Tag Archives: Penedes

Bibendum Degustacion de Vinos – 3/06/2013

Bibendum as I have said many times, are one of the best importers of wine in Australia. For the first time they hosted a tasting of their entire range of Spanish producers, and some were gracious enough to fly all the way to Australia for the event. Here is a very long list of wines I tasted.

Colet-Navazos Cava Extra Brut 2009
Nice gun flint volcanic notes. Clean pure fresh light, classic but fairly simple and safe.

Navazos I Think Manzanilla
Slightly rich and creamy, toasty and crunchy texture.

Argueso Manzanilla
Pure fresh light, clean and brisk, friendly and appealing.

Argueso Las Medallas Manzanilla
A bit deeper and richer, bolder but still nice and salty, sweeter fruit character.

San Leon Manzanilla
Zingy zesty, so fresh, not what you think of manzanilla.

Angel Rodriguez Martinsancho Verdejo 2011
Fig skin and herb notes. Exquisitely balanced, light but not thin.

Val de Sil Montenovo Blanco 2012
Mid-palate texture saltiness. Bright fruit-driven but savoury.

Val de Sil Godello 2011
Quiet. Bright and fresh, fruit-forward, nice and textural.

Val de Sil Pezas da Portella Godello 2010
Salty volcanic oily nose. Much more elegant and restrained.

Horacio Calvente Pago La Guindalera Blanco 2010
Classic but restrained and dry, fresh musky floral elements.

Mengoba Brezo Blanco 2011
Tight and sharp, very precise, really good but not offering a lot.

Mengoba Blanco Godello Y Dona Blanco Sobre Lias 2010
Nicely developed, slightly wilder and more mineral.

Mengoba Brezo Tinto 2011
Bright juicy floral notes, fresh and juicy but tight and straight.

Mengoba Flor de Brezo 2010
Tighter spicier and leaner, much more savoury.

Mengoba Mencia de Espanillo 2009
Intense tight concentrated, juicy and fairly soft but intense.

Mengoba Mencia de Espanillo 2010
Amazing precision and integration, LENGTH.

Mengoba Estaladina 2010
A little dirtier and wilder, dark and intense.

Domino do Bibei Lapola Blanco 2010
Tight juicy round full friendly.

Domino do Bibei Lapena Blanco 2010
Wilder funkier basalt, intense super godello up to 11.

Domino do Bibei Lalama 2009
Soft juicy full, tight.

Domino do Bibei Lacima 2008
Wild but a little short, lacking something.

Adega Algueira Brandon Blanco 2012
Herbal green fig, very fresh and food friendly.

Adega Algueira Cortezada 2011
Denser and more lifted aromatically, brisk concentrated quince like, high acids.

Adega Algueira Merenzao 2010
Spicy wild earthy, generous yet tight.

Adega AlgueiraCarravel Barrica Mencia 2009
Denser tight, softer and fuller.

Adega Algueira Pizarra 2010
Not seeing it, might need more time.

Quinta Da Muradella Caino Redondo 2009
Too funky and wild, tougher more traditional and rustic.

Quinta Da Muradella Souson 2009
Closed and developed, tight focused acid great.

Exopto Horizonte Blanco 2011
Juicy fruit (musk) sweet, quite different, more Loire style.

Exopto Bozeto de Exopto 2011
Soft bright juicy clean, pleasant character, exceptional value.

Exopto Horizonte de Exopto 2010
Tighter more integrated, much more traditional.

Exopto de Exopto 2009
Deep and soft, juicy reflection of the variety.

Felix Callejo Rosado Vina Pilar 2012
Juicy fresh red fruit sweet.

Felix Callejo Flores de Callejo 2010
Bold juicy dark and intense, fairly straight-forward.

Felix Callejo Crianza 2009
Denser earthier and fuller, quite vintage specific.

Felix Callejo Majuelos de Callejo 2009
Tighter grainier and earthier, very generous.

Felix Callejo Gran Callejo 2006
Intense tight precise and still closed.

Felix Callejo Finca Valdelroble 2008
Stinky reduction, bright wild salty.

Felix Callejo Finca Valdelroble 2009
Juicy hot still very fresh.

Condado de Haza 2009
Very intense dark almost molasses, very soft easy and generous.

