In the The Sacrament of the Last Supper by Salvador Dali, a very clean shaven Jesus Christ sits with his back towards the Kingdom of Paradise, which to Dali was the coastline of Port Lligat. In front of him is a glass of wine, with its shadows falling across the table. The glass is half full/half empty with red wine. The blood of Christ. Considering the provenance so overt in this painting and considering Dali’s own roots, that red wine has got to be from Emporda!
And why not? The region has claim to making fine wines stretching far back to the 6th century BC. According to the DO Emporda:
“There is no doubt that the wine culture and the knowledge of the wine trade reached Catalonia around the 6th century BC. The area was then the most important Greek colony in Spain, and Emporiae was the Greek city that later gave its name to the district of Empordà. Four centuries later, archaeological and documental evidence exists to demonstrate that the wines of the lands of Emporiae and other areas of the Tarraconensis were known in the domestic markets of other provinces of the Roman Empire and in the metropolis itself.”
Blessed by a terrain that is both coastal and mountainous, here is a land that can make full bodied reds and flowery whites. Given the heterogeneity of the soils and microclimates in the region, there is a wide variety of grapes grown here. Exploring the various wines of Emporda is highly recommended. We tasted the wines by AV Bodeguers as we gravitate towards smaller production wines with stories.
A quick note about the labels. The tortoises. Close to the vineyards of AV Bodeguers is the village of Gariguella. Here is a rehabilitation center for land tortoises considered a proected species in the region. Every so often, a tortoise would wander into the vineyards of AV Bodeguers. Cognizant of the fragile ecosystem, this winery uses no chemicals to treat their vineyards and avoids anything that will disrupt the rhythm of nature in these parts. The tortoises on the label is a reminder of the close association with nature.
We tasted several wines. Please note that the labels shown in this blog are under review for US Importation. The current wines are available with the previously approved label. But the tortoises are there as well!
2017 Petit Suneus Blanc.
This is mostly Grenache blanc , a white wine that does well in the slopes of the Albera mountains and especially on schist soil. There is a hint of Macabeo in here. A fresh, crisp flowery wine that is super easy to drink. Expected to retail at $19.99
2017 Suneus Blanc.
All Grenache blanc. This has always been one of our favorite white wines from anywhere with it’s tropical flowers, citrus and mineral driven finish. Expected to retail at $22.99
2017 Suneus Rosat.
Schist grown Carignan makes it’s presence here, but as a rosé. Very artfully blended with Grenache blanc and Merlot to make for quite a serious rosé. Lovely pink, crisp with a great mouthfeel. Only 1000 bottles produced. If I were you, I would grab some when they get here. Expected to retail at $19.99
2017 Petit Suneus Red.
A blend of Syrah and Grenache, this has a very expressive nose. Raspberries and strawberries follow with a very fruit forward style. Another excellent value at $19.99
2016 Nereus Seleccio
Mostly a blend of Merlot and Syrah. The wines spent 12 months in French and American oak barrels and a further 18 months in bottle. The wine is redolent of strawberry jam, licorice and has delightful notes of crushed stones and earthiness
All Grenache here. Lovely wine as I remember, but at the time of tasting, I was having a conversation and forgot to write my thoughts. While you are waiting for this, you can check out the precious vintage here.
We also tasted a Carignan in tank. A stunning example of Carignan with that typical schist driven minerality, crushed stones and red fruits. Beautiful wine, but alas the few bottles they bottle are mostly spoken for and we will all have to wait with patience when it finally makes an appearance here.