Winery De Muller, That Lucky Old Sun in D.O. Tarragona

367/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Tarragona – Reus – De Muller – Solera 1851 Pajarete Augusto De Muller

That Lucky Old Sun……..,

…never stops shining and the days here in Catalonia are in general wonderful. Sure, ups and downs, but it just seems like the ups are Himalaya and the downs are not so very down! Make sense? Pure fact of the matter is, I have found a good life here and I intend to enjoy it to the fullest. The end of this week is full of activities, wine tastings, cellar visits and wine lectures. Is it all about wine, you might ask? I’m not going to bore you with a extended answer, simple yes will have to suffice! But on occasion I do tend to eat something nice with the wine as well.

pajareteSolera 1851 Pajarete Augusto De Muller, Moscatel, Garnacha Blanca and a mix of Red Garnacha varieties!

Medium-dark brown mahogany color with very dense and endless tears. There’s a symphony of aromas going on in the glass, the nose being very fragrant and subtle, starting with balsamic and continuing with cedar tree, candy and cereals. Raisins, dried figs, dates and nuts are several of the other lovely aromas developing and offering dimension after dimension in this Jerez type wine, one of the best sweet wines that I have had the luck to try. The palate is a round, full of flavor, with exceptional acidity that make it an almost eternal wine. There is a high degree of fineness and delicacy topped with a long, silky finish. This is a wine that will allow you to die with a smile on your face!

And just to be on the safe side, a bottle is close by at all times!

Penedes is divided into three administrative parts, Alt Penedès, Baix Penedès and Garraf, and their capitals are Vilafranca del Penedès, el Vendrell and Vilanova i la Geltrú. The provincial division is between the provinces of Barcelona, which includes Alt Penedès and Garraf, and the province of Tarragona, which includes Baix Penedès.

The regions within the province of Tarragona

So, the village of choice, in which i live and work, in situated within Tarragona, not the D.O. of Tarragona but the province of Tarragona. The village falls under the D.O. of Penedes. Confusing? Well, sometimes the borders made by paper pushers are not always meant to be understood!

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Suffice to say that both D.O:s have a diversity of wines and a multitude of cellars. No need to travel long distances to enjoy a nice visit to a winery and to fill the days with lovely local activities. Spring is here and that makes it so much easier! One of the big ones, De Muller of Tarragona, is worth not only one visit but several, and their products are abundant throughout the restaurants of Catalonia.

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Presently, De Muller offers a very wide range of quality wines under the appellations of Tarragona, Priorat and Terra Alta. Amongst the traditional Mass Wine is included. It was responsible of the De Muller fame throughout the world. Nowadays exports constitutes 60% of its production to international markets, the 40% remaining, being sold nationally.

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During four generations, starting in 1851, the company belonged to the family De Muller. Initiated by Sir Auguste de Muller and Ruinart de Brimont, a member of a well-known Alsacian wine grower family.

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Having considered the potential the Tarragona area provides, they decided to settle as former Greek colonies had settled in Spain, followed by the Roman Empire in Imperial Tarraco, capital city of Citerior Hispania.

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As from June 1995, De Muller S.A. belongs to the Martorell family, Catalonian businessmen and traders eager to obtain the optimal quality in wine, while respecting the tradition that constituted the firm heritage for decades. During 1996, De Muller S.A. moved their installations in a new cellar surrounded by vineyards in the property known as “Mas de Valls” in Reus.

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In the village known as El Molar, in the south-eastern part of Priorat, one can find the property “Mas de les Pusses” with 34 hectares of vineyards and a new cellar with a capacity of 500.000 liters. It is here they elaborate their Priorat wines, which I’ll have to come back to. In 1999, De Muller assured the continuity of the former Cochs S.A. who decided to sell the company after 52 years of activity; they decided to do so because they had no continuity in the management, which had always been held by the family.

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Cochs was founded in Reus in 1946 and it began its activity on the first of January 1947. The firm was mainly enrolled in the manufacturing of the traditional vermouth aperitif from Reus, well known on the national territory; its formula has remained unchanged. To explain all wines produced would take several entries, so you’ll just have to wait and make due with a brief explanation of todays wine.

