315/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Conca de Barbera – Pira – Celler Carles Andreu – Carles Andreu Parellada 2011
Early In the Morning……..,
It presents a pale yellow colour with hints of lemon peel. Very complex nose with hints of macerated white fruits. Tropical notes are present, pineapple, banana and yellow mature apple. Cider. Good balance as far as sweetness and acidity goes, structured and persistent with overall fruity connotations. The Parellada is a grape that thrives at higher altitudes and as such it seldom reaches higher levels of alcohol and has issues with revealing a lot of aromas. For what it’s worth, it is one of my personal favorite grapes from Catalonia, because it is so different!
The week started with a long walk with the dogs and then getting around to doing some actual work. Sending invitations, getting around to answering invitations, meetings and lunch, and so the days go. The blog and writing about yet another great wine producer of Catalonia,is just relaxation and what else do I really need? Well yes, a glass of wine but that would be stating the obvious!
This is a small bodega that started only in 1991 by Carles Andreu, it also bears his name. It’s located in the very nice village of Pira. The old Masia (manor house) Cal Celdoni has existed since 1796 but the wine making of recent times, commercially, is fairly young.
The Mas of Cal Celdoni was bought by Carles ancestor from the monks of the Monastery of Poblet. Cavas that are produced here surpass some of the Cavas made in neighboring D.O. Penedès. If that is true or not, is for each and everyone to determine on their own, what I know (and appreciate) is the boldness of Carles when he decided to make the first red wine in the world containing 100% Trepat!
First time I tried their Cava was in a restaurant. Can’t remember the restaurant but the Cava stayed in my memory and I decided that a visit was long overdue! If there is one winemaker that is a must to visit in Conca de Barbera, it is this one! Then again, I always say that! Go figure!
The main varieties grown are Trepat, Parellada, Macabeo and Chardonnay. They are currently doing some testing with Xarel.lo and Garnacha. As the production is kept to a minimum, the grape selection is rigorous as the grapes are received, but the first selection is made already in the vineyards.
The extraction (pressing) of the grapes intended for Cava is very gentle. Only 60% is extracted and it is done slow to control, as far as it’s possible, that only must from the centre of the pulp is flowing, to avoid areas close to the skin and the seed, which provide herbal flavors and favor oxidation.
Each variety is vinified separately by the lowest possible temperature to preserve what little flavor Parellada and Macabeu give. Then the blend is for the base wines that give rise to future Cavas.
Trepat is a red Spanish wine grape variety that is grown primarily in the Conca de Barberà and Costers del Segre. The grape is likely to be indigenous to northeast Spain and today there are approximately 1,500 hectares of the variety used mostly for light rosé wine and Cava. The D.O. Conca de Barberà is one of the main wine regions in that grows Trepat.
In Catalonia, Trepat is mainly found in the blended rosé wines of Conca de Barberà and Costers del Segre where it is often blended with other varieties. Over the years Trepat has been known under a variety of synonyms including: Bonicaire, Embolicaire, Parrel, Trapat, Traput and Trepan.
Trepat is quite particular when it come to soils and doesn’t not thrive everywhere, but it seems to be resistant to most fungal diseases. It is a early riser and is thus susceptible to frost damage, which is more of a problem in this region at some of the higher altitudes but it is normally planted in vineyards on lower altitudes.
Bright red color with cherry hues and red edges. Low to medium layers and moderately slow tears. Primary aromas of ripe red fruit (currants and strawberries), toasted oak is noted but very subtle. Followed up by spicy notes, black pepper and nutmeg, balsamic, sweet licorice. Nice and tasty on the palate, good acidity, red fruits (currants and plums), intense notes that give character and personality, spicy, light menthol. Good structure and persistent. Long aftertaste of ripe fruit and spices. Kept developing and this could easily have stayed in the bottle another few years as it will improve.