139/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Penedes – Vilafranca del Penedes – Bodegas Pinord – Chateldon Gran Reserva 1997
…., is the wine you drink good? Is it at-least nice? Who decided it was good? You? And if so, did you decide that it was good before you bought the bottle? Or, did you, again, buy a bottle of the label you always buy? If you are happy with that wine, you should, by all means keep on drinking it. If you , however, want to immerse yourself deeper into the wonderful world of wine, it might be time to try something new? Catalonia hosts 12 appellations and a multitude of different wine styles. Come on, give it a chance and next time you buy or order a wine in a restaurant, make sure it is something new and possibly exciting.
The history of Bodegas Pinord can be traced back to the time when, over one hundred and fifty years ago, the Tetas family began making white and red wines on their estate in Sant Cugat Sesgarrigues from grapes they themselves had grown. Even at that time, they produced and aged the wines using the most traditional methods employed in the region. In 1942, Josep Maria Tetas set up the current winery in Vilafranca del Penedès, just four kilometres from the original estate.
It is the name of this vineyard in actual fact which inspired the family to create the company’s name: “Pi del Nord” (Pine of the North) and today, which has been reconverted to organic farming, providing the winery with high quality grapes, just as it did centuries before. At that time, Miquel Tetas, the father of Josep Maria, fermented Xarel·lo grapes from his vineyards and once it was said he travelled all night with a horse and cart and two 500 litre barrels to sell his wines in Barcelona, where the inhabitants very much enjoyed the finesse of his wines.
Soon, Josep Maria Tetas, who was an inquisitive and enterprising man, observed how some of his young wines spontaneously gave off small quantities of carbon dioxide – bubbles just like French pétillant or Italian frizzante wines. He began to investigate how to ferment his grapes in order to keep this effervescence in his wines. Reynal, the first pearl wine ever made in Spain was the result of his research.
Success was immediate and was far and beyond expectations: very soon, Pinord started to export their wines around the world and the winery grew rapidly. They extended the winery and increased production. It was during these years, that Marrugat Cavas was created using the surname of Josep Maria Teta’s wife, whose family had long been linked to winemaking in the Penedès region. They also started to make a range of still wines, muscadelle wines, and other specialities which made up a very wide-ranging portfolio of wines, gaining the winery accolades and international fame during the Fifties and Sixties. It was at this time that Pinord became one of the reference points of winemaking in Penedès.
Bodegas Pinord, who have been grape growers for generations, are aware that only their own privately owned vineyards can guarantee quality wines. It is to this effect that they acquired various properties: Costers de Muntanyans and El Serral which were added to Coll de Bou vineyard which have helped to guarantee their own strict quality controls of primary material.
With this entrepreneurial and innovative enthusiasm, Pinord became pioneers in the Seventies and Eighties for the introduction and adaptation of grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay. Today these grape varieties are widespread and recognised for their quality as well as other grape varieties which were soon added such as Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Gewürztraminer… varieties which in those days were exotic names and virtually unknown in Penedès. Even though they have planted foreign varieties, Pinord have always believed that the native grape varieties, such as Xarel·lo, Macabeo (Viura), Parellada, Garnatxa (Grenache) or Tempranillo must be conserved. Some of their native grape variety vineyards are now over sixty years old.
Dark reddish brown in colour with some mahogany undertones. Somewhat complex but certainly great harmony in this wine. Aromas of long aging stand out and once it has been properly aerated, notes of oak barrel, spices and berries appear. In the mouth it is well balanced. The ripe fruit and the tannins gives it a pleasant velvety feel and the finish is quite long.
240 to go!