International Garnacha Day! The Drunkard Song in D.O. Montsant

277/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Montsant – Marçà – Acustic Celler – Auditori 2010

The Drunkard Song………,

auditori-2010-etAuditori 2010, 100% Garnacha

Pure pleasure, and as the top wine of Acustic Celler it displays and conveys the elaboration and terrior to perfection. Grapes from three old Garnacha vineyards, all 70 years and older. A full-bodied sensual sensation, with well ripened red fruits, cherry is clear. I distinguished some licorice  and a little spiciness  with clear oak as it progressed. Medium long finish. Nicely integrated tannins. Could easily stay in my cellar for another 5 – 10 years. The downside…….., not enough bottles on the market!


The third Friday of September is celebrated as the International Day of Grenache. Coinciding with this important day for all wine lovers, events are organized today and during the weekend to come. This is the fourth year of this initiative, a series of activities for everyone that enjoy a glass or two of Garnacha, Grenache or Garnatxa, as it is referred to in Catalonia. I’ve chosen to open a bottle of Auditori from Acustic Celler! What could possibly go wrong with that choice?


Grenache is a variety of Mediterranean origin and one of the most cultivated worldwide. In Catalonia, it is estimated that there are about 5,000 hectares planted. Many wines are made with the help of this great grape variety, either as a mono-varietal or blend. It transmits the identity of a region and the expression of a landscape in a perfect way, picking up the different soils and microclimates of the regions in which we can find it: Montsant , Priorat Emporda, Terra Alta Alella, etc. Over centuries, the Grenache vine has produced colour mutation vines with berries of all range of colors, and also the hairy Grenache, in Catalonia called Garnacha Peluda The latter is a clone, originating from the Tarragona region. Grenache can be made with a variety of fruity wines and good acidity from youth to sparkling whites, and also sweets. Grenache Noir is generally spicy, berry-flavored and soft on the palate with a relatively high alcohol content, but it needs careful control of yields for best results. Characteristic flavor profiles on Grenache include red fruit flavors (raspberry and strawberry) with a subtle, white pepper spice note. Grenache wines are highly prone to oxidation with even young examples having the potential to show browning (or “bricking”) coloration that can be noticed around the rim when evaluating the wine at an angle in the glass. As Grenache ages the wines tend to take on more leather and tar flavors.

As for sharing favourites……, well I guess that’s what I do all days! But just for the heck of it, some of the Garnacha wines I wouldn’t mind having on a a more regular basis could, but not be limited to, be the following; Espectacle 2010,Teixar 2010, Trossos 2011, Cerverola 2011, LLuna Vella 2010, Cims de Porrera GX 2006, Raret 2011 and Mas Plantadeta 2008.

There’s a lot going on in Catalonia to celebrate the Grenache, as well as the Mostra de Vins i Caves de Catalunya, which starts tomorrow in Barcelona, a fair covering Catalan wines and Cava, and does so during four days, 20th to 24th of September. A few players that have dedicated activities to the International Grenache Day are;

Vinyes Domenech

Vineyes Domenech, one of the wineries in Catalonia that promote Grenache. They organizes collaborations with chefs and sommeliers in different restaurants and speciality shops during the Day. Among them, the restaurant Dos Cielos, la Cuina del Guinardó, el Hoffman, Divi i el Colmado Quilez de Barcelona, the restaurant at the Club del Cep d’Arenys de Mar, the Cellar Montserrat de Mataró and the Cellar Florida de Barcelona, Cal Feru de Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, Bodega Jordà de Tarragona, Can Bosch de Cambrils, etc. If you feel for a drive through the countryside, you are certainly welcome to visit Vineyes Domenech, to see for yourself how the Grenache is treated in situ.

Vila Viniteca
Vila Viniteca, a well renowned wine shop in Barcelona, celebrate Friday evening with a tasting of 25 wines made from the variety, including the Tros Negre 2011 (Montsant), Cabrida 2010 (Montsant), Brunus Rosat 2013 (Monsant), L’Equilibrista Garnatxa 2012 (Catalunya), Quike Rosado 2013 (Catalunya), Gamberro Garnatxa Blanca 2011 (Terra Alta), Gotes Blanques 2013 (Montsant), Masia Serra Ino (Empordà), Pansal del Calàs 2010 (Montsant), etc. This tasting is free of charge. Living and working here has its perks, as I have pointed out many times before.



In addition to the above activities, The Celler Edetària, has posted a contest on their official Facebook page, called the “Grenache Challenge 2014“, where you have a chance to win one of their wines. Enjoy Wine Barcelona are tasting Grenache wines from DO Empordà at The Santa Caterina Market in the Born area of Barcelona, and this is where they normally have their wine tasting activities, Grenache day or not. Now all that remains is to enjoy the day and appreciate the Grenache variety to its fullest! Enjoy!


107 to go!

Celler Marti Fabra, The Way To Play in D.O. Emporda

205/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Emporda – Sant Climent Sescebes – Celler Marti Fabra – Verd Albera 2009

The Way To Play……..,

Verd Albera 2009

Verd Albera 2009, 60% Garnacha Blanca, 30% Muscat, 5% Grenache Gris, 5% Chardonnay

Intense straw yellow colour with greenish reflections. Clean and bright. A very interesting style with lots of spicy citrus fruit and a smoky minerality. Whilst still crisp and dry, there is a richness from the lees ageing and the Muscat does in no way take over the composition, a very fine tuned wine, just like Bill Evans, this is the way to play!This white wine made by Marti Fabra surprises by its freshness and by its sweet character at the same time. It has a wide, voluminous and unctuous mid palate. Its intense notes of fruit and its creamy aromas are released along with a touch of herbs, which together with this wine’s great acidity, result in a very balanced and very fresh palate, slight hint of white pepper. Its long elegant finish leaves mineral sensations.. Good with salads and smoked fish, also meatier fish such as monkfish. Would also go well with light pork dishes

Another top wine from Narti Fabra, which I yet have to try....., so many good things to look forward to!

Another top wine from Narti Fabra, which I yet have to try….., so many good things to look forward to!

Verd Albera is made with a highly unusual blend of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Muscat de Frontignan and Muscat de Alexandria, with a touch of Chardonnay. The grapes undergo maceration for several hours, before gentle pressing. The must is then decanted to remove impurities. Fermentation takes place on the lees so as not to lose varietal character and aromas. The wine is then filtered in a way that leaves the fine lees, which are then used in the ageing process. The vineyards from which it is made are located in poor slate soils surrounded by abundant vegetation. Its careful elaboration follows the principles of organic farming.


This property has been in the family since the 12th century and they have documents relating to vineyards from 1305. Emporda has many similarities both in grape varities, climate and terroir to Roussillon just over the French border. They also share the uncompromising tramontane wind which drys the land and vines meaning little need for treatments. The poor soils consist mainly of meteorized slate which adds a clear mineral edge to the wines and keep yields naturally low. The vineyards are located on the slopes of the Alberes mountains, amongst a variety of wild aromatic plant species such as bay, fennel, thyme, lavender, mint and rosemary, which are responsible for the floral, spicy and mineral aromas found in the wines. The wines are beautifully made and quite unique.


176 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle