Rosa Maria Torres, One on One in D.O. Conca de Barbera

369/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Conca de Barbera – Sarral – Rosa Maria Torres – Susel Rosé 2009

One on One……..,

Susel 2009Susel Rosé 2009, 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Bright red onion peel color, leaning towards light cherry. A very elegant aroma of ripe red berries, strawberry and raspberry. Some candied fruit, dried flowers and touches of herbs, some currant. Light entry, tasty, great acidity in the mouth. It is round, intense and to be very honest, as my preferred wines are certainly not rosés, this one is amazing. Long aftertaste which is slightly spicy. Probably one of the best rosés tried this side of Christmas! The fermentation is done at a temperature between 14 and 16ºC, after soaking with the grape skins in order to preserve the bouquet. This wine spent a short period resting on its lees. This wine is excellent with pasta dishes, vegetables and salads. The perfect temperature for this wine is: 6-8ºC. Lovely, not only as a summer wine, this can stand most seasons and most wine loving moments.

Logo_seccionatThe documentation about the origin of Villa of the Sarral, takes us to the XII century, and it is known that the name of the village at the time was Saluc. The wine was imported by monks of the locality of Poblet, from the convents that the Cister monks used to have in France. Sarral is located in the tour guide of the Ruta dels Cisters. From the wine cellar, you can visit three monasteries which are very close. The Villa Ducal Montblanc is also located in the vicinity, which has a rich historical past.

rc91The region is full of vineyards, modernist cellars and a variety of picturesque villages, that are interesting to visit, as: Conesa, Fores, Barbera de la Conca, etc. Those villages are very rich in history related to the country and its people. Both in Montblanc and Poblet, you can visit the Tourism Office, where you will find all the information to have a pleasant day of tourism and enjoy the best gastronomy of La Conca de Barbera.

PADDOCK_RUTA_la-ruta-del-cister16 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and SweetEasy Wine Tours

Viticultors Mas del Nen, Raspberry Jam in D.O. Conca de Barberà

330/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Conca de Barberà – Sarral – Celler Bellod – Mas del Nen Negre Vall Roja 2010

Raspberry Jam…….,

MAS DEL NEN 2007Mas del Nen Negre Vall Roja 2010, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha and Syrah

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!

 

 

Carles Andreu, Early In the Morning in D.O. Conca de Barbera

315/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Conca de Barbera – Pira – Celler Carles Andreu – Carles Andreu Parellada 2011

Early In the Morning……..,

Imagen 104Carles Andreu Parellada 2011, 100% Parellada

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!

clca_fic_1

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.

CAVA DE NITmenys

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!

carles-andreu-cava-reserva-brut-nature-75-cl-do-cava

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!

carlesandreu_1

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

Enoturisme-2-1170x578

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

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.

D.O Conca de Barbera

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.

Carles,Andreu,Trepat,2011,Conca,de,Barbera,Cava,Spain-400x400

 Carles Andreu Trepat 2011, Trepat 100%, from fifty year old vines, from the vineyards of Les Alzinetes and Les Parades.

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.

76 to go!

 

Rendé Masdeu, Help Yourself in D.O. Conca de Barbera

303/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Conca de Barbera – L´Espluga de Francolí – Rendé Masdeu – Trepat del Jordiet 2012

Help Yourself……..,

rende-masdeu-trepat-del-jordietTrepat del Jordiet 2012, 100% Trepat

Cherry red color, bright and with a middle layer. The nose offers subtle notes of red berries and spices. It is not to expressive, kind of closed. The palate is soft, fresh, spicy and the wine is very easy to drink and to enjoy! As a native variety of Conca de Barbera, Trepat, vinified in red, will reveal a world of original experience. Finesse, freshness and subtlety, wrapped fruit and spicy notes. Jordiet is born from organic farming. The wine is a varietal wine and it was produced in amphorae. The Romans claimed that the slow oxygenation when doing wine in amphorae, expresses the particularities without outside interference.

In the middle of the Conca de Barberà region, astride the lands of the interior and the Tarragona coast is L’Espluga de Francolí. Surrounded by a leafy natural area, this town is closely linked to wine production, as is shown by one of the architectural jewels in its historic quarter, the Modernist Wine Cellar with its Wine museum. L’Espluga, located on the Cistercian Route, is also the anteroom to the Monastery of Poblet. This Cistercian monastery, one of the largest in Spain, was declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1991.

cellerrende01_0-1

The wine vocation of the Rendé family has its roots in an ancient tradition and is now a well established business. Documented evidence, from at least 1604, shows continued dedication to viticulture and winemaking. Originally from the town Catllar the ancestors moved to L’Espluga de Francolí in the mid-nineteenth century where the viticultural tradition continued.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The grandfather, Joseph M. Ventosa Rendé, was a leader of the regeneration Catalan agriculture. From his position as the Head of the Agricultural Social Action Community of Catalonia and professor of the College of Agriculture, he spearheaded the creation of cooperative wineries, with the collaboration of architects Cèsar Martinell i Domènech i Muntaner. Today, some of their creations still stand as valuable architectural monuments.

rendemasdeuamfores

Today we are so far away from the old wine drinking traditions, when it was merely a beverage, considered as a simple food ingredient or a routine intake, without contemplation of what actually was consumed. Over many years there has been a steady incline in wine refinement as well as the consumer knowledge and appreciation for its values ​​of complexity, harmony and different styles. It is no longer enough to make a good wine.

F1-5
True to the family motto: “Good wine comes from good vines”, direct care of their crops is paramount. Controlled and handcrafted limited production, allows for obtaining different and always a high quality wine. Rendé Masdeu sees wine culture as an artistic activity that has characterized their personality, resting on the pillars of tradition and constant research to improve and consolidate the pleasures of good taste. Because, at the end of the day (or at the beginning of the day), that’s what we all are looking for, a wine that tastes good!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The brothers Josep and Joan M. Rendé Masdéu and their family, modernized the family heritage and its vineyards. They are specialized in the production of wines of high demand, mostly red wines made ​​with grapes varieties like: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Their wines are incorporated into the forefront of the revival of the old wine making prestige of the Conca de Barbera.

81 to go!

 

Mas de la Sabatera, Tighten Up in D.O. Conca de Barbera

164/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Conca de Barbera – Prenafeta – Mas de la Sabatera – Mas de la Sabatera 2008

Tighten Up…..,

….., this is the music to tighten up with…., but what wine would you tighten up with or would you prefer to unwind, maybe with a bottle of red? From Conca de Barbera? If that is the case, let me suggest a Friday special, make sure to listen to the music track, sit back, pour a glass and relax! No need to tighten up, life is to short, just have a great Friday evening! With loads of lovin’ from CatalanWine 365.

bot_MasSabatera-1

Mas de la Sabatera 2008, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Tempranillo

Red wine made from the farm of Mas de la Sabatera. The 190 acres are situated in an idyllic and secluded location in the foothills of the Sierra de Prades, for this particular wine they have selected the best vineyards of Cabernet and Merlot. The vine are all older than fifteen years and at their peak in this dry environment. Located at 470 meters above sea level and enjoy a beneficial mountain climate, sheltered by the Sierra de Prades, with fresh and dry summers, which enhances the natural ripening. The grapes are picked at night, providing natural freshness and aromatic integrity. The grapes have been fermented in stainless steel tanks, keeping the fermentation temperature below 25 ° to facilitate the intensity of the fruit and to optimize the extraction of color and tannins.

The wine has a deep and vivid red color with violet edges. On the nose it is clean with high intensity, predominantly black fruit, blueberries, blackberries, some pastries and spices, like pepper. Good integration of fruit and oak. The palate is pleasing, delicate entry, medium body, soft with round tannins and a long persistence. Elegant and mature wine. A good one for a Friday evening!

panoramica

“Mas de la Sabatera” is an estate of 190 hectares of vineyards and forests where 8 varieties of grapes are grown with an annual outtake of 1,000,000 Kg. The first building was erected in 1749 and this is where the winery today manages and directs the operations. The house has its own facilities, warehouses, offices for staff use, tasting area, agricultural museum and a shop for their own brand, Heretat Pallares. The property highlight is the Mirador (viewpoint) tower from where you can admire the beautiful scenery of Conca de Barbera.

tierrayclima

The Conca de Barbera is considered a prime area for its climate and type of land, with the right mix for growing many different varieties of grapes, red and white. All vines are trellised and most are older strains of between 25 and 35 years. In a clear attempt to continuous quality improvement, over the last 10 years they have planted an additional 30 hectares of red and white grapes. In order to identify fully with the region, great care has been taken to preserve the local variety of D.O. Conca de Barbera, the Trepat.

concadebarbera

215 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle

Celler Carles Andreu, Misterioso in D.O. Conca de Barbera

40/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Conca de Barbera – Pira – Celler Carles Andreu – Carles Andreu Trepat 2011

Misterioso……,

not really that mysterious but I enjoy Monk on a sunny Sunday morning. A long walk with the dogs and then getting around to writing about yet another great wine producer of Catalonia, what else do I need? Well yes, a glass of wine but that would be stating the obvious!

clca_fic_1

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 today wine making is fairly young.

CAVA DE NITmenys

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!

carles-andreu-cava-reserva-brut-nature-75-cl-do-cava

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!

carlesandreu_1

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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.

Enoturisme-2-1170x578

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

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.

D.O Conca de Barbera

D.O Conca de Barbera

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.

Carles,Andreu,Trepat,2011,Conca,de,Barbera,Cava,Spain-400x400

 Carles Andreu Trepat 2011, Trepat 100%, from fifty year old vines, from the vineyards of Les Alzinetes and Les Parades.

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.

334 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle

Abadia de Poblet, What’s The Buzz in D.O. Conca de Barbera

21/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Conca de Barbera – Poblet – Abadia de Poblet – Abadia de Poblet 2009

What’s The Buzz……….

Poblet is a set of geological and climatic conditions that make it a extraordinary “Terroir” for viticulture. Deep and stony soils, with a predominance of shale, plus an abnormally cool weather in the regional context, due to the height -over 500 meters- , and the orientation of its slopes, as well as the influence of the summer breeze marina. These circumstances were particularly favorable for Pinot Noir, ensure slow ripening and good condition of the grapes.

T400317

The Bodega Abadía de Poblet Monastery was born from the desire to recover the tradition of wine in his monastery, an ancient tradition, characteristic of the Cistercian Order, which started in Burgundy and linked with a single variety of grapes: Pinot Noir, a delicate and difficult variety, giving soft and elegant wines, unique in its finesse and away, for their style, from any other known red wine. On the other hand, this variety is unusual in Spain.

pobl_fic_1

The Royal Abbey of Santa Maria de Poblet forms part, together with the Santes Creus and Vallbona de les Monges, of the Cistercian monasteries that were established in Catalonia in the second half of the twelfth century. These buildings were constructed in order to repopulate the lands conquered by the Crown of Aragon to Muslims.

Crown of Aragon

Crown of Aragon

The monastery was founded in 1151 by Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona, who donated the lands to the Cistercian order and was occupied by monks from the French abbey of Fontfroide.
Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona

Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona

The refectory of converts, built in the full splendour of the thirteenth, was transformed into a winery in the times of Abbot Guimerà (sixteenth century) and housed the wealth of knowledge of the French deep Burgundy region.

historia_8

This is a winery that celebrates the bare stone, symbol of purity and simplicity, which gives the grandeur and simplicity typical of Cistercian monasteries.

images-5

In the fourteenth century, the Abbey of Poblet reached its maximum splendour as well as its decline and maximum abandonment in 1835 because of the disentailment of Mendizábal.

mapa

The abbey rose anew after the occupation of the monastery in 1940 by some monks, who still inhabit its walls to this date.
In 1991, it was declared a World Heritage Site, granting it the importance and prestige an abbey that houses so much history within its walls deserves.

abadia-de-poblet-2009_10003450

Abadia de Poblet 2009, 100% Pinot Noir

This wine goes through a fermentation and ageing in 225 l French oak barrels of for 12 months. Before being released to the market, it rests for at least 6 months in the bottle. Limited production with numbered bottles. It is recommended to decant this wine for 30 minutes before serving it since it is a wine with a closed expression.

Intense and very bright cherry red colour with violet reflections. Clean wine with a high robe and elegant tears that stain the glass slightly. Deep, intense and complex aromas with a strong varietal expression. Primary nose gives off fleshy notes of ripe red fruit are noticed along with a refreshing citrus hint and a preview of its wide range of spices. When it opens up, the aromas become more intense and expressive. A great and serious minerality also appears along with some toasted notes and some hints of Mediterranean herbs. The whole aromatic set is wrapped in floral aromas of violets.

A wine from Conca de Barbera that will surprise us with one of the best and most elegant expressions of the variety Pinot Noir. It has an embracing attack which gives way to a long, very tasty and fleshy mid palate, with the same serious and balanced aromas found in the nose, with fruit wrapped in a good creaminess and flowers and a large mineral background. Soft, velvety wine with an excellent acidity and an outstanding freshness. Well integrated tannins. Long and intense finish with a great persistence. An enjoyable wine that will leave good final aromas. Perfect for the lovers of this French variety.

T400513

347 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle