Friday, May 28, 2010

**+ $$ 2005 Castell Roig Xarel-Lo, Penedes, Spain - Wine Tasting & Review

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Original Review, June 2007: This is the "flat" version of the xarel-lo grape which is used in the better-known Spanish sparkling wine, Cava.

This dry white wine is a very pale, almost clear light brown in the glass. Sometimes I think I see glints of green, other times not.

The aroma - wow. The aroma has a striking metallic component; blazing steel, like a machete blade. That metal flash almost blinds out the other aromas of sweet grass and pineapple-ish fruit.

On the palate, the tropical fruit push to the foreground, offering a bright, somewhat acidic fruit cocktail of pineapple, strawberry and white currant. Pleasant experience, but somehow the move from the aroma to the palate seemed a bit disjointed to me.  Two stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale. 

By contrast, Jay Miller of Wine Advocate liked this even better. He gave it 91 points and said, "The 2005 Xarel-lo (100%) comes from 75-year-old vines. It is medium straw in color with a splendid nose of mineral and resiny elements and a fruit cocktail of flavors (pear, green apple, lemon/lime) on the palate. The texture is supple and the finish is clean, long, and pure with just a touch of sweetness. This unique effort is a sensational value."

Well, we definitely agree it's a fruit cocktail.

Updated Review, almost three years later, May, 2010:  Now this has become light yellow with gold highlights.  On the palate, butterscotch blends with ripe pineapple.  No shining steel left.  The fruits are much better blended now on the palate, lush pineapple, apple and pear, with solid acids still holding it aloft.  Gets a plus for potency along with its solid two stars.
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