Tomàs Cusiné is part of Spain’s modern wave of wine production, with wines reflecting more forward-thinking trends and possessing a deliciously uncommon quality. His roots lie in one of the most famous winemaking families in Spain where he learned how to make wines under the Coster Del Segres DO, but in 2003 he decided to break free and launch his own estate.
Tomàs is based in the quaint village of El Vilosell, a small place where the sheer volume of the daily birdsong is quite extraordinary. The estate is between 700 and 740 metres above sea level, on mostly north and north-east facing slopes. Soils are mainly calcareous, with some gravel imparting a limey quality to the wines.
His vision is to create wines reflecting the soil but also in line with his own strict personal standards. His attention to detail verges on the obsessive, but the sheer time and effort dedicated to his wines make him a model to follow.
Tomàs crafts several excellent wines (an entry level fruity Catalan red called Drac Magic, the new Cara Nord label from nearby Conca de Barbera and wines from Montsant such as ‘Mineral’, as well as two tempranillo blends from Costers del Segre called Vilosell and Geol).
However it is his white, Auzells, that is his pièce de resistance. The grapes come from 36 to 95 year-old vines trained on a trellis system. Grapes are hand harvested and cooled before going to the selection table so only the best quality fruit is used. The wine ferments on its lees for three months, mostly in stainless-steel tanks, but 10% go into French barrels for added depth of flavour. The first vintage of Auzells contained a staggering 13 grape varieties! This number has varied from vintage to vintage (more recent vintages have been around the six to eight mark) but amazingly Tomàs has managed to maintain a consistency of quality, style and sense of place. The grapes might change, but Auzells is always a classy, pure and refreshing wine.