100/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Penedes – Pacs del Penedes – Parés Baltà – Mas Elena 2011
…., and watcha do, do it well, could easily be applied to the Cusiné family, managing the Parés Baltà winery in Penedes. So many wines and Cava, with so many different styles. It is almost like they wanted to do one wine per family member, so the wine could display the personality of each person. It is just like a New Orleans brass band!
The display of wines is in fact so broad, as they also have vineyards in Priorat (Gratavinum) and Ribera del Duero (Dominio Romano), you could make do with visiting just this one winery and enjoy a spectrum of wines.
Parés Baltà is a family owned winery in the Penedès region with traditions that goes back to 1790. In the 70’s, the Cusiné family took over the winery which is now managed by the 3rd generation. They produce high quality wines and Cava. The grapes come from 5 diffrent estates, situated around the winery and in the mountains of the Penedès. The altitude varies from 170 to 750 metres and offers a diverse mixture of soils and micro-climates, which off course, is also a reason for the multitude of styles in their wines.
The practice of organic viticulture has always been a model they have tried to pursue and done so since 2004. They use sheep, their own, to fertilize the vineyards and bees to help with the pollination of the vines. It is, so to say, a complete ecosystem that is at work and it shows in the quality of the grapes. This is very Mediterranean, but the way it used to be. Old style!
The wine-making tradition here at Pares Balta is rooted but not stale. Fresh and new ideas are constantly developed and it is very exploratory. The management is led by Joan and Josep Cusiné Carol who, together, guide the company into a new era of high quality wine production, with the unconditional help of their father Joan Cusiné Cusiné.
The wine-making is in the hands of Maria Elena Jimenez and Marta Casas, enologists and wives of Joan and Josep. Two skilled young women whose efforts are reflected in the quality of the wines that are produced at Parés Baltà; showing fine character and concentration yet with elegance and balance.
The roots of Parés Baltà goes all the way back to the 18th century. In 1790 the first vines were planted on the estate that now surrounds the winery. Today however, more than 220 years later, almost everything is different. Joan Cusiné Hill took over the winery in 1978. Born in 1917 in Bellvei del Penedés, coming from a family of vine growers and, already from the age of seven, he helped his father to cultivate the vineyards and never stopped working. At 80 years old he even helped his grandsons to care for a part of the vineyard.
His son Joan Cusine Cusine started to manage Pares Baltà in the eighties and released its first still white wine, “Blanc de Pacs” which is still produced today. At the end of the eighties the first red wine from the company was produced, and since then he has enthusiastically been attempting anything that could raise the quality of the wines.
Since 2000 the management has been in the hands of the two grandsons, Joan and Josep Cusiné Carol. They have brought new and fresh ideas into the company, but have also shown respect for its tradition and guarded the heritage. The wives of Joan and Josep, Maria Elena Jimenez and Marta Casas are the winemakers and oenologists. They have continued to develop new wines and increased the focus on quality.
The (currently) 25 labels of the winery are constantly expanding and to get a feel for some of their products, here comes a short description;
Mas Petit (the small farm) is a rich red wine made with 100% Cabernet Sauvignon and aged in Alleirs Oak for an extended period.
Mas Pons has gotten award after award at different competitions and is an oak aged 100% Chardonnay.
Blanc de Pacs is a still white wine made from the three classic Cava grapes, Macabeo, Xarel.lo, and Parellada.
Honeymoon. I love this wine, and I think it’s a case of love or hate, but try iy you must!. One of very few 100% Parellada wines.
Ros de Pacs is a rose wine made with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Mas Irene, red wine with an extremely limited production of 33,000 bottles. Merlot and Cab Sauv, long ageing, extremely complex wine.
Mas de Carol is a boutique white wine, made with 100% premium Chardonnay grapes and aged in French oak. Less than 10,000 bottles made annually.
Cava Cuvee de Carol. Parés Baltà refer to this boutique Cava as “Liquid Gold”. This is an aged Cava made with 100% Chardonnay and extended oak ageing. Resulting in a bright gold-coloured Cava
For their still wines they have three different “series” – The Microcuvees, The Origen “series’ and the R-Evolution. In the latter, two reds and two white wines are part of that constellation, and one of the reds, the Mas Elena is tasted today!
Mas Elena 2011, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc
Mas Elena has an intense dark red color with subtle blue highlights. Clean and bright. The nose perceives red fruit tinged with spicy notes, hints of licorice and cocoa and lightly toasted. A really tasty red from Parés Baltà, that won’t make much of a dent in your purse. The wine fills the mouth with a fleshy and fresh feeling. The oak is present but just slightly. Step silky, full of creaminess. Polished tannins. Very good ending.
282 to go!
Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle