345/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Catalunya – Massis de Garraf – Benjamin Romeo/Celler Massis – Massis 2012
Pale yellow color, very bright and clean, the tears are slow and dense. Great expression on the nose, with medium intensity, hints of ripe white fruit, banana, apple and some cured meat, crisp smoky notes, Mediterranean wild herbs and white flowers, freshly cut grass, followed throughout with mineral, chalky secondary aromas. It is a mouthful! Dense on the palate, large and very fresh, good acidity which carries the wine nicely. This is a intense wine, with a overall creamy feel. Citrus and white fruit all the way which is very intense and slightly creamy, very mild bitter notes and medium persistence. The ending is medium long and the aftertaste is that of white fruit and some citrus and soft smoky notes. The wine was fermented using French oak barrels (50% new and 50% used) after which it was aged in the same barrels during 8 months.
Contador! Is not a wine from Catalonia but I guess that you have heard of it? Well, then you also might know that the wine maker of this very expensive wine, is Benjamin Romeo? What you might not know, is that he´s also making wine using grapes from one of my absolute favorite grape growing areas, the Garraf massif, within the Penedes region. The Massis wine is certainly more value for money (compared to the Contador), and if you have been following my postings, you know that I am looking for wines that are not going to make me eat crackers for the rest of the month!
The Penedes region is Catalonia’s largest region in terms of size and production, and covers an area of 27,000 hectares of vineyards. Varieties include Macabeo, Chardonnay, Subirat Parent, Xarel·lo and Parellada white vines, as well as the red varieties of Mazuela, Garnacha, Samsó, Ull de Llebre, Monastrell and Cabernet Sauvignon.
In the Massis de Garraf, you will come across several great wine makers and cellars, producing excellent estate Cavas and wines in an interesting microclimate, within the Penedes. The Massis de Garraf is quite close to the Mediterranean Sea, and the hills forming the Massís reach a height of 500 meters, forming a surprising craggy landscape which is made up of two very different parts: one of chalky and sedimentary rocks and the other, a reef of reddish sand on the eastern part of the plain’s nature reserve. Additionally, given the altitude of the mountains, wide diurnal temperatures and the beneficial climate with wind and humidity coming in from the ocean it is an excellent climate for different grape varieties and many have adapted perfectly.
The next time you come to Barcelona, you should definitely take a day trip to this beautiful area, and why not visit another great cellar if the Massis de Garraf, the Can Ràfols dels Caus! I promise you´ll have a great time!
42 to go!