Made a wonderful discovery while travelling in Penedes, Spain. A region famed for Cava, Spain’s alternative to Champagne except with more of a twist using native varietals like Xarel.lo, Macabeo and Parellada. Each contributes it’s own unique quality to the blend, with Xarel.lo giving freshness and acidity, Macabeo giving delicate florals and texture when aged on lees, and Parellada giving texture and zesty notes. While internationals are allowed in, think chardonnay and pinot noir, the focus is still on the distinct varietals of this region, just a short hour’s drive from Barcelona.
What was even more surprising was Xarel.lo’s ability to make amazing dry whites, with structure and flavours that are not found in other table wines. It has often been accused of giving an earthy note to the Cava blends, but I find it more herbal when handled well.
Pares Balta, is a family owned producer focusing on biodynamic principles with 2 brothers inheriting vineyards from their parents and their wives running the estate. The wives are the winemaking force to be reckoned with producing wines of distinct personality, unquestionable drinkability and uncontested quality.
This wine is Cosmic.
A: medium gold
N: decadent and seductive, med+ aromatics of ripe stone fruit, tropical fruit, lemon myrtle and sultanas. Faint hint of herbal notes of aloe vera, sage and chamomile.
P: dry, high acid, med+ body, low tannin, medium intensity of flavours predominant stone fruit and citrus, again with a herbal notes of aloe, chamomile and sage. A refreshing and long finish with a hint of almond skin bitterness. Wickedly good.
Penedes, Spain | 85% Xarel.lo and 15% Sauvignon Blanc | 12.5% abv |Vintage: 2016