11-08-2015

Aixalà Alcait – Coster de l’Alzina 2011

There seems to be a codified response to winemakers choosing a name for their wine. They go simple and call it “negre” “rouge” or “red”. They go brash and name it “cardinal zin” or “bitch”. Or, then they go poetic and elegant. It’s the last of these that’s naturally the hardest as typically trying to come up with a name that will translate across languages ain’t easy.

So we come to “Coster de l’Alzina” which to an English speaker means nothing. In its native Catalan, it literally means, “The slope of the oak” and while that seems quite nice, it doesn’t do the name full justice as the alzina is a type of oak native to Spain that is a simply lovely tree. Despite being from California where oaks are not something we lack, I’ve always found the alzina is a truly striking, lovely oak that is rightly protected from cutting down in Catalonia. You can also find truffles beneath them which is always an additional plus.

And it’s here along the slope of this old alzina that the old vineyard of Jordi Aixalà in Torroja, Priorat is found. Limited production, it’s one of those Priorat wines that is very well-priced considering the level of quality it reaches. It’s also a very personal wine to Jordi as his daughter is also called Alzina and her face adorns the label although I’ve never been sure as to my opinion on that facet.

This specific bottle I think I bought back in 2013 and while generally kept well in a bottle fridge where was a move in there as well as a bit of Barcelona summer heat that’s brought about more reduction to the Carignan that what seems normal. Even still, a tasty wine and the current vintage on the market of 2012 is even better.

Coster de l’Alzina 2011
Ruby in the glass with red fruit notes of cherry and raspberry alongside light mineral and coriander. Secondary balsamic notes and smokiness emerge after decanting. Alcohol shows medium in nose as well as in the body. At this point, the body shows medium with dark fruits that drift a bit towards prune. Any remaining bottles should probably be drank soon.

100% Carignan 14% 25€
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