Mas Comtal, L’italiano in D.O. Penedes

192/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Penedes – Avinyonet del Penedès – Mas Comtal – Antistiana Incrocio Manzoni 2012



….., let me sing, with the guitar in hand, let me sing, I’m an Italian, a true Italian….., no, not me but the grape variety we are about to cover. Incrocio Manzoni, not Catalan but happy in Catalonia, so this time we’ll be exploring this little hybrid, which I now have had the fortune to try twice, from two different wineries in the Penedes region. To put an additional twist to the story, the tasting was conducted in Stockholm only yesterday. As usual, the wine comes first, the circumstances to follow.


Antistiana 2012, 100% Incrocio Manzoni

Bright straw yellow colour. The nose transmits fresh aromas of citrus, herbs like rosemary and a likeable saltiness. This is a very Mediterranean style wine but with something that doesn’t really “fit the bill” to be fully considered a typical middle sea wine. It carries saltiness that reminds me of one wine and then some minerals and floral notes which awakens other memories, of other wines. It is strange in a way, very magical, how it changes throughout the tasting. Some expressive mature white fruit, pear and peach. It is full-bodied, flavoursome and very well balanced, elegant on the palate. Splendid and unique, nothing like it really. Well made and high accolades for price/quality.

Yesterdays tasting room at Grappe in Stockholm!

Yesterdays tasting room at Grappe in Stockholm!

Checking e-mail, realizing that there is a invitation to partake in a tasting of Catalan wines in Stockholm, who am I to say no? Three lovely ladies following their passion for wine, deciding to share “their” Catalonia with Swedish wine lovers, bringing new experiences and their own discoveries, how can that go wrong? From the outset, they are right on the money. Go to Catalonia, visit wine cellars, taste, taste and then taste some more wines. Bring the ones most likeable to Sweden and then conduct several more tastings with sommeliers and wine lovers. Hopefully they will listen to my humble opinion and share this amazing Incrocio Manzoni with the  rest of Sweden. I wish them all the best  and thank them for a lovely evening! What is Incrocio Manzoni? A grape I say, but there is a little bit more to the story!


Incrocio Manzoni or Manzoni grapes is a family of grape varieties named after Professor Luigi Manzoni (1888-1968) of Italy’s oldest school of oenology located in Conegliano, in the Veneto region. Manzoni created the new grape varieties by selecting, crossing and grafting vines from various vineyards during the 1920s and 1930s. The family includes both white and red grape varieties. Although most Manzonis are grown in northeastern Italy, they are mainly grown in the Piave area of Provincia di Treviso and are only now starting to be sold commercially in Europe and the United States.

Luigi Manzoni

Luigi Manzoni

The name Incrocio is Italian for crossing with the second part of the name usually being the last name of the grape breeder. This means that not every Incrocio grape variety are Manzoni grapes with varieties such as Incrocio bianco Fedit 51 (a Garganega and Malvasia bianca Lunga crossing), Incrocio Bruni 54 (a Sauvignon blanc and Verdicchio crossing) and Incrocio Terzi 1 (a Barbera and Cabernet Franc crossing) being mostly unrelated to Professor Manzoni or his crossings. The numbers after grape type refer to location of the vineyards for the original grafts; for example, 6.0.13 refers to the row, vine and vineyard.

Mas Comtal vineyards during winter!

Mas Comtal vineyards during winter!

Manzoni bianco or Incrocio Manzoni 6.0.13, is a white variety which is a crossing between Riesling and Pinot blanc that was created through a series of trials between 1930 and 1935. In 2005, it was speculated that Chardonnay, instead of Pinot blanc, was the second parent of Manzoni bianco but DNA analysis has shown that Professor Manzoni’s original crossing is, indeed, Manzoni bianco’s parentage.The grape is also known under the further synonyms I.M. 6.0.13, Incrocio Manzoni 6.0.13, Manzoni 6.0.13 and Manzoni Bijeli in Croatia.


The wine above is the fourth vintage of Incrocio Manzoni, a little known variety in Spain, which Joan Mila “discovered” and fell in love with on one of his trips to Italy. It has been implemented t the local vineyards and is now giving of descent yield at the property of Mas Comtal, providing wines with complexity, coming from the Pinot Blanc, and aromatic strength of the Riesling. In addition to which it is abundantly clear that these wines has great ageing potential. Simply, a wine that has to be tried. Only but huge downside……., only 1.995 bottle produced of the 2012 vintage!

189 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle

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