Saturday, September 8, 2012


Once again we find ourselves writing about the popular wine from the tasting of the previous night.  The 2009 Sicoris is an elegant Spanish red composed of 37% Grenache, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Tempranillo, 7% Merlot, and 5% Syrah.  Sicoris is also the name of the River that its Denominacion d'Origen, Costers del Segre (banks of the Segre), gets its name.  Sicoris was the river's name under Greek and Roman rule and if you want to spend the rest of your life studying history you can do just that by reading up on Catalonia.

Catalonia is the triangular "nationality" at the easternmost tip of Spain.  It fronts the Mediterranean Sea with Barcelona being both the primary wine market and an indispensible port for the wine industry.  Catalonia also borders France and the Roussillon wine region of their southwest.  Catalonia is actually a cultural overlay of that French Roussillon region plus the Spanish region.  Because the terrain is very much the same with higher elevations featuring precipitous vineyards, the wine making methods of both are very much the same.

Our Sicoris red actually comes from the western border of Catalonia in the middle of that side of the triangle.  That high elevation region in the province of Lleida features a continental climate (hot summers, cold winters) with the diurnal effect (hot days, cold nights) so valued by winemakers.  Rainfall is sparse and all of this is probably due to the proximity of the Pyrenees Mountains.  The soil is of a dark lime-bearing type with low clay content and poor in organic matter.

Costers del Segre is composed of six vineyard regions that don't appear to make sense on a map but they do if you consider the terrain.  Only two regions are contiguous so it looks like someone just pressed down with the fingertips of one hand on a map.  Castell del Remei, the makers of Sicoris, explains their "recipe for success" like this: By growing select grape types at different elevations (1,000-2,500 feet) using the different soils at those elevations, a "spice rack" effect is accomplished in the wine.  That makes sense.

Last year Sicoris was enshrined in our wine shop (tongue in cheek) Tasting Hall of Fame.  It wasn't until this current research that I understood that the red wavy design on the black background wine label was actually the namesake river of the wine, itself.   That makes sense too.

Next Thursday September 13th between 5 and 7pm Gail Avera rejoins us with new wines from her new company Lafayette Selections.  Please join us for that one.

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