16-07-2012 ~ 1 Comment

Wanna buy a castle?

Photo by Vinologue

You would think that, given the wide availability of Castell de Biart wines around Empordà that this winery, built upon the ruins of a 12th century castle that Napoleon destroyed while running back to France in the 1700’s, is thriving like crazy. But, the fact is, it isn’t. According to every source we’ve encountered, including workers behind the faux-castle gates, it has shut down production completely. The wines currently in the bottles are really just being sold off as fast as they can. You can readily find them at such shops as Wine Palace who have thankfully redesigned their website. No word on whether there’s a fire sale for the castle and winery though.

Historically, the wines of Castell de Biart have always been affordable with 3€ getting you a good bottle and 10€ getting you a fantastic bottle. We don’t really know what happened, but for the savvy consumer it’s time to save, save, and yes, save. With the exception of the Syrah (which probably peaked 1-2 years ago and is quite flat now), every wine we’ve tasted from Castell de Biart’s closeout inventory represents a fantastic value and no, we’re not being paid to say this, although you’d do well to learn about all their wines in our Empordà enotourism guide, nudge nudge. But, below are a couple of winners definitely worth your hard-earned, drinkin’ bucks:

Sauvignon Blanc de Biart 2008 has a nose that is dominated a good deal by floral tones that carry right in to the body. Receiving four months of aging in Hungarian barrels, it’s smooth and round on the palate and glides across all aspects of tasting. Full and plush, it pulls a touch of citric elements up in the finish. 13% 8€

Pla de Biart 2002 blends a selection of their Merlot and Carignan grapes. It spends 12 months in French oak, which imparts a great deal of oaky character on to the wine. This aspect comes through heavily in the nose and body when first opened. Given 30 minutes of decanting though, it evens out a great deal and although there’s a decade of aging under its cork, it still boasts strong tannins with flavors and aromas of tobacco and earthiness. Best for bold meals or enjoying on its own, but well-priced if you can find it. 14% 7€