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Solera is a process for aging liquids such as wine, beer, vinegar, and brandy, by fractional blending in such a way that the finished product is a mixture of ages, with the average age gradually increasing as the process continues over many years. A solera is literally the set of barrels or other containers used in the process.

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The majority of the “hearth”, in the wine tasted, is Moscatel and Garnacha (both Negra and Blanca) varieties. Both of which are aged independently and in different types of oak barrels. These barrels are stacked in rows of up to three stories height.

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The lower row is called “Solaria”, due to its proximity to the ground and contains  a higher quantity of aged wine.  When the blend is about to be made and the wine bottled, 1/3 of this “Solera” is removed. The loss in volume is immediately replaced by wine from the second tier barrels, and the second from the third. The second and third tiers are called “Criadera”. The third tier is filled with new wine, which has been subjected to oxidative aging in wood casks.

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The output of the solera is the fraction of the last container taken off for bottling each cycle. The amount of product tied up in the solera is usually many times larger than the production. This means that a solera is a very large capital investment for a winemaker. If done with actual barrels, the producer may have several soleras running in parallel. For a small producer, a solera may be the largest capital investment, and a valuable asset to be passed down to descendants.

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Wine produced from a solera cannot formally have a vintage date because it is a blend of vintages from many years. However, some bottlings are labeled with an age for marketing reasons. It is unclear whether such age indications denotes the average age, or the age of the oldest batch.

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The wine tasted today bares the note “In honor of the son of Reus, Antonio Gaudí, genius known worldwide as the father of modernist architecture, this hearth born the end of the day this teacher was made.”

Enjoy! Another very elaborate Catalan Solera!

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De Muller Garnacha Solera 1926

Amber yellow in color. Thick and satiny with perfect slow flowing tears. Noted aromas in the nose are those of dried fruit and dates. Secondary are of toasted notes, caramel, burnt sugar, which mingle the scent of varnish and mahogany wood sail boats. The palate is thick and creamy. Very polished with nice balance. It is long in the mouth and lingers. Sweet, but not overly sweet. Fresh with wonderful acidity. I have to try the other Soleras by De Muller!

18 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and SweetEasy Wine Tours

Hotel Hostal-Sport Time, I Gotcha in D.O. Empordà

348/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Empordà – Tasting in Falset – Hotel Hostal-Sport – Garnatxa Solera Marià Pagès

I Gotcha…….

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…. once again, Hostal-Sport hosted a tasting of wines from one of the 12 appellations in Catalonia. Yesterday it was time for D.O. Empordà. Professional, enthusiastic and always smiling….., Laura Masramon Grau, sommelier and highly knowledgeable when it comes to the Empordà, was in charge and showed us what Empordà is all about! If you ever feel like visiting the Empordà, you should definitely get in touch with Laura, as she will show you the soul of the region! The next tasting, and last for the year, is on the 7th of December, covering DOQ Priorat, Vi de Vila producers! I expect some real gems and I for one am not going to miss it!

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Empordà is a landscape of contrasts, situated in the far north east of Catalonia. The Pyrenees, to the north, and the Mediterranean Sea, to the south, form natural boundaries. The breathtaking Costa Brava setting makes Empordà a truly unique place, linking the coast to the mountains, influenced by the famous northerly Tramontane wind. Empordà is a landscape of great natural beauty, with several natural protected areas and an awe-inspiring coastline of beaches and coves. It also boasts a great cultural and historical heritage: menhirs, megaliths, Gothic architecture, Romanesque art, charming small villages, the surrealist art of the genius Salvador Dali… all making the area highly attractive, even more so if the people and fine gastronomy are also considered, especially the Empordà traditional dishes and the nouvelle cuisine, headed by figures such as Ferran Adrià. All of which are complemented beautifully by Empordà DO (Designation of Origin) wines.

