176/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Pla de Bages – Sant Salvador de Guardiola – Fargas-Fargas – Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2001
…. since we ended up in a small village, by the name of La Frezelle, due to the car breaking down on our way to Sweden, we have had a party each night! The hotel owners and their local friends know how to treat visitors and the wine has been flowing, the food has been great and we have had a genuinely wonderful time. Will come back upon our return, going back home to Catalonia. I am also very happy that the bottles of Catalan wine I had in the car have been well received by the French, apparently they can enjoy wines that are not locally produced. Now, we are waiting for the garage to deliver on their promise that the car is going to be repaired by tomorrow!
Fargas-Fargas Tempranillo 2007
The Fargas Fargas Tempranillo comes from the vineyards of the Cross. The winemaking includes a one year aging in barrels of American oak. It has a very dark cherry color. Aromas of black currant and a symphony of spices such as laurel and even oregano, with a background of leather and cocoa and a well integrated barrel ageing.
The palate is discrete at first, but as it passes it becomes intense and powerful, the ending being balanced and friendly, nothing heavy with this one and maybe way to easy to consume?
At Fargas-Fargas it is so, that during the last days of August, the harvest begins. Everything does not take place during one sole day, or week even. Each rootstock, each variety and in some cases each bunch of grapes reaches their perfect balance of sugar and acidity on different days, so ongoing controls of the evolution is done regularly. When the desired balance is achieved, they start the harvest and so it continues. The grapes are then received at the cellar in small batches, variety by variety and vineyard by vineyards, always at the optimum moment of ripeness. After careful selection, and depending on the grape variety, the wine maker decides which type of process the wine will receive.
The white grapes are pressed in barrels and fermented for a period of three weeks at a controlled temperature of around 14 degrees. All this to preserve the flavors of the fruit, as to obtain fresh, lively, fruity and cheerful young wines ready for consumption. Traditionally they have made rose wine every year by using predominately two grape varieties. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. To prepare them they remove the large stems and putt all the pasta in a stainless steel tank. After the expected colors has been delivered, the skins are removed and it is left to ferment for three weeks at around 15 degrees.
The grape for the red wines, are destemmed and the mash is fermented for about 10 days at 28 degrees. As we know, the skins provide both color and aroma to the final product as well as the highly desired tannins. During fermentation the skins and seeds float to the surface, creating a hard cap. To make sure the skins are well integrated it is important to break this cap, stirring it once or twice a day, as to mix the paste with the grape juice. Once the wine rests in wine barrels or stainless steel tanks, the second fermentation takes place, the malolactic.
If everything goes as planned, the reds are then laid to rest, filling up barrels so that it can age as intended. After a while, the wine interacts with the barrel and shows the direction in which it is going, by then the decision is being made with regards to how long it is going to be barrel aged. The wooden cask, the barrel, is not hermetically sealed, so it breathes and provides oxygen to the wine, softening it and adding the sweet aromas enhancing the natural proprieties of the wine, making it more enjoyable.
All wines can be aged in barrels but at Fargas-Fargas they have decided to use only Merlot, Cabernet-Sauvignon and Tempranillo varieties for their aged wines. Excluding predominance of wood in the wine and as such giving the natural aromas of the wine more space. The Tempranillo get along fine with American oak, the vanilla flavor of the wood is perfect for a wine like this, fruity and full of life. Short barrel time for the fattier tannins of the Merlot is enough to create an elegant wine which is still rich in texture and aromas. Cabernet being very tannic, is well of spending time in the barrel as to provide it with rounded features, as well as mixing up the floral and vegetal aromas with the intensity of the oak, and then followed by the necessary bottle aging.
And this, my friends, is how it’s done at Fargas-Fargas! And you thought it was complicated to make great wine? Try it, why don’t you? This coming autumn I am going to give it a try, still thinking about which grape variety to go with? I’ll be sure to keep you posted.
205 to go!
Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle