330/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Conca de Barberà – Sarral – Celler Bellod – Mas del Nen Negre Vall Roja 2010
The varieties were grown at the property of “Mas del Nen” in Conca de Barberá. The aging was 12 months on oak and 6 months in the bottle. Most vintners in the Conca de Barbera would use the Trepat grape as a standard but lately many cellars have started producing non traditional blends for this region. This wine is clearly an evidence of that it works just fine and that the terroir of the Conca has decided to treat these varieties with respect. Very intense cherry red color. The nose is very complex with aromas of black forrest berries, red berries, a touch of earth and underbrush. The first thing that came to mind was actually raspberry jam on a buttered toast. The palate has a good structure and it is a balanced wine with velvety tannins. Fresh and enjoyable. I have said it over and I’ll say it again, price quality is outstanding. Discover Conca de Barbera before it is to late!
Mas del Nen, litterary means The house of the children, but I don’t think they meant to call it that due to the fact that I become a child once I drink their wines! The origins of the company goes back to 1943, when Josep Bellod founded Cellers Bellod, a family business which from the inception were focused on selecting both the best vine and also the best wine producing areas in the country. As time went by the bottling processes and the technology were adapted to meet customer demands. United by a common bond, the wine, and thanks to the confidence of the clients and collaborators, half a century later, they can still offer products that are quite simply well suited for the wine lovers of today.
With all the accumulated experiences in the wine trade, Celler Bellod begins an innovative project in the Conca de Barberà area, where the climatic conditions are very favourable for vine growing resulting in wines of a great quality. Tradition and technology come together in the lands of “Mas del Nen” where they elaborate what has come to be known as “Vins d’autor” (author wines).
La Conca de Barberà is a Catalan region covering 649 km2. Its natural conditions, together with its history and traditions, make it a privileged zone for vine growing and the elaboration of excellent wines and Cava. It is an agricultural region mainly dedicated to the vine cultivation, where its first stocks were brought from France by cister monks, coming to the Poblet Monastery. During more than a hundred years vines have been cultivated in the region. In the last twenty years, there has been a considerable transformation, new stocks have been planted, imported from France, as well as keeping the traditional varieties alive. A region well worth exploring, not only for the wines but also for many of the other local produce and the history of the Cister monks and their monasteries.
Through the figure of San Bernardo de Claravall, the monastic order was extended through all Europe. The Catalan-Aragon monarchs trusted the monks for the foundation of great religious centers in good lands, which gave life to economy and demography in the new territories. In Catalonia, the most important ones were established in Poblet, Santes Creus y Vallbona de les Monges, responding to the need of colonizing the lands in Catalonia Nova. The Cister Route was created in 1989, showing the importance this order had for this territory, and its great architectonic influence. The monasteries reflect the spiritual strength that the communities had. The most important regions were Conca de Barberà, Alt Camp y Urgell. And of course the monks were huge wine lovers, so today we thank them for starting vine growing in this beautiful region!
58 to go!