273/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Penedes – Alt Penedes – Mas Rodó – Mas Rodó Macabeo 2010
Clean and bright, straw yellow color with a pale edge. Moderate nose with evocations of yellow apple and apricot, floral, wood tones, pencil and slightly smoky.
The palate initially involving smoky notes, apple blossom and pineapple, some raw almonds and pastries, some Mediterranean herbs and lees. Light and fresh entry, smooth and balanced palate. Round elegant, excellent acidity, ripe fruit and a medium aftertaste. Lovely wine, right down my alley!
The vines are located on the estate, surrounding the cellar. Old Macabeo vines with a low production. Soils of a complex structure, calcareous and rocky at an altitude of 500 m. south oriented with a wide thermal rise. Manual harvest in boxes at an optimal moment of ripeness. Settling overnight in refrigerated room. Strict quality control in the cellar and at the vineyards. Destemming, soft crushing and mild pressing, allow for the production of an excellent must. Static clearing in stainless steel tanks, and fermentation in French oak barrels. Regular batonnage stirring its lees during a brief two month aging. A wine full of nuances with a very limited production. Recommended serving temperature 12 º C.
Welcome to Catalonia! The Land of Wine!
Catalonia is a land of immense beauty with no less that 11 geographically unique wine districts awarded with the D.O. status, denomination or designation of origin, and is also the main producer of the Spanish sparkling wine Cava.
During one day it’s possible to combine a hike in the mountain, a dip in the sea, and a walk through the vineyards. The Catalan nature offers the most stunning sceneries; from the sandy beaches of Costa Daurada to the steep hills of the Priorat vineyards, from the lush and billowing Penedès region, to the emblematic Monserrat Mountain.
The weather is suitable for tourism throughout the year. The winter is mild and dry, and the almond trees are in blossom already in February. The spring and autumn may come with a day of rain, but mostly the sun is shining from a sky as blue as the cornflower. In March, life slowly returns to the vineyards, and the young leaves paint them a fresh pale green. September is a busy month in the vineyards when the grapes are ready for harvest, and in October the colour symphony ranges from green to yellow, and from orange to red. In November it’s time for the olives to be picked, and for the end of the farmers’ year to be celebrated with the harvest feast in most rural villages.
In Catalonia’s diverse wine regions, more and more producers are making exceptional wines, using sustainable methods both in the fields and in the winery. Most acclaimed internationally are the intense and fruity red wines from Priorat, the result of a dry and hot climate, the slate based soil and labor-intense farming methods. In Penedès, the queen of the wines is the sparkling Cava, made of local grapes, and in it’s best versions it’s a crisp dry Brut Nature. But more regions are reaching the international market with interesting wines, and each region offer it’s own unique reason for a visit.
Wine has been part of the Catalan culture for over 2300 years. Both the Greeks and the Romans planted vineyards here during their colonization. In later years, the culture of vine grew strong around the Benedictine and Carthusian monastries. In the 18th- and 19th century the wine industry become a driving force for the country’s economy, up until the phylloxera epidemic killed off most of the vines in Europe.
Today the Catalan wine industry is enjoying another high, and the local winemakers are in constant search of great wines. A long tradition has been enriched by creative ideas and modern innovations. The vineyards of Catalonia covers varied landscapes, microclimates and grape varieties, which results in an exceptionally diverse range of wines. The coastal zone of Catalonia, where many of the vineyards are situated, enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate. Traveling inland, the climate becomes more continental, with hotter summers and colder winters. In the northern regions, along the French border, the Pyrenees mountain range dominates the landscape, and mountains hem in the Mediterranean cost all the way south.
111 to go!