A Deep Dive into Penédes, Spain
From Macabeu to Garrut, there’s something for everyone.
Penedès is the official wine growing region of Spain located immediately to the southwest of Barcelona proper. It’s perhaps best known for its Cava production, but it also has a bounty of grapes, both red and white, that tend to absorb a mineral-rich clay soil. Selections de la Viña manages to bring some of the best natural wine producers from this part of Catalonia into our shop, showcasing how unfined, unfiltered wines with complex maceration and fermentation processes can capture the essence of both grape and terroir while also captivating our taste buds. From Macabeu to Garrut, there’s something for everyone and every kind of occasion or weather.
Còsmic Via Fora Macabeu Semibrisat 2016
On 70 year old wines in Pendès, Còsmic gives us a complex expression of the Macabeu (also known as Macabeo or Viura), which is grown primarily in Rioja, Penedès and the Languedoc. This particular vintage ferments 88% in stainless steel and 12% in oak. A slightly cloudy yellow in color, it is off-dry with medium acid, notes of peach and apricot on the palette that transitions to a medium bodied, grassy finish. At 12% alcohol, we think it’s a lovely balance between fruit, acid, and the terroir of chalky clay soils that the vines are planted on. It’s light enough to be enjoyed on its own on a sunny afternoon but it also has enough weight to be a more contemplative sipper on a night in.
Clos Lentiscus Perill Noir 2010
Sumoll is a rare grape varietal from Catalonia, relegated to a few hundred hectares plus additional plots in Australia due to its drought-resistant nature. Known for being very light and best consumed young, Clos Lentiscus manages to do something new with the grape, grown on plots in Penedès dating back to 1938. By aging it for 30 months in amphora and then cellaring it for even longer, he combines the juicy blackberry fruit with a pronounced minerality that captures the Mediterranean terroir. Also featured are earthy, forest floor notes in a long, dry finish, adding a layer of umami. The end result ends up being an immensely vibrant sipper and a surprise favorite, with definite potential to be aged even longer.
Partida Creus Garrut 2016
Partida Creus is one of our most beloved winemakers from Catalonia, and their Garrut (also known as Mourvèdre or Monastrell) is particularly notable. A deep purple in color, this wine sits somewhere between a still wine and Pet Nat with a few soft bubbles in the glass from the natural fermentation. For the 2016 vintage, there is a ton of concentrated red fruits on the first sip along with pronounced minerality. All of this gets interwoven with generous tannins, a little bit of funk, and fresh herbs on a long, mouthwatering finish that isn’t as heavy as classic preparations of this grape. It reminds us of a Lambrusco but with more depth and focus. The only challenge is having enough left to share with friends.
Stay tuned next week for a dive into some unusual examples of Grüner Veltliner from three different countries! In the meantime, don’t hesitate to visit the rest of our site for some of the latest bottles in stock.