196/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Cava – Celler Batlle – I AM HALFWAY!!! – Gramona Gran Reserva Brut 1999
…., did I ever think I’d write 182 blog posts in a row? NOPE! Not in a million years, but now I have done it. Tomorrow I tip the scale and pass the the point of no return. Will I hang on and finish this marathon? If you stick by me, I guess we’ll figure it out together! I have enjoyed this experience immensely and hope that I have brought some added value to my wine loving friends out there in the wide world. If you are new to Catalan Wine 365, you can catch the ins and outs right here! To celebrate, I give you a great Cava and probably my all time favourite!
Gramona Gran Reserva Brut 1999, 70% Xarel.lo and 39% Macabeu
Bright yellow with a bright gold hue, clean with fine and steady bubbles. Great intensity on the nose with a predominance of pastries and bread, dried yeast, toasted brioche thin and freshly baked croissants, lactic and creamy notes with pleasant memories of baked cakes or pastry with cream or apple compote (Apffelstrudel), candied orange, almonds and toasted pine nuts, tart dried figs that give it a sweet touch, outstanding aromatic intensity that is accompanied by a marked mineral background at the very end. The palate has a huge input, a creamy grand tour with ripe fruit (candied orange, white fruit and somewhat syrupy candied fruit and some dried apricots), excellent acidity, at times reminiscent of the profile of Amontillado sherry with the ageing notes and oxidation, roasted nuts, slightly sweet, good texture and impressive structure that appeals to all the senses, majestic persistence. Long long after taste of ripe fruit and some sweetish after taste of yeast and fine pastries. A Cava that leaves you speechless! This is a true Super Catalan Cava!
I would like to take a moment and breathe deep, savour the fact that I have, somehow, managed to write 182 blog posts about Catalan wine, covering, so far, 196 wines. 182 in a row! But I can’t relax just yet; I still have 183 days to go. The idea came to mind during October 2013 and since then I started planning. The plan has worked out well so far, and if it hadn’t been for the initial time spent traveling, visiting cellars and tasting wines; none of this would have been achievable. So how does it work in reality, and what do the numbers mean? During my first year and a half here in Catalonia, I travelled a lot and visited numerous cellars, met with winemakers, Catalans in general, and I tasted, tasted and tasted a whole lot of wine. I took notes and I took photos.
During the 182 days that I have been writing so far, I have also continued to drive crisscross through the Catalan countryside and the different appellations. I have visited fairs, gatherings of wine lovers and I have continued with receiving groups and individuals from all over the world to show the magic of the world of wine in Catalonia. Once a month I try to participate in a selected tasting of wine from one particular appellation. I have learned so much, about Catalonia. Not only about the wines, but also the history, the food, and the wonderful small villages and regions of this, in my opinion, amazing land.
The number 196/365, indicates how many wines I have tasted and written about. In reality I have, over the past 182 days, tried more than 1.200 wines. That might sound a lot, but I know professionals that taste that number during two months. Look at it this way. If you during a weekend visit a wine fair with, let’s say 50 producers and each display, in average, 4 wines, you are able in theory to try 200 wines. Easy math! So, even if I have managed to reach the second (the first was 100) hurdle of 182 posts, I have written about 196 wines, which I have tasted and decided to share.
After this number, each blog post mentions where the wine is from, which appellation, wine cellar and finally the name of the wine. This is found at the very beginning of the post. Today I choose a Cava, a great bubbly to celebrate my 182:nd post! I might point out that I have been saving this one for a special occasion. And I’m happy to be able to, in a way, share this Cava with you!
Most articles describe the wine cellar, wine maker and in some cases the appellation, grapes and/or the village and region. Specific landmarks are mentioned as well as some historical facts, not always, but I try. At the very beginning or in some cases the very end of each “story” you’ll find my personal tasting notes for each wine. If you have been following the blog from the beginning, you will have noticed that I don’t give punctuations for the wine. For me, it would be like giving scores for music or any other art form, it is so very subjective and most of all, the way I see it, either you like a wine or you don’t. In my case, if I don’t like a wine, I don’t take the time to write about it.
I’ve learned that there’s little point in being objective because I figure if people want that, they’ll tune into their nightly news. I like giving credit to people who I think have done a good job. I believe it’s important to keep it real and personal, no matter what. I’m striving to continue doing this in the next 183 posts. Do I have to post every day? Yes! I have to, because if I don’t post every day, I would probably stop doing it altogether, that’s the way I function, or dysfunction, if you wish. I have to challenge myself, that’s when I do my best work and when my achievements are at the very peak.
Do you have to read every day? Certainly not! That’s what’s good about the format, the archives and the search function. If you only want to know about a certain region, wine type, grape variety or any other parameter you choose, that’s what you should spend your time reading about. If you, however, want to learn about wine from Catalonia in general, I promise that this is the place to be, at least if you like reading blogs in English and on a continuous basis. Every day a new wine, every day a new story!
Am I trying to be Hemingway? I dare say, no! The only way I could possibly compete with Ernest, is with regards to the alcohol intake, but not even there am I a valid competitor to him! I guess it is just another era we’re living in? I’m not, nor will I ever be a writer, but I do my best to convey my experience in a way I would like to read myself, and guess that’s the right way to do it?
I’m wordy. Sometimes more than I’d like to be. And I think if I’d divided some posts in half, I might be at 230 posts or more by now, with 450 wines noted. Not a horrible thing, but considering that I would have to spend time doing the division myself, I find that You, the reader, could do your part and help out, read one part in the morning and another in the evening! What happens after 365 days, that is if I am still adhering to my plan? I don’t know, and I don’t like to speculate. Let’s stick it out together and see where it takes us. It’s NOT the destination that’s important, it IS the journey! So far so good, thank you ALL so very much for sticking by my side, and for taking an interest in Catalan Wine 365!
184 to go!
Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle