Time for Wine (Part Two), I’ll Take You There in Vilanova i La Geltru

163/365 – Catalonia – D.O. All of them! – Vilanova i La Geltru – Temps de Vi 2014 (Wine Fair) – Sot Lefriec 2004

I’ll take you there….,

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…., not only to the Priorat, Penedes, Terra Alta and the other appellations and the more or less well know wine cellars. If you let me, I’ll also take you to Temps de Vi wine fair in Vilanova i La Geltru and tomorrow it starts! Unfortunately I won’t be there the first day but not to worry, there are two more days (Saturday and Sunday) and I’ll be reporting daily from this amazing wine fair. That would be my way of taking you there, and if you feel like joining the party next year, please let me know and I’ll point you in the right direction! One of the stands that is going to be well visited is the one of Alemany i Corrio! And today’s wine is one of their top range wines! Come to think of it….., if Tuscany can have their Super Tuscans, I hope too start a new trend of “Super Catalans”!

Sot Lefriec 2004

Sot Lefriec, 50% Merlot, 30% Carignan and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon (D.O. Penedes)

The fermentation of this particular wine takes place in small tanks on wild yeasts. There are no pumps in the winery as the wines are moved using inert gas to avoid any uncontrolled oxidation. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignan were harvested approximately 10 days later than usual or what would be considered normal for the varieties and region. Prefermentation maceration and alc. fermentation around 30-35 days for Merlot and Cab. Sauv. and around 25 days for Carignan , which is also longer than usual. During these periods, there are daily remontages and pigeages. Sot Lefriec 2004 has spent 23 months ageing in French oak barrels, 70% new oak. This is a super small garage producer, that works out of Vilafranca del Penedes, so if you see a bottle of Sot Lefriec on a shelve be sure to grab it fast!

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Dark cherry layered with a bright purple rim and intense tears. Ripe black fruit on the nose with floral aromas and a successful soft toasted oak and vanilla aromas presenting cocoa, toffee and spices, smoked pepper, thyme and clove. Powerful and tasty tannins and balanced acidity with successful long life, clean and pleasant with great fruit that carries all the way to the end and a long lingering after-taste. This is to be considered a “Super Catalan”!!!

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And as the real party is about to start, let’s share the program for the coming days! As I mentioned, the first day is a no go for me as I have to spend it with some wine lovers from California! Giving them the grand tour tomorrow! I just love it when I get the opportunity to show people what Catalonia can offer. I’m sure they won’t be disappointed. The Temps de Vi actually had some activities that started last week, like the Riedel experience which was taking place at the Victor Balaguer library in Vilanova i La Geltru, a quite cool location for a exquisite wine tasting!

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Temps de Vi (Time for Wine) Friday, May 30th events;

The winery Can Ràfols dels Caus, Infinite Restaurant and the jazz band Nicolau Experience are together taking people on a wine and food joourney with jazz music to complement, or as the call it here “Trimaridatge”! A five course meal with selected wines from Can Ràfols dels Caus. Starts at 21.00, but should be booked in advance as I am certain it will be one of many popular events this weekend! 

Temps de Vi Can Ràfols dels Caus Infinite

At the very same time, other will book and enjoy a pairing at the Hotel Ceferino, which is hosting a joint event with Gramona, one of the major Cava producer of D.O. Penedes! Againm five courses with five amazing Gramona products!

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Today’s chosen winery, is doing a vertical tasting at Resturant Marejol, Starts at 20.00 hours and if I could go tomorrow, this would probably be my choice! So many wines, so little time! Damn! The main event area is going to be set up with all the winery stands, offering their latest and best of their products. In close vicinity there are performance stages and on stage 2 at 20.00 hours you’ll be able to enjoy a homage to the Gerry Muligan Quatrtet! What a party! If you feel like starting of early, you should be in front of stage one at around 18.00 hours! That’s when Scarbeats start with their “Beatles Live Performance”! This is merely a selection of the many activities taking place during Friday. For the additional information and the schedules for Saturday and Sunday, pleas have a look at the official web site of Temps de Vi! Happy wine and music days!

Some wine tasting are taking place on sail boats!

Some wine tasting are taking place on sail boats!

Welcome to Vilanova i La Geltru, so that you can experience first hand, the best that Catalonia has to offer!

216 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle

Time for Wine (Part One), Let’s do it Again in Vilanova i La Geltru

149/365 – Catalonia – D.O. All of them! – Vilanova i La Geltru – Restaurant Marejol – Temps de Vi 2014 (Wine Fair) – Porcellànic Dolç Natural

Let’s do it Again…..,

… if something is done right, why not do it again? I am amazed that the initiative take by two young guys three years ago, has grown and grown to the extent that it almost has outgrown the town of Vilanova i La Geltru! Wine fairs in Catalonia are fourteen on the dozen and most of them are excellent opportunities to get acquainted with the appellations, wineries and wines of Catalonia. Most of the fairs are small and there’s nothing wrong with that, in my opinion every small village should have one. But to see this one grow the way it has done is just out of this world. Let’s do it again……, let’s get together and feel al-right!

