Benjamin Romeo, Stranger in Paradise in D.O. Catalunya

345/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Catalunya – Massis de Garraf – Benjamin Romeo/Celler Massis – Massis 2012

Stranger in Paradise……,

BenjaminRomeoMassis2012smMassis 2012, 55% Xarel·lo and 45% White Grenache

Pale yellow color, very bright and clean, the tears are slow and dense. Great expression on the nose, with medium intensity, hints of ripe white fruit, banana, apple and some cured meat, crisp smoky notes, Mediterranean wild herbs and white flowers, freshly cut grass, followed throughout with mineral, chalky secondary aromas. It is a mouthful! Dense on the palate, large and very fresh, good acidity which carries the wine nicely. This is a intense wine, with a overall creamy feel. Citrus and white fruit all the way which is very intense and slightly creamy, very mild bitter notes and medium persistence. The ending is medium long and the aftertaste is that of white fruit and some citrus and soft smoky notes. The wine was fermented using French oak barrels (50% new and 50% used) after which it was aged in the same barrels during 8 months.

46473fbcc1d87fc55c66d80e12256e88Contador! Is not a wine from Catalonia but I guess that you have heard of it? Well, then you also might know that the wine maker of this very expensive wine, is Benjamin Romeo? What you might not know, is that he´s also making wine using grapes from one of my absolute favorite grape growing areas, the Garraf massif, within the Penedes region. The Massis wine is certainly more value for money (compared to the Contador), and if you have been following my postings, you know that I am looking for wines that are not going to make me eat crackers for the rest of the month!

The Penedes region is Catalonia’s largest region in terms of size and production, and covers an area of 27,000 hectares of vineyards. Varieties include Macabeo, Chardonnay, Subirat Parent, Xarel·lo and Parellada white vines, as well as the red varieties of Mazuela, Garnacha, Samsó, Ull de Llebre, Monastrell and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Mapa_Massís_del_GarrafIn the Massis de Garraf, you will come across several great wine makers and cellars, producing excellent estate Cavas and wines in an interesting microclimate, within the Penedes. The Massis de Garraf is quite close to the Mediterranean Sea, and the hills forming the Massís reach a height of 500 meters, forming a surprising craggy landscape which is made up of two very different parts: one of chalky and sedimentary rocks and the other, a reef of reddish sand on the eastern part of the plain’s nature reserve. Additionally, given the altitude of the mountains, wide diurnal temperatures and the beneficial climate with wind and humidity coming in from the ocean it is an excellent climate for different grape varieties and many have adapted perfectly.

Parc_natural_garraf_SWThe next time you come to Barcelona, you should definitely take a day trip to this beautiful area, and why not visit another great cellar if the Massis de Garraf, the Can Ràfols dels Caus! I promise you´ll have a great time!

42 to go!

Catalan Wine 365 and SweetEasy Wine Tours

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Espelt!!! Simply Irresistible in D.O. Empordà

344/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Empordà – Mas Espelt – Espelt Viticultors – Quinze Roures 2013

Simply Irresistible……..,

quinze-roures-708105-s48Quinze Roures 2013, 50% Grey Grenache and 50% White Grenache

Bright yellow color with greenish reflections. The nose carries balanced aromatic notes. Spicy, nutty, wild herbs and some silky aromas of vanilla and cocoa. The nose is powerful and quite long, showing of the great personality of this wine and allowing the wood to show at occasions. It continues with exotic fruits like, pineapple and ripe melon, honey and toasted nuts. It has a refined taste, very savory. Sweet entry, ripe fruit and good freshness. It has a touch of acidity that gives it a lasting finish, ending with notes of honey. Price/quality is excellent and the wine is Simply Irresistible!

Once again in the Empordà, where magic happens every day! What a beautiful wine region this is, with vineyards stretching out into the Mediterranean sea. The views are incredible and the wines made here follow suit. This is a place for total relaxation and enjoyment.

Going over my notes I realize it is hard to do the place justice. I am merely a visitor, whereas the winemakers here, live here, breathe here and probably are going to die here. They have captured the very essence of the region, so I am today going to share their words. But please, what ever you do in life, make sure you see Empordà before you die!

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The Empordà Region

“An amphiteathre overlooking the sea, encircled by mountains, which transforms with the seasons. In winter, the magical, silent surprise of the snow rarely reaches it. In spring, the greens are tender and gentle. In summer, the land is parched, the yellows are bright and dry. At the end of the summer, everything becomes infused with a sweet light, as if touched by peaches. In September, the vines of the Empordà region are and elegant, golden grey. Each harvest expresses the perfect cycle of the Earth.”

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Tramuntana

“Of all the wind that caress the bunches of grapes in this land, the most powerful is the Tramuntana that blows from the north. A land wind that is impetuous, inclement and tenacious and that can last up to a week, and which, when it arrives oppresses us and when it leaves liberates us. It is considered responsible for the strange force of the landscape of the Empordà region and for the impulsiveness of its people. Our wines, like us, are touched by this fury and this peace that the Tramuntana gives us.”

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Sauló, Sandy Gravel

“The lands of Vilajuiga and the bare, mineral coasts of the Cap the Creus are covered with a fine layer of gravel, a sandy earth that has its origin in the meteorisation of the granite. The climate of the Empordà region is responsible for its tortouse geology, softened by this sandy substratum that allows the vines to take root and feeds them with minerals from the rocks in the subsoil to provide the flavor, color and aroma that characterize our wines.”

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Rauxa, Impulsiveness

“It is said that the Empordà is a land of lunatics, of crazy people. A land in which impulsiveness dominates in the character of its people. This characteristic has led us to plant vines in this land that is hard to cultivate, to look for the exact setting, close to the Cap de Creus, where the vines grow contemplating a landscape of great beauty. From this ecstasy, and this beauty a vine grows which necessarily transmits character, poetry and quality.”

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Raïm, Grapes

“The generosity of the sun has meant that the non-local varieties we have planted have adapted to our land. Cultivating 17 varieties of vine is like having 17 children each one is different. This diversity, rather than complicating our work, makes it more enriching. As oenologists, it s a journey that encourages us to seek the greatest expression of each grape, to make subtle combinations to obtain modern wines full of passion, souls and personality.”

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Pagés, Farmers

“Love of the land is the origin of our job. From this love we have obtained the certainty that we can not go against nature. We must make the most we can of this dry land and then give it its own philosophy. We must know what to do before planting, how to use fertilizer, which pruning system to use, we must know the exact moment for harvesting. Because the wine is made on the vine. This is the greatest wisdom of the wine grower.”

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Geni, Genius

“One meaning of genius is character, energy, another is ability to create or invent new or admirable things. Character and energy are used to make the most of the land and to create our wines, full of hues, of expression, able to transmit emotion, to reach the heart, to linger in one’s memory. Wines with genius that follows the star of geniuses such as Dali or the author, Josep Pla, with an unquestionable L’Empordà DO.”

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Divi, Divine

“The gods that have always been worshiped here loved wine. The first Greek gods intervened so that the vines would take root. The Romans asked their gods for their best auguries for their harvest. The gods of the monks in Sant Pere de Rodes monastery gave them the wisdom to cultivate the vines. Over the centuries this divine plan that we still respect today was not able to be conquered by the Barbarians, the Arabs, or the Turkish pirates or even by the devastating phylloxera.”

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Comabruna 2010, 100% Carignena, from vines up to 120 years  old. Aged for 14 months in French oak barrels.
A modern and well made wine. Dark cherry with a violet rim, thin layer and nice legs. The nose is elegant and “older” than the indicated vintage. Was expecting it to need more time to balance the nose, but the aromas of ripe red fruit are there (currants and plums), elegant toasted notes, spices with hints of clove. Slight menthol and licorice. Secondary gives coffee. The palate is intense and velvety with ripe fruit, good acidity, toasted oak. Good balance and well structured, ripe tannins. Long and smoky aftertaste. It lingers and lingers…….

 

43 to go!

 

Rainbow Connection at the Experiencia Verema 2014 Barcelona

338/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Terra Alta – Celler Coca i Fitó – Jaspi Blanc 2013

Rainbow Connection……..,

jaspi-blanc-2013_10006645Jaspi Blanc 2013, 70% Garnacha Blanca and 30% Macabeo

Bright lemon color, clear. Aromas of white flowers (acacia), fresh stone fruits (apricot) and green fruits (green apple), aromatic herbs and underbrush. Fruity and mineral on the palate, where the floral and fruity notes intensify, medium-bodied and well-structured. Ages very well, acquiring herbal and mineral smoky and honey notes with time. Still white wine from the D.O. Terra Alta. Young wine made from old-vine (50-70 years) White Grenache and Macabeo. Limestone and granite sandy soils, offering excellent acidity and pH. Traditional vinification, with 3 months on lees without battonage in order to preserve freshness yet achieve viscosity. As a young wine, a fresh citric and tropical fruit predominates, with a rich stone fruit character evolving in time. Excellent balance and weight, highlighted by surprising acidity given the variety. As I still have to cover the winery of Coca i Fitó, I’ll come back with a more extensive write up, also introducing their new label Jaspi d’Or!

experiencia-veremabcnThe past Monday, November 10, 2014 the second edition of the spectacular (when it comes to wines and location) Verema Experience was held in Barcelona at the Maritime Museum located along the old Drassanes Reials road, a few minutes from La Rambla. The showroom was open from 12:00 to 21:00 hours but, unfortunately I could only stay for a few hours so I had to be smart when it came to tasting the wines, I went for the Catalan (ok, ok, I did taste a few from the rest of Spain as well), what a surprise! If you are around next year you should try to come, you’ll be able to enjoy the best wineries on the national scene and taste, interact and stay in touch with the news that the developers and wine makers themselves are showcasing. An exclusive opportunity for wine lovers and professionals which you can not miss.

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50 to go!

 

 

Saturday Lunch with Friends, D.O. Montsant

336/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Montsant – Celler Alfredo Arribas – Trossos Tros Blanc 2009

Friends…….,

trossos-tros-blanc-419542Trossos Tros Blanc 2009, 100% Garnatxa Blanca

The color is straw yellow with golden reflections, clear and bright. The nose is elegant and seductive, initial intense and complex aromas of white stone fruits (peach, apricot) accompanied by a bouquet of floral notes, spices, vegetables and balsamic on a strong background of toast. A number of very subtle aromas emerged constantly, menthol, white flowers and vanilla. Exquisite acidity and the alcohol is totally integrated. Notable is the perfect balance between fruit flavors, and the contribution of the barrel. Fresh, fleshy and unctuous on the palate, it exhibits lactic, citrus fruit and oak-ageing notes and culminates in a long, persistent finish. Wonderful wine that has no match! If you ever come across it, be sure to try it, I guarantee you are in for a unique experience. My preferred choise is to share it with good Friends!

This Garnatxa Blanca single varietal originates from 80 year-old vines, grown at an altitude of 240 metres, in a parcel lying on slightly sloping ground facing northeast and southeast. Aged for 10 months in French oak barrels. A wine in the top echelon for quality and price. Alfredo Arribas’ Tros Blanc has no need to fear international competition, as it is right up there with the best of them, coating the glass like high-performing Californians or Burgundy Chardonnays and Sauternes. There is plenty of volume found on the palate too, with so much body you can almost chew it. Inevitably, the lengthy aftertaste constitutes a wine-lover’s joy, especially impressive since this is a very limited production wine available at an incredibly low price! Many a good red would seem weak and watery in comparison with this outstanding white, offering great complexity and elegance – and one that can be cellared too.