El Vinculo Crianza 2006
Extremely traditional, burnt aromatics.

Pesquera Tinto Crianza 2009
Wild earthy savoury, soft concentrated, REAL.

Pesquera Tinto Crianza 2010
Rounder larger fuller, not too different in fact.

Pesquera Reserva 2008
Wild earthy savoury, unbelievably tight.

Dehesa La Granja Tempranillo 2005
Soft bright and generous.

Bodegas Carchello 2011
Quite spicy and approachable.

Terroir Al Limit Torroja Vi de Vila 2011
Light fresh pure lean and clean.

Terroir Al Limit L’Arbossar 2010
Tighter, denser more generous.

Terroir Al Limit Dits del Terra 2010
So elegant but hauntingly complex.

Terroir Al Limit Les Manyes 2010
Beautifully floral yet spicy, intense and tight, extremely long.

Terroir Al Limit Les Tosses 2010
Darker more brooding and more fruit sweetness.

Clos Manyettes Priorat 2007
Punchy and unctuous.

Clos Mogador 2007
Toasty smoky earthy wild terroir wine.

Equipo Navazos No. 31 La Bota de Amontillado
Toasty caramel nose, rich but still dry, wild and feral.

Equipo Navazos No. 37 La Bota de Amontillado
Creamier honeyed spice caramel, salty richer rollier.

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It’s a bubbles thing (Penedes, Spain – Day Two)

After spending the night at Raventos i Blanc, I spent my second day in the region meeting a few of the most important people in cava production in the heart of the production area, Sant Sadurni d’Anoia. The first person was the owner of the winery I stayed at, Manuel Raventos himself. Over breakfast Jose introduced me to the history of his forefathers and their impact on wine in the region. He is an amazingly modest man considering the contribution he himself has made to lift the profile of cava wine around the world. Back in the early ’90s he innovatively decided to purchase a chateau in Bordeaux in an effort to secure more placements for his cava. He completely changed the business from selling the fruit and wine, to bottling the wine entirely. After he realised that having a bordeaux wine didn’t help his cava he decided to sell the winery, and the new owners promptly upped the price off the back of the growing acclaim the winery had received. Manuel continues to chip away at creating larger markets for terroir-driven vintage cava, and he is lucky to be supported by a number of other producers like my other hosts for the day Agusti Torello Mata.

In the relocated library of the Raventos family, the Intrepid Wino with Manuel Raventos

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Cava country (Penedes, Spain – Day One)

Cava is to Spain what champagne is to France. Way back in the 19th century the area in and around Penedes to the south of Barcelona there was a lot of grapes growing, but they weren’t known for quality wines. The indigenous grapes were macabeu, xerello and parellada, grown for their yields and ability to ripen but provide plenty of acidity. In 1872 after a visit to Champagne, Josep Raventos Fatjo returned to his estate in Penedes and had the revolutionary idea to begin producing traditional method sparkling wine, from the indigenous grape varieties which as I mentioned had plenty of acids ideal for the wine. This proved to be a wise decision and changed the entire wine industry in the region. His son then wanted to protect the reputation they were gaining for high quality sparkling wine, and thus created one of the first DO classifications in Spain to protect the name and area of production. As the Spanish government weren’t particularly interested they went to Brussels to get the protection, but the problem was that they couldn’t agree with the area of production, only that it must be made in the traditional method. The Denominacion de Origen area covers Penedes, areas to the south near Valencia, and even as far west as Rioja, however 95% of the cava produced comes from the Penedes region.
Traditional method bottle of cava

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Agusti Torello Mata – 8/06/2012

Xarello 2011
Typical juicy green characters, lime, kiwi, some asparagus. Green tropical notes, very clean and fresh, pure minerality and crispness. Some textural elements. A little extension, but a good aromatic varietal wine.

Subirat Parent 2011
Slightly more closed oily crispness, crisp tight salty texture. Fresh balanced pleasant more subtle notes. Same green fruit notes.

Aptia Macabeu 2011
Slightly more closed, very delicate hints of toast and nut, riper fuller and juicier, more yellow fruits, no green. Very slight creaminess and very soft texture. Some good extension, lingers nicely on the palate.

