Biu de Sort Negre Pinot Noir 2015, Costers del Segre

INOX and Pinot Noir aren't a very fashionable combo these days, I think. Well, at least in case of sincerely mentionable wines of certain quality. Living in south-west Germany I am perfectly aware that there are plenty of Pinots which were fermented and aged in stainless steel ... and possibly even heated-up in steel. I really don't want to get into details. It's just too sad ...Today, I would like to refer to a respectable Pinot which were simply kissed by cold steel. I have to admit, I don't know many. On a recent trip to Barcelona I had the pleasure to encounter such a respectable one. The Biu de Sort Negre 2015 produced by Batlliu de Sort in the small Catalan wineregion of Costers del Segre is one nice example that Pinot from steel can be pretty enchanting. First, let me tell you something about Costers del Segre. I assume that not every wine geek on the globe is all too familiar with this relatively new wine region (DO was est. 1988). Costers del Segre is located in the province of Lleyda in the very west of Catalonia. It is a rather scattered region which stretches out over the entire central west of Catalonia (approx. 4500 hectares). The climate of the region is somehow extreme. In winter it is getting easily below 0° C. In summer equally easily over 35° C. Heavy rainstorms (aka snowstorms), droughts, hail and spring frosts are well know as well. The soils of the region are dominated by meagre dark lime soils. So were the vines for the Biu Negre 2015 cultivated on calcerous soils at an elevation of approx. 850 m above sea-level in Sort - Pallars Sobir√† (right next to Andorra) which is by the way already in the high Pyrenees. Fermentation took place in large INOX deposits and subsequent ageing in INOX took about 10 months. Let's have a look how this Pinot made in steel was ...

Right from the start the bright and quite murky - almost natural wine kind'sh – hue of the Biu Negre 2015 seemed really appealing to me. Its slightly orange'y red reflexes and a whole lot of fine particles might have contributed to my assumed „naturalistic“ impression. The grapes were cultivated following organic principles (not certified ones). No idea how far they went "further". Anyway, the dominant fragrances of my Catalan Pinot were freshly crushed strawberries and raspberries as well as shy supplementary aromas of oranges and orange zests. An additional aroma which I'd like to call cucumber water wasn't lacking either. Not sure how to describe this sensation in a general intelligible way. All together a downright cool, lean, fruitful and crisp nasal performance. Luckily it was far off from any possible heat stress (marmelade or whatsoever) which some people might expect of a Pinot from such southern origin. On the palate it appeared even more crisp and lean. Surprising! Unlike any other Catalan/Spanish Pinot I've ever had so far. Blindfolded I would have never ever located this one to southern Europe. Well indulged with super fresh fruit flavours of red berries and a few tangerines the Biu Negre was already able to show its (close to) full mainly fruit driven potential. Besides those dominant fruitful aromas I got underlying aromas of freshly grounded coffee, a mild flintiness for some reason, some black pepper and very reduced herbal aromas which I might associate with northern Europe, but not the Mediteranian. Structurewise it wasn't all to complex or profoundly gripping. It was light, vivid, very clear as well as precise and totally straightforward. Its true qualities came straight from the very untainted fruitful flavours which I considered to be really convincing. To me already very well balanced and ready for a lot of pleasure. Don't hold it for all to long! I think it wasn't made for a very long life. Surely a decent**** Pinot, and much more important an unexpected crisp Catalan surprise. 

Next time I will go a even further south, approx. 1100 km south-west to be a little bit more precise, and have another Pinot Noir from Lisbon region. 

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