The lunch ingredients just about ready to enter the stone oven!

The lunch ingredients just about ready to enter the stone oven!

Friends hanging out, waiting for the tasting and lunch to begin!

Friends hanging out, waiting for the tasting and lunch to begin!

Introducing label less Cava, made by our host Miguel! Soft and nice, although still quite young!

Introducing label less Cava, made by our host Miguel! Soft and nice, although still quite young!

The best one, out of all of the wines the past Saturday!

The best one, out of all of the wines the past Saturday!

All I was asking them for was the name of the grape! Blind tastings are a great way to learn how to interpret wine, always with a laugh at hand!

All I was asking them for was the name of the grape! Blind tastings are a great way to learn how to interpret wine, always with a laugh at hand!

Succes Vinicola, El Mentider, another great wine which I am doing a separate piece on later!

Succes Vinicola, El Mentider, another great wine which I am doing a separate piece on later!

Fantastic French wine!

Fantastic French wine!

A lovely starter! Rice with mushrooms and artichokes! With this one we tried four whites and one red!

A lovely starter! Rice with mushrooms and artichokes! With this one we tried four whites and one red!

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As we were lacking time we only managed to work through these wines!

As we were lacking time we only managed to work through these wines!

52 to go!

 

The Winery of Altavins, Body and Soul in D.O. Terra Alta

304/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Terra Alta – Batea – Altavins Viticultors – ILERCAVÒNIA 2013

Body and Soul………,

ilercavoniaILERCAVÒNIA 2013, 100% Garnacha Blanca/White Grenache

White wine with a golden yellow hue and greenish tones. Complex aromas reminiscent of pineapple and mango, with certain notes of apple and apricotUnctuous, long and persistent on the palate. The finish culminates in floral and fresh mint aromas. The land we now inhabit has known other names and other cultures. The “Ilercavones” (the Iberians who lived in the Terra Alta and the surrounding areas from the 6th to the 1st century BC, and who named them), had a culture which left its unmistakable mark on the land – and can still be seen today, a testament to a productive and prosperous past.

Garnacha Blanca

Garnacha Blanca

D.O. = Designation of Origin/Denomination of Origin.

The quality and characteristics are essentially or exclusively due to its geographical origin, with the inherent human and cultural factors. It possesses a certain quality, reputation or other specific characteristics attributable to its geographical origin. In addition to the above, the following must also apply. 100% of the grapes come exclusively from the geographical production area. The production takes place within the same area and distillation is obtained from grape varieties belonging to Vitis Vinifiera.

Wines bearing the DO distinction are prestigious Spanish wines produced in a demarcated production area and are made according to parameters governing quality and type. Each DO must be regulated by a Governing Body (Consejo Regulador) that is responsible for ensuring the use of grapes of the authorized varieties, and compliance with parameters governing production per hectare, approved methods of wine making and ageing times.

In order for wines to be given Denomination of Origin status, the production area is required to have been recognized over at least the previous five years as a region producing quality wines with a geographical indication. Catalonia has 12 DO:s! That is more than any other wine making area of Spain. And now you know why I live and work in Catalonia! With time, all of them are going to be covered in more detail. For now I am just going to focus on the chosen one, the D.O. Terra Alta.

 D.O. Terra Alta is located in the very southwest of Catalonia, as far away from Barcelona as one can travel without exiting the region.
Terra Alta
Being one of the most picturesque and beautiful nature areas of Catalonia, the great Picasso had his field days here and many of his paintings feature scenes from these lands. Historically, because of being very isolated, this area traditionally only made wine for local consumption and has only recently started to produce modern Mediterranean style wines. During the Roman times, the road going from Zaragoza to Tortosa passed through the area. This is probably when grape growing was first introduced. In the Middle Ages, the Knights Templar planted vines, but the geographical distance to markets and to ports meant that a lot of vineyards were converted to olive groves instead.

