Warm, sunny places where mountains meet the sea are always popular holiday destinations for the sun-starved, northern tourists who flock to the beaches of the Costa Brava for their yearly dose of vitamin-D and fresh seafood. The local DO supplies many of them with plenty of lubrication in the form of abundant, inexpensive and simple wine of a pinkish hue that matches their sun-burned skin. Like many destination DOs, the quality of the wine is in inverse proportion to the number of hotel bookings so there are few truly remarkable estates. Those farming steep hillsides in the back-country and focusing on indigenous varieties are usually the best bet.

One such property is owned by the Espelt family, who for centuries have grown grapes in Empordà. In the early 2000s they built a cellar and began bottling wines under their name. Headed Anna Espelt, the inheritor of generations of grape growers in Empordà, the farming is certified organic by ECOCERT, not only because it makes better wines, but because the vineyards are located on a mix of sandy granite, limestone and slate in and around several nature preserves in the area. Indigenous varieties and styles are promoted at Espelt from their fresh, crisp whites to their mineral and spicy reds before finishing on a pair of delectable fortified wines.

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Espelt Viticultors Garnacha Old Vines 2016
The Garnacha from Espelt comes from their highest elevation vineyard, Rabós, tucked in the Albera Nature Reserve Area. These are the oldest vines on the property with centenary Garnacha Negra and Carinyena grow on sandy slate and granite soils. While there are plenty of inexpensive, fruitforward
Item Number: 19699
Case: $119.40

Espelt Viticultors Garnacha Old Vines 2012
90  International Wine Cellar 
Robert Parker 90 "Made from 100% Grenache planted in decomposed granitic soils, and aged four months in new and used French oak, this deep ruby/purple-colored 2012 Garnacha Old Vines demonstrates what high quality can be found in obscure Spanish appellations. Aromas of kirsch, lavender and

Espelt Viticultors 'Corali' Rosado 2014
"Coralí follows the purest tradition of Mediterranean rosés: pale, with the soul of a delicate white and the body of a fruity red. Fresh and mouth-coating, tangy and ripe at the same time."

Espelt Vailet Blanco 2012
"Pale yellow color. The nose has pineapple, apple, and other ripe white fruit aromas. It starts very smoothly on the palate and is then very balanced, powerful, and fresh at the same time. The finish is pleasant and subtle.  VAILET" is the given name to a parcel of land, that it used to belong to

Espelt Viticultors Garnacha Old Vines 2010
92  Robert Parker 
Robert Parker 92 "A magnificent custom cuvee for Eric Solomon, this 2010 was made from high-elevation vineyards in the Costa Brava planted in granite. It was fashioned by the brilliant Jean-Marc Lafage, whose wines are reviewed elsewhere in this article. Composed of 100% Grenache aged 3 months in