Cauzon may sound like a race of inimical aliens from Star Trek: Voyager, but is in fact, a highly intelligent natural life form from Planet Granada.
Ramón Saavedra is the young dynamic force behind Bodega Cauzón. In 1995, after 15 years working in the Michelin * restaurant Big Rock (on the Costa Brava), Ramón decided to study viticulture and oenology and gain work experience in various bodegas. In 1999 he planted his first vineyard (1 hectare), followed by new 1 hectare vineyards in 2001, 2002 and 2004, with ½ hectare in 2003. Ramón’s philosophy is, in his own words, “we say what we do and we do what we say”. Quite. The vineyard area now comprises 5.5 hectares in total of north facing vineyards at 1,000 metres altitude and the terroir is sandy with large pebbles, alluvial and clay soils.
Yields are around 2kg per vine (1,000kg per hectare), the Chardonnay at a miniscule 600g per vine. Organic viticulture is practiced using only natural compost and fertilizers, sulphur is only used in extremely wet vintages which is very rare for this dry region.
The continental climate has marked seasonal extremes, and during the growing season, temperatures can vary 25ºC between day and night…Harvest is early in the morning to avoid the excess daytime heat.
Grapes are destemmed in the winery and then pressed using a manual wooden screw press which extracts the juice very softly. The juice is fermented using wild yeasts at no more than 20ºC to avoid volatile aromas. Fermentation lasts for around a month and once fully dry the wines is racked and then again a month later. No oak is used. Once winter comes, the wine is racked again and then bottled without filtration. No sulphur is used.
The blend is 30% Sauvignon Blanc, 30% Viognier, 30% Chardonnay and 10% Torrontés. Although the vines are young the wine has considerable depth. Cauzon has a golden colour with slight cloudiness. Complex nose with the Viognier initially to the fore with fresh pear notes backed by honey with touches of sweet spice and ginger. The mouth is interesting conveying apple, peach and white pepper, with nice acidity contributing to a long finish. This would go well with paella, white meats, most shellfish and white fish as well as roasted vegetables.