Terra Alta vineyards

During the 19th century the vinos rancios (rancid wines) from Terra Alta, such as “Amber Blanc” attained great fame. However, the area was devastated by the outbreak of the phylloxera. The current vineyards were replanted between 1920 and 1950, the cooperatives played a pivotal role.

The varietals authorized in Terral Alta, both traditional and of foreign origin are the following.

White grapes: Garnacha blanca, Parellada, Macabeo, Moscatel and Chardonnay (experimentally, Chenin blanc, Sauvignon blanc and Marselan).

Red grapes: Carignan, Grenache, Garnacha Peluda, Morenillo, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Tempranillo.

Body and Soul. D.O. Terra Alta

D.O. Terra Alta acquired official status in 1982 and there are currently 8,200 ha covered, with 1,800 grape growers and 42 wineries registered.

One of the wineries is Altavins in Batea. The winery is a project set up in 2001 by Jordi Casado and Joan Bautista Arrufi i Pieg. With 120.000 bottles produced each year it is to be considered small but then again I have visited wineries that only make 5.000 a year. I guess it is highly relative. The vineyards are located at 350 and 550 m above sea level, characterized by plains, high plateaus and valleys.

Joan Bautista Arrufi and Jordi Casado

It enjoys a dry Mediterranean climate with little rain of up to 450 ml per year. The sunlight is plentiful, and is influenced by two prevailing winds – the Cierzo, which arrives from the Ebro Valley, and the “Garbi” or sea wind. Due to the very small amounts of rain, there is hardly any fungal disease, allowing for more sustainable practices, and the Cierzo (which is blowing throughout September) allows the grapes to ripen naturally on the vine.

The nature of the soil provides the grapes with an exceptionally high concentration of minerals, and the considerable temperature changes between night and day while the grapes are ripening maximises the aromas and flavours of the varietals. The wines produced include whites made from White Garnacha grapes, which are typical of the Terra Alta and grown in vineyards which are at least 45 years old. Red wines are made from Cariñena and Black Garnacha grapes, from vineyards established at least 60 years ago. The wines are fruity, with finesse and elegance in-bodied in them by the wooden casks in which they are stored.

Traditional, yes! But even though the Cariñena and Garnacha are the primary grapes planted by Joan, he still sees the importance of working with international varietals, such as Chardonnay and Syrah, leading him to create great wines with exceptional results. If the wineries in Priorat are small, this one is petite. A garage, no bigger than our first flat in Barcelona. And to be able to churn out 120.ooo and some bottles, takes both passion and craftsmanship. A true wine lover should peel his or hers ears to the future tunes of this young, new generation Spanish, wine maker. “Alta Vins” meaning “Top Wines,” refers to both the exceptional quality of his wines, as well as the altitude. With hills well over 400 meters, his vines have a long ripening cycle, and therefore, take on significant complexity.

Vineyard in Tera Alta

Almodi Negre is another cool wine made by Altavins, 100% Garnacha Borruda (Yes, Garnacha Peluda/Garnatxa Pilosa is the same varietal, Hairy Grenache). Garnacha Peluda is a varietal that grows in the regions of Aragon and Catalonia in Spain. It produces clusters of medium sized grapes which are rather compact. The grapes are oval with medium thick skin and covered with a villus from which it takes its name. The Garnacha Peluda produces wines of both high quality but also of high alcohol level. As the fruit notes are extensive in this grape, it has been used for blends traditionally. Not many producers use it for monovarietals, although this is changing in Catalonia.

Garnacha Peluda

Altavins produce a range of wines, both red and white out of which it is difficult to find a favorite, I can drink them all and as I love wine, I’ll refrain from labeling any of them being better than the other!

The vineyards of Altavins in the Terra Alta

 

80 to go!

 

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!

GrenacheDay2014website

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?

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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.

GarnatxesMontsantPriorat
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.

Edetaria

 

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!

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107 to go!

