Friday, February 17, 2006

Castell Del Remei Vertical from '99-'02 (Spain)

As promised, here are the wine notes from our Castell del Remei vertical tasting. Before I get to what we thought of the wines, I have to say that getting a few friends together to talk about the wine and compare our impressions was more fun that I thought it would be. We Brian, Lisa, and I got into very spirited discussions of what we thought we tasted and smelled, noting how our opinions differed and also noting the different words and phrases we use to describe them.

So, we tasted the ’99, ’00, ’01, and ’02 Castell del Remei from the Costers Del Segre region of Spain. First off, all three were good to very good and at roughly $11 a bottle, all bargains. As noted in the blog from 2/16, the ’99 was purchased in Amsterdam where the European blend of the wine is different from the American blend we tasted for the ’00 to ’02 vintages. It was evident from the first sips that the ’00 to ’02 wines were more fruit up front and where less complex and dense. Is this what they think American’s like? That speculation lead to some lively discussion. Maybe we Americans are simple and less complex than our European counterparts?!?

Castell del Remei – 1999: That said, we all liked the ’99 better than any of the American blends. Visually, it was a dense brick red that Brian thought was radiant as well. The bouquet was very complex with dark fruit, spices, and hints of leather. The wine was dryer than the rest and had a medium long but lush finish.

Castell del Remei – 2000: The 2000, while still good, was ranked 4th overall by all of us. It was a lighter red with hints of spices and dark fruits (along with potato chips but not in an entirely bad way). It was the least complex of the four wines. The wine was a little thin on the palate with a short finish.

Castell del Remei – 2001: This was our 2nd favorite wine. Another brick red and much darker than the 2000 with an aroma of cedar and black fruit with a hint of cocoa all in balance. Slightly earthy overall. The texture was soft and lush with a long firm finish.

Castell del Remei – 2002: This was our 3rd favorite but not far behind the 2001. Appearance wise this was the darkest red aside from the 1999. It was more fruit forward than the rest which was balanced nicely with hints of earth and spice. Very lush and mouthwatering and not as dry as the others. It had a medium long finish.

Overall a great night of wine and I’d love to do another vertical as long as I can find affordable wines to do this with and not have to drop hundreds on the first growth verticals that always seem to get written up in Wine Spectator and such.

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