Most bizarre wine I've had all year?
That title has to go to this beautifully packaged Catalunyan wine that I had smuggled in through friend's suitcases. This was one of my most coveted purchases because:
- it's 100% Xarel-lo Vermell aka Cartoixà Vermell, a red Xarel-lo
- it spent 90 days on its skins
- it's fairly rare and sells out quickly - a combo that has inevitably given it cultish status.
Cloudy AF medium pink-orange-goldish? Uhm, WSET doesn’t even know what to do with this!
Pronounced stank that had me worried for a minute! Marmite, rotting seaweed, flint, beef stock...and once all of that settles down: lavender, tangerine peel, apple cider, kombucha, pears, apricots, mango, cheesy yeasty, and briny.
Dry, high acidity, low alcohol, medium bodied, low flavour intensity, a short finish, and I suppose we should mention a gentle lemon peel tannin tug that adds weight to the body. I could get verbose and try for bruised apples, unripe peaches & oranges & tart plums, mushrooms, lemon preserves, pickled gherkin juice, salinity, flavourless apricots (if I was looking for bonus points)...but it’s essentially watered down fancy lemonade that’s also interesting.
You’re probably thinking urgh...but you’d be wrong...it’s very drinkable and very enjoyable...just not very wine-like. I intentionally/accidentally poured a few sips before heading out for 3 hours and came home to a room enveloped in gingery cider notes. It is, as suspected, a very food friendly wine...no euphemisms intended.
Viti + Vini:
I couldn't find much information about the viti and vini - that's how rare and cult status it is! There was even some confusion on the internet about what exactly the CX is - I stuck with the info provided by the distributor...and relied heavily into the beautiful pastel salmon colour to confirm that I had the correct bottle. So...I believe it is Cartoixà Vermell from Catalunya.
I’m in two minds about how I feel about this wine. I enjoyed it, especially the texture...and rebelling against what a textbook tells me to learn...but...this wine is cooler than I’ll ever be.
Find the wine:
Smuggled in a suitcase! But I picked this up from Natty Boy Wines in the UK.