Celler Mas Candi, Amado Mio in D.O. Penedes

256/365 – Catalonia –D.O. Penedes – Avinyonet – Celler Mas Candi – Ovella Negra

Amado Mio………,

Ovella NegraOvella Negra, 100% Garnatxa Blanca

Bright and clear, yellow colour with subtle aromas of tropical fruit (mango, passion fruit) and peach. Somewhat complex nose. The palate is oily with a sweet point and good acidity, there’s some minerality but mainly the tropical flavours appear, just like in the nose. Good structure, fresh and long after taste. Black sheep, Ovella Negra, of the family? I think not!  It is made with Garnatxa Blanca (White Grenache) and this is one of the few vineyards that are of this variety in the Penedes region. They have only 226 vines, which are over 60 years of age (vineyard La Salada). Due to the difficulties growing this particular variety and the challenges it posed to make a good wine, the name Black Sheep, Ovella Negra, came about! Now they make 500 bottles!

Mas Candi

Four young farmers, with studies in viticulture and oenology, have joined together to create their own wines from the vineyards that they got from their grandparents. The house of Mas Candi is located in Les Gunyoles d’Avinyonet, just at the gates of the Natural Park of Garraf. Since the sixteenth century there has been evidence that the family Cuscó (Cal Candi), cultivated these lands, which today are partially under vine, used for the production of wines at Mas Candi. They also use grapes from vineyards in Font-Rubí, el Pla del Penedès and Torrelavit. This small winery seeks interaction with the landscape, working their native varieties and recovering their old Catalan grapes, which have almost disappeared.

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The range of wines produced at Mas Candi, no frills, no fancy layout, just good wine! From left to right; Mas Candi QX, the four Xarel.lo:s, They have chosen the best vineyards producing xarel.lo, they are located at: Les Gunyoles (vineyard La Pura), Font-Rubí (vineyard Mas Rossell), el Pla del Penedès (vineyard l’Angeleta) i Subirats (vineyard Cal Martí). The best bunches are selected at the peak of ripeness. The wine is fermented in four diffrent barrels (chestnut, acacia, French oak and American oak), each gives different characteristics which provide a complexity to the wine a a whole. The second is Mas Candi Desig, 100% Xarel.lo, This wine is from a single vineyard, located in Les Gunyoles d’Avinyonet. The vines were planted in 1961. The cultivation is fundamentally respectful of the land and the vine. There’s no use of chemical herbicides or pesticides. So the existence of the ecosystem is essential to the complexity of the wine and the balance of the plants. This wine has sought the ultimate expression of the land, the climate, the variety without oak aging. A true “terroir” wine. The purity of Xarel.lo. Ovella Negra, third wine, covered at the top. Les Forques, the Cabernet-Sauvignon used in this wine, comes from the Mas d’en Tort vineyard, close to Torrelavit. The vines were planted in 1983, on a very poor calcareous clay and gravel terrain, south facing. In this wine they are looking to transmit the Mediterranean climate (hot dry summers) and minerality of the land; ripe and concentrated wine. Each year they add a small percentage of the experimental varieties that have been recovered (Sumoll, Mandó, Cannonnau, Roigenc i Mònica). Can 28, 100% Mandó, This is the first wine made from experimental Catalan varieties that have been recovered. After the phylloxera 120 years ago; many vineyards were replanted with grape varieties more profitable at the expense of others who were of high quality but did not produce enough to be financially viable. At Mas Candi they have been, and still are, working towards the recovery of these forgotten varieties, like the white Malvasia de Sitges and Torbat and the red grape varieties like Mandó, Mònica, Sumoll, Cannonnau i Roigenc. SOL + SÒL, This is a powerful wine, concentrated and mineral. Selection of the best grapes from the vineyard of Les Forques. Produced each year, but only the best vintages are released to the market. Mas Candi CAVA Brut Nature, the local varieties of the Penedès (Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel·lo), with a higher percentage of Xarel.lo.

Catalan Wine 365 and the SweetEasy Lifestyle

128 to go!