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There is no doubt that the wine culture and the knowledge of the wine trade reached Catalonia around the 6th century BC. The area was then the most important Greek colony in Spain, and Emporiae was the Greek city that later gave its name to the district of Empordà. Four centuries later, archaeological and documental evidence exists to demonstrate that the wines of the lands of Emporiae and other areas of the Tarraconensis were known in the domestic markets of other provinces of the Roman Empire and in the metropolis itself.

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In the Middle Ages, when vines were grown near abbeys and monasteries, the terraced vineyards cultivated by the Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes covered the slopes of the Rodes Mountain range. It is here that the winemaking monk Ramon Pere de Noves is believed to have excelled in the art of winemaking and have written a treatise on the subject. There is also evidence to show that the Monasteries of Sant Quirze de Colera and Santa Maria de Vilabertran also owned vineyards in Empordà.

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In the 18th and 19th centuries, the vines demonstrated their colonising capacity and became a symbol for the agricultural growth that fuelled significant demographic growth in the production area. A unique landscape of cypress trees with dry stone terraces, walls and cottages was shaped. The phylloxera plague first appeared in Catalonia in 1879, in a vineyard in Rabós d’Empordà. It brought a ruinous end to this thriving era for Empordà wines. The recovery was tough. The vineyards never recovered all the land they had occupied prior to the plague.

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The cooperative bodega movement was initially promoted by the Mancomunitat of Catalonia, and later by the Republican Generalitat around 1930. This was the start of a new era of improved winemaking processes; new bodegas were built and sales networks were extended. In addition to these developments, private initiatives were underway and the result was that the quality of wine of Empordà gained fame and popularity in many markets.

Garnatxa_Celler_Maria_Pages_DO_Emporda_AnabelGardellGarnatxa Solera Marià Pagès, 100% Garnatxa

Intense lovely amber color with a mahogany hue, thick and rather slow tears, unclear, slightly veiled. The nose is somewhat reduced as a result of its aging, oak notes of old wood and varnish, nuts (walnuts and almonds), soft licorice notes, nice scents of Mediterranean herbs  (lavender and thyme), soft honey notes, marzipan and soft background of dried apricots and figs. Soft on the palate with a slightly sweet touch, lovely presence in the mouth with good balance, good acidity, soft touches of liquor, dried orange peel, great volume, fine texture, slightly smooth and gentle persistence. Long and persistent aftertaste of dried figs. Powerful, sweet and fruity! My favorite of the evening!

catalan-wine-365-new1139 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and SweetEasy Wine Tours

Temps de Vi, Shining Star in D.O. Penedes

337/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Penedes – Avinyonet del Penedès – Mas Comtal – Lyric 1993

Shining Star……..,

Time for wine, isn’t it always? Another day, another wine tasting. And why not share the Shining Star of Penedes with you……. This time with sommelier Oscar Villagarcia, one of the organizers of one of the top wine fairs in Catalonia. Temps de Vi. With regards to his wine tasting, all I can say is that it was done in a very professional manner. Six lovely wines were tasted and five of them are in time getting a posting each, except the Bru de Verdu 2012, which has already been covered.

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I’m starting of in the wrong end, with the last wine, a dessert wine but this was the winner for me and even though the tasting took place on Sunday evening, I still have the taste of the wine on my tongue. The setting was also spectacular, in an old city palace/town house with a grand entrance and a wonderful staircase leading up to the tasting room. Outside, on the village square, the November fair was going on, with local produce and music. If you would like to know more about todays winery, just follow the link!

mas-comtal-lyric-9471Lyric 1993, 100% Merlot

The color is dark amber, has a red streak to it and could be described as Tawny colored. The nose is a A – Z library of aromatic experiences. What stands out especially are the roasted notes from the barrel aging, mature forest fruit, berries and dried figs, apricot, peach and toasted hazelnuts. The palate is moderately dense and not too sweet, in any case, not sticky. The 19º alcohol is perceived, without being overwhelming or disturbing the overall experience in any way. It is comparable to……., well nothing really, but if I’d have to venture a description, it would have to be; Tokay meets Port meets Jerez. But this is really very unique beverage with refreshing acidity, carrying the aromas from the nose to the palate. What really stands out, is the length, which is almost eternal and where the multiple nuances, roasting, fruit and balanced sweetness come together in perfect harmony. This wine was the last of the evening and had us talking, inspiring us to word we hardly use, as only the best of wines can do!

It is a unique fortified wine which has been produced using the Merlot variety, following fortified liqueur wine methodology that partially ferments the must and then, tops it off with a grape alcohol from the same harvest. In this way, an excellently stable wine is achieved that is rich in sugars and with a high alcohol percentage. Over a 15-year period, small quantities in 225 litre casks have been made each year, following the aging process which characterizes the great fortified wines of Jerez. Hence, the wine has an age of 15 years. Recommended for marrying with foie gras appetizers. A good companion for strong blue cheeses. Ideal for pouring over a selection of fresh fruits and also a perfect combination with almond catanies, truffles and nuts.

Joan Milà, also known as “the Merlot Magician”, surprises us once again. This is the first FORTIFIED WINE elaborated by Joan and Albert, the result of a winemaking project of more than 15 years’ standing; a project that started with the harvest of ’93, coinciding with the beginning of a new era for the family estate. On this occasion, they have named it LYRIC, in reference to the poetry in which elemental and affective, sentimental and emotional tones predominate. A genre without its own metre and rhyme schemes. Utterly appropriate for this new project, which instead of following the rules results from a dream. Sweet wine with an extremely limited production. Spring 2008 saw the bottling of two hundred 50cl bottles, using a glass top to ensure its preservation and to prevent any unpleasant taste from corking. This is a true Signature Organic Wine and another Super Catalan!

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DSC_096151 to go!

 

Celler Sangenis i Vaqué, Go Your Own Way in DOQ Priorat

243/365 – Catalonia – DOQ Priorat – Porrera – Celler Sangenis i Vaqué – Simfonia en Dolç 2007
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Simfonia en Dolç 2007, 90% Garnacha, 10% Cariñena
Bright garnet red, lovely depth. Candied notes (blackberry, blackcurrant) cocoa, toast and minerals. In the mouth it is spicy, fruity, powerful and with a ever lasting aftertaste.

For a very reasonable cost, a visit with tasting is a must once in Porrera.

THE TRIPP!

We, my wife and I, had recently moved to Barcelona and this was the day we would explore Priorat. As we were approaching the mythical and mystical region, we decided to get of the main road and the first sign said Porrera. That’s it! Only 6 kilometers from the main road but it took us 15 minutes to get there. The GPS, quite optimistically, wanted us to drive at the speed of 90 km/h but the windy roads wouldn’t allow more than 45 km/h. All good! All worth it! This, our first day in Priorat, we didn’t see much more than Porrera, knowing full well that we were going to be back!

The mythical Priorat

THE VILLAGE!

Formerly called Vallporrera (twelfth century Valporriera) is a derivative of leek with a collective sense. Obviously, this is the edible leek, cultivated since ancient times. It is, therefore, a Roman name, from the Latin “porrum” and would have the meaning “(valley) where the leek is plentiful.” Now, the wines is plentiful. Porrera has 14 wine cellars, a few restaurants, B&B;s and a welcoming feel! As Priorat has its micro climate, Porrera displays yet another micro climate within the DOQ. Some say, you will be able to distinguish wines from Porrera in comparison to other wines from the region.

Pure gold!

THE WINERY!

The Sangenis and the Vaques! The sign outside the winery, located on Placa Catalunya, only states DO, and the sign hasn’t changed since 1979. Priorat got it’s DOQ in 2000 and the fever started. By that time Pere Sangenis and Conxita Vaqué had been producing excellent wines for more than 20 years, although the history of winemaking runs for generations. The new generation, daughters Nuria and Maria, are now exploring historical vineyards with a modern touch. The labels stay the same, as the father still has his say so. Changing the sign, adding the Q, seems to be the least important thing for now.

The new generation.

Sangenís I Vaqué was founded in 1978 by Pere Sangenís and Conxita Vaqué. The vineyards are located in Porrera, famous for its llicorella (schist and slate) terraces and vines, all of which are venerable, and divided between Garnacha and Cariñena. Minimal intervention in the winery is the philosophy here and the wines are aged in a combination of French (85%) and American (15%) oak for 12 months. They are then bottled unfined and unfiltered and can, as a result, be seen as amongst the purest and most traditional. This is and will be, for a very long time, my favourite winery!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle

138 to go!

Celler Caves Nadal, Bitches Brew in D.O. Penedes

215/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Penedes – El Pla del Penedèsl – Celler Caves Nadal – Nadal 1510 Botrytis Nobel 2001

Bitches Brew………,

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Nadal 1510 Botrytis Nobel 2001, 100% Macabeu

Made from the Macabeo grape variety – ripening of the grapes is done by implementing Botrytis Cinerea fungs. Yellow bright golden colour. Intense aromas with notes of candied fruit, honey (acacia) and Botrytis. Perfect balance between acidity, sugar and alcoholic strength. Very dense and rich in taste. Ideal as an aperitif, accompanied by foie gras, blue cheeses, oysters … superb wine that will improve during the coming 20 years. There are not many sweet wines from Penedes that I really like, but this one sets the level, Bitches Brew if you wish!

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1510 Nadal is the first sweet white Noble Botrytis wine made ​​in Spain. The Botrytis Cinerea, if conditions are favorable, gives healthy grapes with smooth skin, alternating wet and short sunny periods and absence of other microorganisms, is the main responsibility of the “noble rot” that modifies not only the color and aspect of the grape, but also alters the chemical composition of the wine. The presence of this fungus causes a decrease of more than 50% of the acidity in the grape and increases the natural concentration of sugars due to the evaporation of water. The grapes are harvested at different stages, selecting each grape at the time when most affected by the fungus. This miracle of nature allows the development of the Noble Botrytis Nadal 1510.

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Can Nadal de la Boadella was founded at the beginning of the 16th century. The parchment signed by the notary Francesch Berthomeu in 1510 certifies the ownership of farm land in the name of Pere Nadal, located in the municipality of Torrelavit. According to the historical documentation, the Nadal Heritage never ceased the cultivation of vines and the production of wine. Even during the difficult years of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), when a part of the estate was expropriated to build an airfield, it never stopped cultivating and harvesting the grapes.

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The father of Cava at Nadal. Ramon Nadal Giró was an heir with initiative. He was born in 1903, just when the farmers of the Alt Penedès had started replanting the vineyards stricken by phylloxera. In 1941 it was he who was replanting the vineyards of the estate that had served as an airfield during the war, and two years later, after building the cellar that still keeps the secrets of the best Nadal products, he began to develop the first Cava Brut that already carried the name of Nadal on the bottle.

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Since that time, the tradition has never stopped. The cavas and white wines together with the balsamic vinegar of Nadal’s late harvest are the result of the specialization in the cultivation of the more than 40 vineyards surrounding the winery, wine cellars and the family home, located 20 km kilometres from Sant Sadurní d’Anoia. The vines, some of which are over 65 years old, provide balanced, high quality grapes.

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Currently, the Nadal Estate produces more grapes than needed to cover the entire production. This allows the farm to select and provide the highest quality grapes for the production of the best varietal wines. The Nadal Estate grows basically the autochthonous white grape varieties of the Penedès: Macabeu, Parellada and Xarel.lo.

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The Macabeo is reputed as it allows for the creation of great wines which form the basis of complex and structured varieties of Cava, imbued with fresh and fruity aromas. Overripe on the vine, the effect of the Botritys Cinerea fungus is to provide remarkably sweet grapes that are intended for the production of fine sweet wines of the highest quality.

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The Xarel.lo, the Penedès flagship variety, produces pale wines with ochre tones, voluminous on the palate and with aromas of ripe fruit. It is essential for the cava RNG, made in honour of founder Ramon Nadal Giró, and for dry white wine which is made from aged Nadal Xarel.lo.

