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Can Ràfols dels Caus "Gran Caus" Tinto '08

Catalunya

Can Ràfols dels Caus "Gran Caus" Tinto '08

Outside of Bordeaux, regions such as Napa Valley and Tuscany have garnered world wide attention for their versions of red blends featuring Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. One place you may not have thought about as a source, is the Penedès region of Spain.

There is some history of Bordeaux varietals in Spain. In 1979, the French wine publication Gault-Millau, put together a historic tasting of wines from around the world. Mas La Plana, a Bordeaux blend from Torres in the Penedès region of Spain, took first place in the Cabernet Sauvignon blend category. They beat out top First Growth from Bordeaux, and other famous Cabernet blends from around the world.

Which leads us to this exceptional wine we are featuring this month, “Gran Caus” from Can Ràfols dels Caus. This beautiful winery sits in a unique area of the Penedès called the Garraf Massif. Owner, and all-around-good-guy, Carlos Esteva, began planting vineyards on his family estate in 1979. Today, the vineyards total 90 hectares, planted into the rugged mountain that is the Garraf Massif.

Having had a chance to visit the property, I can still smell the vineyards, lined with wild shrubs and herbs, as well as olive and almond trees.

Carlos, being the maverick that he is, produces this long bottle aged Reserva Red called “Gran Caus.” A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon from vines averaging in the 35-40 year range. 2008 marks the first vintage that the vines were certified organic. Harvested by hand, the grapes are fermented in French oak with natural yeast, and aged in barrel for one year.

2008 is the current release! Which means that Carlos goes above and beyond to hold this wine in his cellars till he things it is ready to drink. With that philosophy you would think it would cost three times as much.

The 2008 is really beautiful, with classic aromas of herbs, cracked pepper, plum, and mineral. Medium-bodied, this shows off beautiful fruit, but is encompassed by its earth driven notes of dried porcini and mineral. This still has plenty of life in it, I could see it going another decade in bottle. Open this now, and drink it with grilled red meats or an herb and mushroom-laden stew. An absolute steal at this price!

Perman

Spain

Details

Producer Can Ràfols dels Caus
Vintage 2008
Format 750ml

Acidity

4 / 5

Tannin

4 / 5

Body

4 / 5

Sweetness

1 / 5

Fruity

4 / 5

Funky

2 / 5

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Sounds good!