109/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Conca de Barbera – L´Espluga de Francolí – Celler Rendé Masdeu – Rendé Masdeu Cabernet/Syrah 2010
…, if you haven’t guessed it yet, my favorite things are wine, wine and wine. And after that just a wee bit more wine! Does it have to be Catalan? Nope, but I do prefer zero kilometers both when it comes to food and wine. The less impact on the environment, the better, goes without saying really! But then again, I do miss some of my favorite wines and other beverages from different parts of the world. The ones that come to mind are without a doubt Croatian, Italian and Hungarian. After all, I am a #winelover!
I think that, during my many years in the restaurant trade, I got a bit tired of French! The new world has always been of great interest, as there are so many exiting wine makers and wines, made of the same grapes as we have in Catalonia, but in a very different way. So, again, today we are exploring Catalonia but tomorrow I am hosting a lunch for some local wine makers and I’m, amongst others, opening a bottle of Gerzinic Teran from Istria, you can read more about that wine and others from Croatia on Taste of Croatia!
In the middle of the Conca de Barberà region, astride the lands of the interior and the Tarragona coast is L’Espluga de Francolí. Surrounded by a leafy natural area, this town is closely linked to wine production, as is shown by one of the architectural jewels in its historic quarter, the Modernist Wine Cellar with its Wine museum. L’Espluga, located on the Cistercian Route, is also the anteroom to the Monastery of Poblet. This Cistercian monastery, one of the largest in Spain, was declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1991.
The wine vocation of the Rendé family has its roots in an ancient tradition and is now a well established business. Documented evidence, from at least 1604, shows continued dedication to viticulture and winemaking. Originally from the town Catllar the ancestors moved to L’Espluga de Francolí in the mid-nineteenth century where the viticultural tradition continued.
The grandfather, Joseph M. Ventosa Rendé, was a leader of the regeneration Catalan agriculture. From his position as the Head of the Agricultural Social Action Community of Catalonia and professor of the College of Agriculture, he spearheaded the creation of cooperative wineries, with the collaboration of architects Cèsar Martinell i Domènech i Muntaner. Today, some of their creations still stand as valuable architectural monuments.
Today we are so far away from the old wine drinking traditions, when it was merely a beverage, considered as a simple food ingredient or a routine intake, without contemplation of what actually was consumed. Over many years there has been a steady incline in wine refinement as well as the consumer knowledge and appreciation for its values of complexity, harmony and different styles. It is no longer enough to make a good wine.
True to the family motto: “Good wine comes from good vines”, direct care of their crops is paramount. Controlled and handcrafted limited production, allows for obtaining different and always a high quality wine. Rendé Masdeu sees wine culture as an artistic activity that has characterized their personality, resting on the pillars of tradition and constant research to improve and consolidate the pleasures of good taste. Because, at the end of the day (or at the beginning of the day), that’s what we all are looking for, a wine that tastes good!
The brothers Josep and Joan M. Rendé Masdéu and their family, modernized the family heritage and its vineyards. They are specialized in the production of wines of high demand, mostly red wines made with grapes varieties like: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Their wines are incorporated into the forefront of the revival of the old wine making prestige of the Conca de Barbera.
Rendé Masdeu Cabernet/Syrah 2010
Deep cherry color, slight garnet rim. Nose carrying ripe fruit, little spice, a nice touch of creamy oak and beautiful complexity for being so young. Ripe red fruit and subtle aromas of black olive, cinnamon and vanilla Powerful palate include chocolate and coffee combined with sweet and soft tannins. Unctuous and persistent.
272 to go!
Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle