239/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Montsant – La Figuera – Celler Ficaria Vins – Matraketa Blanc 2012
Roll With It……., Matraketa Blanc 2012, 100% Garnatxa Blanca
One of the latest wines of Ficaria Vins shows the potential of both white Grenache of the region as well as the elaboration and will to try something that in the old days was obvious. The Montsant is not only about great reds, so please, let the white Grenache shine and Roll With It! Bright yellow with green hues. The nose shows lots of fruit, white fruit, pear, apple, and floral notes, jasmine and some aniseed. Easy yet expressive on the palate, good acidity, fresh and aromatic. It is fleshy and expressive, with a long aftertaste, cool and pleasant. Super Catalan for sure, white this time! You could match this wine very well with a wide variety of dishes: pasta, rice, fatty cheeses. A good white wine to enjoy during the summer heat!
Know one thing! Jaume Roca is always going to receive you with the greatest of smiles. Never have I been to a wine cellar and laughed and smiled as much as when visiting Ficaria Vins in La Figuera. This guy loves people and wine! The sentiment is felt in the wines produced and, luckily for me and others living here, most of it stays in Catalonia. The production is so very limited, that most is sold in restaurants in Barcelona. Only a meager 20% goes abroad, so I guess the best way to get a hold of a bottle or two, is to come visit Jaume and get some laughs at the same time. The norm otherwise for both Montsant and Priorat is that almost 80% is exported. Let’s look at the figures, to compare. The export is at around 76% for Montsant as a whole. For Catalonia the figure is 28% and for the rest of Spain it is around 26%. Does someone know something that they are not sharing with the rest of us?
Ficaria Vins is a very small and family run cellar, they also treat all visitors like family, so be ready to extend a hug once there. It’s really like coming home.
It is basically a garage with some stainless steal tanks, as you enter. The basement is the barrel room, with a very nice display of different soils of the area. Jaume has also gotten a couple of amphoraes wit the ambition of fermenting a small production the old way.
On the second floor they have a small office and a beautiful tasting room, with a view! This is where you eventually will end up, tasting some of the products.
The visit alwasy starts and ends at the bodega, but never will you get to taste any wines if you don’t first vsist the highest vineyards. That;s the very essence of Ficaria Vins and Jaumes pride and joy.
The vineyards are actually forming the physical border with Priorat at an altitude of 575 meters and the views are absolutely breathtaking. The few times I have been here, it has been quite windy, otherwise I wouldn’t have minded to taste the wine where it originated.
Garnacha Negra is the protagonist and the other roles are filled by Cabernets Sauvignon and Syrah, which all play a part in the wine Elia. The Pater, how ever, is the shining star of Ficaria Vins and one of my absolute keepsakes!
I do hope for everyone to one day be able to taste this wine, full of smiles and laughter. Happy days!
Pater 2007, 100% Garnacha Negra Intense cherry with a garnet rim. High middle layer, slow and fat tears. On the nose red fruits (fruits of the forest) and some black (ripe berries) are the primaries. Toasted intense nose with cool balsamic (menthol), mild spices (peppercorns ), cloves and vanilla mingles with hints of herbs. The palate has a remarkable entry, astringency, powerful start with well marked, but not displeasing or expressive tannins. Spice is clear, ripe fruit in volumes. Good acidity with a long, ripe fruit and smoky aftertaste. I wouldn’t mind waiting with this one, can easily spend another 5 years in the bottle. Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle
142 to go!