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The Parellada grape gives pale wines with green hues, floral and delicate aromas, and which are soft and smooth in the mouth Its use is exclusively in the production of Cava. The Pinot Noir is a French variety ideal for the production of Cavas and wines. It is the first to mature and, therefore, is the one that opens the vintage in the cellar of the Nadal Estate. It is used for the production of the Cava Salvatge Rosé.

166 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle

Cooperativa Vila-Rodona, Sweetest Thing in D.O. Tarragona

169/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Tarragona – Vila-Rodona – Cooperativa Vila-Rodona – Vi Ranci

Sweetest Thing….

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Vi Ranci, fortified wine

The color is glossy, mahogany brown. Nose shows light alcohol, pickled fruits in liquor, nuts, spices, cocoa bean. The mouth is powerful, slightly sweet, sour with good acidity. A very dry white wine aged over a long period in oak casks, it is a typical product of this appellation of origin D.O. Tarragona. Its distinctive bouquet and flavour make this a perfect wine to accompany sweet desserts. To enjoy at its best, serve at around 9°C.

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The Agricultural Cooperative of Vila-Rodona is now an association of various local agricultural cooperatives forming part of the Appellation d’Origen Tarragona, and situated right in the middle of the Cistercian Route, just next to the Santes Creus Monastery. Founded in 1919, the cooperative wine cellar, of modernistic style, the work of the Valls architect Cèsar Martinell, is of significant architectural interest and is open to the public.

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From the beginning, the aim has been to constantly improve the techniques of the cellar and make the most of the available resources. All this work has resulted in the excellent quality of the wines and other local products made by the Cooperative. The cooperative produces 10.000.000 liters of wine annually, made from the different varieties of grapes harvested in the 1200 hectares of vineyards belonging to the members of the cooperative. The majority of the grapes is destined for the production of wine and Cava of renowned labels.

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The production and elaboration of reserve wines aged in the cellars, their own Cavas, other varietal and fortified wines, are the result of the continuous effort of this Cooperative to achieve maximum quality, which is demonstrated by the high level of all the products. The Vila-Rodona cooperative makes wine purely from it’s members vineyards, found primarily in the villages of Vila-Rodona, Aiguamúrcia, Valls and el Pla de Santa Maria. All the vineyards are registered within Denominacions d’Origen that guarantee the quality of the wines produced.

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The grapes from the vineyards of Aiguamúrcia produce wines within the Denominació d’Origen Penedès and the grapes from Vila-Rodona, el Pla de Santa Maria and Valls produce wines in the Denominació d’Origen Tarragona. Simultaneously these vineyards are at the heart of the Denominació Cava. Production is predominantly of white wines, made from Macabeu, Parellada and Chardonnay, although in recent years there has been an important increase in the number of red grape plantations, with varieties like Ull de Llebre (Tempranillo), Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.

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The mild Mediterranean climate in the area, with rains in the Spring and the Autumn and dry summers cooled by sea breezes, enables a healthy ripening of the grapes and good color in the red grapes. The diversity of soils in the four villages produces grapes with different characteristics, enabling blends between the different wines produced. In the white varieties this combination of climate and soils produces grapes, which once elaborated in the cellar, give aromatic and fruity whites.

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In the red varieties, the good color and ripening from the combination of climate and soils in the area enable them to make reds with structure, balance and complexity. These views of the vineyards, farmed in the hills around the Gaià river valley and the area of les Planes, are well worth visiting. The strict control of each of the vineyards enable them to maintain the traceability of all of their wines and Cavas, knowing at all times which vineyards have produced the grapes for each wine. This transparency is increasingly important in the relationship between producer and consumer.

