217/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Penedes – Vilafranca del Penedes – Alemany i Corrió – Cargol Treu Vi 2012
Cargol Treu Vi 2012, 100%b Xarel.lo
Cargol Treu Vi 2012 is the ultimate vision and expression of the Xarel.lo grape variety. It comes from a small plot of an acre in Olesa de Bonesvalls, the vines being older than 70 years and only 1500 kg. were harvested. The grapes are crushed gently in a vertical press and then laid to ferment and rest in barrels of 300 L. The nose shows typical mature white pear, lemon peel, and has smoked notes and touches of flint stone. The palate is salty and very dry. Medium long after taste but done with a great deal of love and that goes a long way. Only 1200 bottles produced. Crispy and just like a lollipop, it lasts a long way!
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, which with its own D.O. makes for 12.
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 cellars. 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 labour-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.
The Catalan cuisine is very complex and sophisticated, ranging from the seafood from the coastal areas, with the mushrooms of the forests, and meat from wild pigs and rabbits. Catalans are known for a brave mixture of taste and ingredients, and have come up with the sea-and-mountain style cooking, “mar i muntanya”, where meat and seafood come together in a delicious combination.
Dried fruit and nuts are commonly used both in sweet and savoury dishes, and olive oil is a must in almost any recipe. Garlic, tomatoes, and peppers are staples, and bough fresh from the vegetable markets in the local village. In the mountainous interior, pork is turned into a wide variety of cold cuts and salamis, genetically referred to as “embutidos”, and to the local sausages like “longanissa” and “fuet”.
164 to go!
Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle