As I mentioned in the fifth dispatch, much have happened in Empordà during the 21th century. Many new wineries have been established, and some have been reborn through new generations.
Here are some of them, presented through the wines I have tasted.
2010 Coma Fredosa, Hugas de Batlle
The first releases from this winery was from vintage 2008, so this is really a young estate. Edu Hugas de Batlle, who's family owns hotels in the area, already had some vineyards but sold the grapes to a another winery. He bought some more land in 2000 and now have 16 ha.
The Coma Fredosa is made out of 100% Garnatxa (Grenache) and displays a big, smoky nose with notes of dark berries, violets, Christmas spices, dried strawberries and dusty earth. Even some barnyard notes. Feels a bit old fashioned (in a good way), from a new winery.
The taste is young and peppery with notes of blueberries, spices, scorched earth and old chocolate. Needs time to open up. Some dusty tannins and a good acidity. Long and warm. I expect this to improve with 3-5 years in the cellar. Promising.
88p (tasted 2015/07)
2008 Espiritu, Mas Estela
I tasted two wines from this estate. Mas Estela was created when the current owners bought it in 1989. The vineyards had been abandoned for a long time. They now tend to 17 ha of vineyards that all are organic and biodynamic certified.
This blend of Garnatxa, Syrah and Samsò (Carignan) sports a tight, warm nose with notes of meat, lavender, blueberries and bay leaves. A fine spicy scent. There is even a hint of an ocean breeze, in the sense of a saltiness. Very good.
The taste is firm and steady with notes of blueberries, ink, violets and dry liquorice. A very good structure with finely tuned tannins. A medium long finish with a nice dry twist at the end. Don´t know if it will get better with time, but it should stay at this level for another 3+ years.
90p (tasted 2015/07)
2005 Vinya Selva de Mar, Mas Estela
The second wine from Mas Estela is a beauty. The blend is the same as for the Espiritu above. The nose is deep, focused and spicy with notes of ripe plums, smoke, Christmas spices, morello cherries and a touch of old balsamic vinegar. Deep and refined. Very, very good.
The taste is big and broad and has a great intensity, and notes of plums, blueberries, bonfire, violets and scorched earth. The finish is long, warm and impressive. Really good. This could do with 2-4 more years in the cellar. Great wine.
93p (tasted 2015/07)
2005 Emporion, Mas Llunes
The owners of Mas Llunes have made wine for some time, but before 2000 they belonged to a cooperative. They produce some 100.000 bottles a year, of which ca 65.000 is released as Mas Llunes wines.
The Emporion is made out of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 15% Syrah. The nose is deep, warm and seedy with notes of blackberries, sweet tobacco, plums, pine wood and some oak vanilla. The fruit is verging on cooked. Good though.
The taste is big, warm and concentrated with notes of black currant jam, plums, coffee and earth. A long, warm finish with some wood tannins peeking through. A bit unfocused.
82p (tasted 2015/07)
2014 Caminante, Terra Remota
Terra Remota was established in 2002 and had their first release in 2006. They have 23 ha of vineyards and produce 100.000 bottles a year.
This Garnatxa Blanca, Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay blend has a ever so slightly pink colour. The nose is pure and creamy with notes of grass, peach, melon and fresh herbs. Some chalky scents. Refreshing and good.
The taste is broader than the nose leads me to believe, with creamy blood grape fruit and notes of grass and herbs. A nice dryness in the end of the finish, but I would liked to have the acidity a tad higher.
85p (tasted 2015/07)
2010 Mig Mig, La Vinyeta
La Vinyeta´s first release was in 2006. By now they have 45 ha of vineyards, with impressing 19 different grapes, and a production of 150.000 bottles annually.
The Mig Mig has a unusual blend - it is 50% Grey Grenache and 50% Marselan. The Grey Grenache have been used for a long time in Empordá although the black version is the normal grape variety when it comes to Grenache. Marselan is a hybrid created in the 1960´s and is waiting for DO certification.
The nose is deep and wilful with fine notes of sloe berries, road dust, rosehips, warm tiles and smoke. From time to time it smells like when you walk into a house that have stood abandon for a long time. Interesting and very good.
The taste is young still with a good firmness and notes of cool blueberries, road dust, earth and dried flowers. A long, salivating finish with a high acidity. Very, very good. Again, has a very own character. I like it. Would love to taste more vintages.
90p (tasted 2015/07)