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01 November 2005

Spain: Castillo de Perelada, Cava / Empordà-Costa Brava

Castillo de Perelada: Cava / Empordà-Costa Brava
Empordà-Costa Brava is a small wine region in the northeast corner of Catalonia, in the heart of which you'll find the attractive town of Peralada (Catalan spelling) not too far from Figueres, home of the magnificent eggs-and-baguettes Dalí museum. You can visit the old Castillo de Perelada cellars, where they still age their top of the range wines, but the main winemaking facilities are in Girona and Villafranca. They also have a nice wine shop and café, so you can stock up after a guided tour and posh lunch in the casino, or inexpensive one at the restaurant in the square across the road! I think they're producing some of the finest Cavas you'll find anywhere, as well as a good range of reds, whites and rosés. Tasted Sept-Nov 2005:

Cava Brut Reserva non-vintage (NV) (Macabeu Parellada Xarello) - Subtle floral almond biscuit aromas, more chocolatey on the palate with crisp dry and tight length. Nice with chocolate and coconut sponge. €4 88
 Cava Brut Rosado NV (Monastrell Garnacha) - Deliciously frothy summer fruit cocktail, leading to fresh choco-nutty off-dry finish. €4.50 90
2002 Cava Brut Nature (Macabeu Parellada Xarello) - You'll think it's Champagne: really quite refined with subtle intensity of yeasty oily almond flavours, crisp elegant length and very dry refreshing finish. About €6-7 a bottle! 90+
 2004 Blanc de Blancs (Garnacha Blanca Macabeu Chardonnay 12.5%) - Offers good depth of nutty and oily fruit v zesty citrus edge; aromatic start then fills out on the palate to more buttery and peachy, yet finishes crisp and long. Bargain at €3.  87
 Blanc Pescador Vino de Aguja NV (11.5%) - Refreshingly unusual dry white showing crisp yeasty gummy fruit with nutty mineral notes, slightly sparkling too with light elegant finish. Seafood delight. 85
2004 Rosado (Cariñena Garnacha Tempranillo 13%) - Quite fine rosé showing lovely raspberry and rose petal aromas, medium-full weight of fruit finishing more elegant, crisp and dry. About €3 87
2002 Tinto Crianza (Garnacha Tempranillo Cabernet Sauvignon 13%) - Try with smoked bacon and spinach pasta: developing smoky leather notes underneath a savoury damson and raisin heart, medium-full in the mouth with dry grip and a vanilla-oak coating. €4 87

Latest Perelada wines here (Spanish "wines of the moment") and here (Cava guide).

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Header image: Château de Flandry, Limoux, Languedoc. Background: Vineyard near Terrats in Les Aspres, Roussillon.