210 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle

 

Time for Wine (Part Two), I’ll Take You There in Vilanova i La Geltru

163/365 – Catalonia – D.O. All of them! – Vilanova i La Geltru – Temps de Vi 2014 (Wine Fair) – Sot Lefriec 2004

I’ll take you there….,

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…., not only to the Priorat, Penedes, Terra Alta and the other appellations and the more or less well know wine cellars. If you let me, I’ll also take you to Temps de Vi wine fair in Vilanova i La Geltru and tomorrow it starts! Unfortunately I won’t be there the first day but not to worry, there are two more days (Saturday and Sunday) and I’ll be reporting daily from this amazing wine fair. That would be my way of taking you there, and if you feel like joining the party next year, please let me know and I’ll point you in the right direction! One of the stands that is going to be well visited is the one of Alemany i Corrio! And today’s wine is one of their top range wines! Come to think of it….., if Tuscany can have their Super Tuscans, I hope too start a new trend of “Super Catalans”!

Sot Lefriec 2004

Sot Lefriec, 50% Merlot, 30% Carignan and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon (D.O. Penedes)

The fermentation of this particular wine takes place in small tanks on wild yeasts. There are no pumps in the winery as the wines are moved using inert gas to avoid any uncontrolled oxidation. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignan were harvested approximately 10 days later than usual or what would be considered normal for the varieties and region. Prefermentation maceration and alc. fermentation around 30-35 days for Merlot and Cab. Sauv. and around 25 days for Carignan , which is also longer than usual. During these periods, there are daily remontages and pigeages. Sot Lefriec 2004 has spent 23 months ageing in French oak barrels, 70% new oak. This is a super small garage producer, that works out of Vilafranca del Penedes, so if you see a bottle of Sot Lefriec on a shelve be sure to grab it fast!

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Dark cherry layered with a bright purple rim and intense tears. Ripe black fruit on the nose with floral aromas and a successful soft toasted oak and vanilla aromas presenting cocoa, toffee and spices, smoked pepper, thyme and clove. Powerful and tasty tannins and balanced acidity with successful long life, clean and pleasant with great fruit that carries all the way to the end and a long lingering after-taste. This is to be considered a “Super Catalan”!!!

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And as the real party is about to start, let’s share the program for the coming days! As I mentioned, the first day is a no go for me as I have to spend it with some wine lovers from California! Giving them the grand tour tomorrow! I just love it when I get the opportunity to show people what Catalonia can offer. I’m sure they won’t be disappointed. The Temps de Vi actually had some activities that started last week, like the Riedel experience which was taking place at the Victor Balaguer library in Vilanova i La Geltru, a quite cool location for a exquisite wine tasting!

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Temps de Vi (Time for Wine) Friday, May 30th events;

The winery Can Ràfols dels Caus, Infinite Restaurant and the jazz band Nicolau Experience are together taking people on a wine and food joourney with jazz music to complement, or as the call it here “Trimaridatge”! A five course meal with selected wines from Can Ràfols dels Caus. Starts at 21.00, but should be booked in advance as I am certain it will be one of many popular events this weekend! 

Temps de Vi Can Ràfols dels Caus Infinite

At the very same time, other will book and enjoy a pairing at the Hotel Ceferino, which is hosting a joint event with Gramona, one of the major Cava producer of D.O. Penedes! Againm five courses with five amazing Gramona products!

Temps de vi gramona

Today’s chosen winery, is doing a vertical tasting at Resturant Marejol, Starts at 20.00 hours and if I could go tomorrow, this would probably be my choice! So many wines, so little time! Damn! The main event area is going to be set up with all the winery stands, offering their latest and best of their products. In close vicinity there are performance stages and on stage 2 at 20.00 hours you’ll be able to enjoy a homage to the Gerry Muligan Quatrtet! What a party! If you feel like starting of early, you should be in front of stage one at around 18.00 hours! That’s when Scarbeats start with their “Beatles Live Performance”! This is merely a selection of the many activities taking place during Friday. For the additional information and the schedules for Saturday and Sunday, pleas have a look at the official web site of Temps de Vi! Happy wine and music days!

Some wine tasting are taking place on sail boats!

Some wine tasting are taking place on sail boats!

Welcome to Vilanova i La Geltru, so that you can experience first hand, the best that Catalonia has to offer!

216 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle