A Visit with Eccoci Winery
Note: Eccomi Tinto Super Premium and Eccoci Blanco were provided to me as tasting samples. If interested, see Vintrospective policy about wine samples here.
The real thing. Ain’t nothin’ like it, is what the song says (thank you Marvin & Tammi). But, as in love, the real thing in wine can be hard to find.
While I must leave you to contend with love on your own, where concerns wine, I can perhaps offer this simple assist to locating a bit of the real thing:
I met Eccoci Assistant Winemaker Manuel Lardeaux at Solera in NYC to taste and discuss Eccoci wines alongside a selection of Spanish tapas. Over the next three hours, it would become clear that Eccoci is an estate capable of producing impressive wines while maintaining the highest levels of environmental consciousness.
And that, my friends, in our times, is the real thing indeed.
Working with French varietals in Spain, Eccoci has established itself in a unique landscape, with equally unique terroir considerations and a passionate commitment to align its corporate vision and activities with a compatible, sustainable environmental world vision.
The Eccoci estate … Eccoci translating as “here we are” in Italian…is located in Spain’s northeast within the province of Girona, two or so hours north of Barcelona. The estate’s 12 hectares of vineyards are situated at the base of an inactive volcano surrounded by the massive natural park reserve known as Les Gavarres, which provides an unpolluted and unique landscape for the growing of wine grapes. The natural environment includes pine, holm oak and cork oak woods. Vineyards are divided into parcels composed of well drained siliceous-limestone topsoil and volcanic stone sub-soil, planted with north-facing exposures to take advantage of the area’s unique climate and sun patterns. The nearby Pyrenees shield vineyards from inclement weather while the area’s wide diurnal temperature variations offer grapes plenty of encouragement to develop aromas, ripen tannins and polyphenol compounds in the grape.
In conversation, Manuel never strayed far from the theme of respect for Mother Nature and the integration of the estate’s production activities with the natural world. The topic is a passionate focus of the winery’s owner, former model and jewelry maker, Elsa Peretti. Notably, Eccoci is Spain’s first ZeroCo2 winery, a certification indicating that the winery has calculated and offset greenhouse gas emissions generated by its activities, reducing its carbon footprint throughout the entire winemaking process from vineyard to packaging and transportation. The estate remains steadfast in its commitment to fight global warming, aligning its corporate vision and activities with a compatible environmental world vision by implementing behavior-changing solutions instead of taking on solely technical strategies: hand harvesting over mechanical; natural wind instead of chemical treatments to fight mildew, along with leaf management to allow cluster-drying sunshine; coordinating with the national park service for cleaning along parcel borders; returning water use run-off back to the river; a project to explore the possibility of utilizing local cork from the park reserve.
Eccoci Blanco 2011
Produced from a blend of Roussanne, Viognier and Petit Manseng from the estate’s Ca l’Elsa parcels, this sur lie blanco opens up beautifully at a slightly higher chill temperature (50 degrees) with an inviting floral nose and seductive whiffs of honeysuckle and lemon balm. Viscous and sensual palate, delineated by citrusy, well-balanced acidity. Long, persistent finish echoing floral impressions and a grace note of papaya.
Eccoci Rosado 2011
Born from soil of siliceous-limestone and alluvial stone, grapes for this 100% Petit Verdot Rosado (rare) are grown in Eccoci’s Can Nobas parcels. Encountering this wine is like what I imagine of Jackie Kennedy had I ever bumped into her at the coffee bar – sublimely interesting with an air of easy, sophisticated elegance. Lightly pink, onion-peel translucence, delicate aromatics that come to the nose as if one has just opened a dresser drawer full of fresh berries and potpourri. Magnificent, finely etched, massively expressive.
Eccomi Tinto Super Premium 2008
The first production year of this Marselan, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot blend is an astonishingly delicious effort. It was clear from my conversation with Manuel that from vine planting through to vinification, extraordinary care and meticulous work was given. Expressive and powerful, yet always supple, the wine is an absolute joy to hold in the mouth: soft, fat, rich, the wine sits on the palate reverberating inner mouth aromas of berry compote and warm spice. Swallowing conjures flavors and impressions of black forest cake underscored with milk chocolate. The well done wood regimen has conferred a kiss of oak in just the right measure. Graceful finish, refined and complex tannins to be appreciated.
Eccoci Tinto Premium
Combining similar varietals sourced from the same parcel area as the estate’s Super Premium, this premium red blend is based on a different blend prescription than its Super Premium big brother. While the focus here is on freshness, the wine is no less expressive, showing big, round, aromas of red and dark fruit that transfer beautifully to the palate. Finishes with soft, fine tannins.
Special thanks to Susannah Gold of Vigneto Communications for coordinating the excellent meetup with Eccoci / Manuel Lardeaux.
To learn more about Eccoci Wines, please navigate your browser to www.eccociwine.com