A special find
It is 2010, at the bottom of the Baltic Sea, a 170-year-old shipwreck containing 79 bottles of Champagne is discovered. Admirably, the bottles are in perfect condition. Two years later, 11 of these bottles will be auctioned for a total of $156.000. How is it possible that those bottles are still drinkable after all this time? This event also caught the attention of Gergo and Mariona. Wine and diving were their great passions and the discovery in 2010 suddenly gave them the idea to combine their passions. This is how their new project was born: Elixea.
They soon found out that you can't just throw bottles of wine into the sea and fish them up again after a few months. For example, the bottles had to be hoisted into the water in special boxes. They also discovered that the bottles needed separate corks and wax. Under water the air pressure is of course different and it was also necessary to prevent seawater from entering the bottle.
In addition, Gergo and Mariona also collaborated with the Universities of Barcelona and Girona to research the effects of aging wine underwater. The conditions at the bottom of the sea are ideal because there is an ideal constant temperature, it is dark and there is less gravity.
After much experimentation, the next important moment arrived: the choice of wine. In any case, they wanted to use local wine and they went in search of the best wine from Catalonia. Priorat is internationally known for its fabulous red wines and this turned out to be a perfect match. The result is already a very good wine that is made even better by the effects of underwater maturation.
SeaStar & LegaSea
Elixsea started the project with 2 types of wine: the SeaStar and the LegaSea. The SeaStar is a young red wine made from 100% Garnatxa without aging in wood, while the LegaSea is a full-bodied, firm, typical Priorat blend of Carinyena, Garnatxa, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine has been aged in wood for 12 months.
The taste of underwater wine
Many blind tasting sessions followed with professionals where the underwater wine was tasted next to the original wine. There did appear to be a difference. The underwater wines have a more intense color, the fruit aromas have been pushed slightly to the background and have made room for complex aromas that are so loved by experienced wine enthusiasts.
In addition, another curious discovery was made. It was very often noted that the wine had a slight salty taste, even though the bottle was hermetically sealed. Did that come through the glass, or through the cork? Perhaps the effect of the shellfish that settle on the bottle during the time underwater.
Taste and discover for yourself? You will find the bottles here.