber reflections, a sign of clear evolution. Uncorking three years after harvest. Dense tear for more detail. A timid nose but with evident signs of evolution, notes of fresh walnuts and almonds are rescued above all. In her mouth a dry and pleasantly bitter entry. Dense development (13.5% vol.) but at the same time light, with aging in barrels and half-muid. Mouth-aromas on the palate that, as a result of time, reminds us of Fino or Manzanilla de Jerez with those notes of nuts, ripe citrus and herbs. Clean finish, without any excess SO2.

This wine is the result of artisan work that respects the soil and all the stages of growth of the vine. The micro-vinification has revealed all the personality of the Peyorouses terroir and as a result we have a wine closer to Sherry-Xérès than to Condrieu or St-Peray. We can match this white Peyrouses as an appetizer with some olives or crustaceans such as prawns or lobster. The fried fish, gazpacho, salmorejo and rice dishes perfectly harmonize this marvelous wine valued at around 20 euros.

Miluna rosso 2021 (IGP Puglia)

Puglia, in southern Italy, is characterized by its long coastline, which stretches for over 800 km along Adriatic Sea. The region, mostly flat, have some hills in the interior. The highest point in Puglia is Monte Vulture, which stands at 1326 meters above sea level. The climat of Puglia is mediterranean, with hot dry summers and mild, wet winters. The region is known for its olive groves and vineyards.

Visually a Sangiovese - Malvasia Nera- Negroamaro of medium opacity, with a disc still in youth, having uncorked a year after harvest. Notes of young fruit, allied with hints of earth and oregano. On the palate rather dry entrance, with present liveliness. Development of a medium-light structure (12%) with a register of forest fruit such as wild strawberry on a smoky background. Final with a lively but pleasant tannin with that berry fruit that always accompanies us.

Although we are talking about one of the southernmost vineyards in Italy, here we find a delicate structure and a freshness that makes us wonder what the secret is. At all times it is noticeable that it is a wine of 4.95 euros but even so it is a recommended reference for each day. As a pairing, the simple and delicious regional food: for exemple a orecchiette pasta, panzerotti, focaccia di Altamura, capocollo, and burrata.

Finca Collado blanco 2020 (DO Alicante)

En 1510 el aragonés Fernando el Católico decretaba las bases del vino de Alicante, pues a comienzos del s. XVI, desafíos como la expansión Mediterránea, organizar la Liga Santa y ganar presencia en el norte de África bien necesitaban litros y litros de Monastrell y Bobal para el ánimo de las tropas. Más de cinco siglos después la D.O. ha evolucionado, presumiendo de rosados frescos, tintos intensos y blancos golosos como este Chardonnay – Moscatell para la delicia del amante de la gastronomía mediterránea.

Nota de Cata: Un color amarillo limón visto desde la barra de un bar de Javea, la lágrima densa y transparente confiesa calidez. Una nariz aromática volcada hacia los recuerdos de camomila, florales, tropicales y pera madura. Una delicia. En boca una entrada seca. El desarrollo saluda con notas de clementina. Después, un frescor integrado, evocando toques herbales y cítricas con su simpático amargoso recordando a la naranja de Valéncia. Sus 3 meses de crianza no marcan el conjunto. Final denso, siempre seco, que vueve a traer toques de piel de cítrico.

Un vino delicado y elegante listo para seducir en las playas de Alicante, salido de las 15 hectáreas del proyecto familiar Finca Collado, aldea de Salinas más concretamente. El Alto Vinalopó, tierra de castillos, parques naturales y playas también dispones de una gastronomía capaz de maridar este blanco valorado en unos 8 euros. Ud lo disfrutará con el famoso Arroz con bogavante y paella de rebollones del restaurante Roca (Aspe). Como segunda opción un saquito de sepia verduritas y gamba si va Ud con la parienta. ¡ Salud !

Domaine J. Denuzière 2016 (AOC Cornas)

The best terroirs in Cornas (Ardèche province) are generally located on steep slopes of granite soils, usually near the Rhône river, with southeast or south exposure. The best known terroirs there are 'Clos de Reynards', 'Les Sabarottes', 'Les Mazards' and 'La Côte'. These areas produces dark fruited, full-bodied, highly tannic Shiraz wines that tend to benefit from extended aging. We mustn't forget the 'Sauman' hill, being the mountain in Cornas where is planted this Syrah vinified by Caroline Moro.

Visually we find a medium opacity accompanied by an evolution course disc (uncorking in 2021). Fine and colored tears typical of Shiraz. An intense and complex nose. We find a mixture of ripe fruit, Provencal garrigue, leather and an earthy and spicy side. Entry of a certain roundness that quickly connects with a good freshness still. Medium structure (13.5% vol.) Dedicated to the aging side, supported by spicy notes and licorice. That good volume displays exciting ripe black fruit that is unmarked by barrel aging. The spice puts persistence and signature in a great red.

Without leaving this blog, two Denuzière references were also discussed already: one of them was her 2018 Hermitage, fleshy and complex. The other wine was its Condrieu, an ode to opulent and exuberant Viognier. This Cornas (less masculine than the named Hermitage) is valued at about 40 euros. As a regional pairing, an Lamb shoulder with candied tomatoes and shallots, a recipe full of flavors and colors that will make you throw away the cork of this Cornas.

Galena de Clos Galena 2018 (DOQ Priorat)

Galena no es un nombre de tango, es nombre de vino. Tal vez el sobrenombre de Merche Dalmau, la actual gerente de Domini la Cartoixa (El Molar, Tarragona). Su historia es la de una mujer luchadora, que cambió la botica de una farmacia por la dirección de una gran bodega del Priorat. Una historia de superación, de mirar hacia adelante cuando todo a tu alrededor se va hacer puñetas. Una historia de fé. De fé premiada, no sólo en la Gala de los Nobel, sino en cada sorbito que los amantes del buen vino damos a los caldos de Clos Galena, como este Garnacha – Cariñena – Cabernet – Merlot.

Nota de Cata: Visualmente una media intensidad que consigue colorear la lágrima. El menisco, todavía joven, es testigo de los cuatros años tras descorche. Una nariz muy intensa avalada por notas balsámicas, avainilladas y en definitiva marcada por los doce meses de envejecimiente en barricas de robles francés (9o%) y americano. Una entrada en boca amplia y todopoderosa. El desarrollo goza de una gran estructura (14'5% vol.) pero de bella sedosidad. La complejidad de los aromas de boca muestra un registro de fruta madura en equilibrio con los terciarios sobre un fondo de pinar. Una elegancia top de inmensa personalidad antes de un final eterno.

Los 24 meses en botella han afinado el conjunto hasta alzarlo a lo inmenso y a lo metafísico. Una gran cuvée de esas que podemos descorchar ahora o hacer guardar 27 años más. Seguro que merecerá la pena gastarnos esos 22 euros. Sin salir de Clos Galena en este blog se comentaron otros dos tintos igualmente recomendables: Formiga de Vellut 2019 y Crossos 2019 también. Como maridaje a esta cuvée hay que proponer el delicioso producto regional: Entrecot de ternera de Gerona a la brasa con patata rellena de cebolla y foie acompañado de salsa de boletus.