The last two wines that I recently purchased that are Spanish are from the Catalonia district. One is a white and the other is a red wine. This area years ago, was a major area for vineyards, but when the phylloxera pest ravaged Europe in the end of the 19’Th Century this land was also devastated and it wasn’t until the late 1950’s that any real planting was resumed.
The first wine that I will discuss is the white wine that is made by Francisco Marti and is called Ca N’Estruc Blanc 2012 and carries the Catalunya DO. It is a blend of several varietals: Xarel-lo, Muscat, Garnatxa Blanca, Macabeu and Chardonnay. The Xarel-lo grape is one that is most known used in the sparkling wines of Spain Cava. Garnatxa Blanca is better known as Grenache and is planted around the world. Moscat is mostly thought of as a dessert wine, and here it is being used for its aromatic properties. Macabeu is also known as Viura and is another wine that is principally used in Cava wines as well. The varietal Chardonnay is one of the most popular and known whites from around the world. This particular wine has been aged for six months in French Oak and there were 6,800 cases of the wine made. I expect that this will be a fine summer wine to enjoy.
The red wine from Catalonia is a Priorat that is an up and coming wine with its own DOQ. I don’t think that it will ever become more popular then Rioja wines for Spain, but it is getting a lot of press these days. Of course I may be premature on my statement as there are only two DOQ designations in Spain, one for Rioja and the other is for Priorat.
Ona Priorat DOQ 2011 is one of the wines that Elie Boudt is importing himself and I discovered when I visited his shop. I have to admit that one of the charms about buying this particular wine is that it is named for his daughter and she did the artwork for the label, and I mean, how can you not buy at least one bottle to try after hearing that, and from what I learned from Elie, I am sure that the wine will be very good beyond the sentimental side of the story. The maker of the wine is Blai Ferre Just and was bottled at another facility in Catalonia and 565 cases were produced. This wine is also a blend of several varietals: Garnatxa, Syrah, Carinyena and Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon are both extremely well known for wines. Learning the Spanish or even Catalonian dialect for the other two varietals took some studying. The Garnatxa that I discussed in the other wine is Grenache and Carinyena is known as Carignan and the grape is favored because of its high volume and deep color; it is also largely blended with Grenache and Syrah. I am looking forward to trying this wine as it will be the first Priorat wine that I have had.