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Yesterday’s event at the Marejol Restaurant in Vilanova I La Geltru, is just the beginning of a wine fair to be remembered! Temps de Vi is the name of the wine fair in this coastal town, a place that sometimes is overlooked because of the nearby Sitges. Those that dare wander away from the cities and the known places, will soon be aware of a gem in its own right.

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But, this is after all a blog about wine, so let’s stick to the theme at hand. Temps de Vi, “Time for Wine”. And then I ask myself, when is it not? I’d say, and you that know me will agree, always! The name they have chosen is nevertheless to my liking! Very catchy and I don’t think there is a similar wine fair anywhere in Catalonia. The fair is taking place during the 30th and 31st of May and the 1st of June 2014. As opposed to many local fair in Catalonia, this one offers access and invites wine makers and cellars from all the appellations of Catalonia. Big difference! Benefit for us wine lovers? During three whole days we get to taste amazing wines without having to drive.

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This is the third edition and it will be set in the centre of town, not far from the local market. It will be starting from the Plaça de les Neus and carrying on to the old main road. The former location, the Main Boulevard, has been outgrown by the fair, which is quite pleasing for the two-man team Oscar Villagarcia and Carlos Carbonell, the guys putting this whole thing to work! Forty-two wine cellars have already confirmed participation and they will be occupying some 12,000 square meters.

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The fair does start, officially, on the 30th of May but many tastings and events are to take place, starting from the 22:nd of May. The museum of Victor Balaguer hosts the Riedel Experience and after that the days are going to be filled with wine, wine and more wine! Loads of tastings and related activities, if you are a wine lover this is certainly a fair not to be missed.

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The inaugural tasting, yesterday evening, was led by winemaker Oriol Guevara, from Vilanova and the wine makers present, sharing their wines. The wines presented were all conceived in an organic, ecological or bio-dynamic way. Some of them described as natural wines. Yes, yes, I know, if we call them natural wines, what do we call the rest of all wines made? Let’s agree then to call them “wine with nothing added” or “wine with nothing added or removed”?

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The fact is, during the last four years, the vineyard area devoted to organic farming has tripled. Some say, and I’m not referring to The Stig, that future wines will all be organic. Bold statement I agree, but certainly not that distant. Oriol Guevara, pointed out that the event yesterday was “A great presentation of Temps de Vi”. And it was!

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There were some seventy souls present, awarded with the unique experience of tasting some of the best wines in the categories above. If this was the inauguration, I can only imagine what the actual Temps de Vi wine fair will be like! The show started with a short, but to the point introduction of the fair, by both the organizers, Oscar Villagarcia and Carlos Carbonell. After which there was a longer elaboration on organic and natural wine making by Oriol Guevara and Ramon Francàs Martorell, a well know Catalan wine writer, blogger and sommelier.

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We all got to enjoy some very limited edition wines from the nearby area of ​​Penedès, actually called zero km. wines. Juan Rubio introduced the 2013 Can Creedo, a Xarel.lo wine. The winemaker Marta Casas presented the unique and new Xarel.lo, Amphora 2013 by Parés Baltà. Renowned wine maker Laurent Corrio, a Frenchman living and making wine in a garage in Vilafranca del Penedes, showed up with his limited edition (250 bottles), Despullat, a 100% Carignena.

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The winemaker Manel Aviñó also from Vilanova presented his Xarel.lo Clos Lentiscus 2013. And so the evening carried on, one wine maker after the other, sharing and explaining, all in Catalan and that’s not my strongest language but I endured, all for you and the wines!

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El vesper de la Gloriosa, a sweet sparkling white, 50% Xarel.lo and 50 % Macabeu, made the ancestral way, was about to conclude the tasting and then after nine wines tasted, Ton Rimbau presented his very scarce Porcellànic Dolç Natural, made from 95% Macabeu and 5% Xarel.lo. This is the first part of many to follow, covering the wine fair Temps de Vi! Now, let’s do what we normally do and finish it of with a proper tasting note! Hope to see you in a few days time and then we could share a glass or two!

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Porcellànic Dolç Natural

A deep amber colour, rich and fatty tears. First thing that hit my nose was the sense that this might be a sherry, which I knew it wasn’t, but nevertheless, some notes were obvious. Aromas of fruit compote of pear and yellow apple notes danced around for quite some time. Intense and elegant taste and a long finish where notes of bitter orange left me wanting more. Worth the money, I wouldn’t know, as I don’t know the price, but knowing the rest of the wines from this wine maker, I’d say…….., let’s do it again!

230 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle