Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

Tim’s Tasting Notes

94

2010 Roig Parals, Camí de Cormes, Empordà , Empordà

€20, 15%,

The top wine from Roig Parals, sourced from an old, low-yielding vineyard named after a Civil War escape route through the Pyrenees. With incense and wild herbs on the nose, this is like walking into a Catholic church during high mass. Dense and concentrated, with subtle oak, layer upon layer of wild, spicy , herbal flavours, medium-weight, tarry tannins and a sweet core of fruit sustained by refreshing acidity.

 

 

 
 

94

2009 Vinyes d’Olivardots, V.D.O 1/09 Samsó Pissarra, Empordà, Empordà

€35, 15%,

As its name suggests, this is grown on slate soils. It’s a single vineyard Cariñena with impressive elegance and refreshing acidity to balance the high alcohol. Textured, spicy and very Mediterranean with notes of wild thyme and fennel.

 

 
 

93

2010 Espelt Viticultors, Coma Bruna, Empordà, Empordà

€20, 14.5%,

The top wine from this exciting winery is a blend of Cariñena and Syrah, with heady, spicy perfume to the fore and sweet, spicy vanilla oak. The bite and rusticity of the Cariñena kicks in on the palate, giving the wine acidity, tannin and a hint of what Australians call grunt. Complex stuff.

 

 
 

93

2010 Vinyes dels Aspres, S’Alou, Empordà , Empordà

€25, 15%,

The top wine from this outstanding bodega, this is a cuvée of Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Cariñena and very impressive it is, too. Sweet, vanilla oak, red fruits, subtle spice, with white pepper and a savoury flourish.

 

 
 

92

2009 Can Sais, Expressió Zero Sulfits, Baix Empordà, Empordà

€30, 15%,

Pure Grenache, with only 800 bottles made, all of them without sulphur. Classy, aromatic and bright, with lovely perfume, sweet tannins, good acidity and juicy, raspberry and wild strawberry fruit and some wild herbs.  A very well-balanced wine.

 

 

 
 

92

2008 Vinyes d’Olivardots, Gresa, Alt Empordà, Empordà

€20, 14.5%,

Maturing nicely, this is a cuvée of Grenache, Cariñena, Syrah and Cabernet with sweet, balsamic notes, ripe, figgy fruit, some wild herbs and well-integrated alcohol. Appealingly complex.

 

 
 

92

2008 Arché Pagès, Bonfill, Empordà, Empordà

€18, 15%,

Attractive, oak-tinged blend of Grenache, Cariñena and Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a modern, aromatic, still-youthful blend with refreshing acidity, harmonious tannins, appealing sweetness and a long, tapering finish. Very complex.

 

 
 

91

2009 Castillo Perelada, Finca Malaveïna, Empordà , Empordà

€20, 14%,

Blending Mediterranean and Bordeaux varieties to good effect, this is an ambitious, savoury, concentrated red with sturdy tannins, marked oak and youthful, intense, blackberry and mulberry fruit.

 

 

 
 

91

2009 Vinyes d’Olivardots, V.D.O 2/09 Samsó Sorra, Empordà, Empordà

€35, 15%,

This is sourced from sandy soils, but it’s another single vineyard, old vine Cariñena. Richer, denser and more oxidative in style, this is figgy and slightly dry with a balsamic undertone. More tannic, too.

 

 
 

90

2006 Empordàlia, Antima, Empordà , Empordà

€16, 14.5%,

A big improvement on the 2005 from this co-op, this is brighter, fresher and more alive. It’s a little dry and rustic, but there’s appealing fruit sweetness beneath it: figgy, yet surprisingly youthful, with bramble and blackberry fruit.