Agusti Torello Mata Brut Reserva 2008
Clean precise perfectly balanced, great depth and richness, texture creaminess, wonderful apple and lemon notes with the typical cava varietal nature, slightly green herbs. Perfect example of the classic style.

Brut Nature Gran Riserva 2007
More mineral almost like chlorine, very pure precise and clear, amazingly subtle fruit on the nose. Natural cream from the bead and fruit, typical varietal character but more fruit richness and depth.

Gran Reserva Barrica 2007
More complex quitter o the nose, creamy in a very toasty vanilla way, interesting texture, slightly deeper, a much better example than champagnes I have tasted, very fresh and light, only a subtle difference. Not too creamy, better balance and integration.

Kripta 2006
Exquisitely subtle, very elegant, a little richness creamy notes. Creamy delicate yet explosive flavours of brioche, vanilla, creamy wheat, lively fruits still very fresh, very mature citrus and slight carob notes. Almost as complex as trying to store the bottle.

Rosat Trepat 2009
Bright intense fairy floss strawberry creamy, lovely texture and some citrusy crispness. Strawberry desert gives the wine an almost maraschino cherry, cherry liqueuer flavour. Good with deserts.


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Raventos i Blanc – 7/06/2012

Reserva Brut 2009
Nice fresh familiar cava nose, smoky citrus, creamy nose, wonderfully full and vibrant on the palate yet amazingly well balanced, focused and driven. Some great but unpretentious autolysis notes. SO enjoyable yet unique.

De Nit Rose 2009 (5% monastrell short cold skin contact)
Red citrus notes, quite vibrant and some astringent tannins texture. Bright slightly savoury red berries, not sweet, quite subtle. A very differet rose wine. Not rose but not white either. Interesting combination of tannin and yeast notes.

Elisabet Raventos 2006 (4 years on lees)
Floral vanilla creamy citrus notes. Honeysuckle white lily. Deeper more intense and serious, builds beautifully on the palate, layers of complexity. Very subtle but assured autolysis notes. Still fresh and will benefit from age. A champagne drinkers cava, no doubt.

Silencis Xerello 2011
Very intense fruity nose, grapefruit lychee apricot, freshness persistence, balance, very delicate and approachable, not a particular wine of distinction, but a great crisp fruit driven wine nonetheless. Good phenolics, some subtle viscosity.

Raventos i Blanc Reserva de la Finca Cava

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Can Feixes – 7/06/2012

Huguet Gran Riserva Cava Brut Nature 2007 (60% parellada, 20% macabeo, 20% pinot noir)
Lovely tight crisp tropical yellow green notes, some passionfruit, stone fruits, some minerality and very integrated autolysis. Vibrant fresh but exquisitely balanced, reflective of the varieties and region, but really a cut above. Amazingly subtle and long, like a Champagne twist on Cava.

Can Feixas Blanc Seleccio 2011 (Parellada, macabeo, chardonnay, malvasia)
Fresh bright, slightly uriney sauvignon blanc fume stink, again green fruits on the nose. Very full fruit driven fresh vibrant textural volume. Bold stone fruits and some very ripe citrus notes. Pretty intense now, perhaps will settle down in some months. Wonderfully juicy and drinkably refreshing.

Chardonnay 2007 (barrel fermented, new oak – five French coopers)
Very creamy toasty almonds and maize notes, slight toffee aromas, ripe citrus peach notes. Full crunchy bold hot texture, multilayered, very ripe and fruit heavy, oak meshes well with the ripeness of the fruit, thank god there is no malolactic as it would make it far too fat. Well balanced, just too warm a region for the variety, like Sicily.

Negre Tradicio 2007 (merlot, tempranillo, cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot)
Sausage meat, toasty notes, black olives, black fruits. Wonderful acidity and freshness, beautiful balance, bright red and black fruits, fresh plum and cherry notes, Full and generous yet soft and approachable with solid structure and character.

Reserva Especial 2005 (70% cabernet sauvignon, 30% merlot)
Dusty chalky clay notes, slightly smoky meats, full voluptuous, very tight in structure and looking a little youthful/green in texture. Oak looking a little prominent still, lot’s of potential. The structure is all there, the pieces around it just need to fall into line. Slightly warm.

Huguet Gran Riserva Cava 2007

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Torreblanca – 7/06/2012

Brut – Xarello, Macabeu, Peredara
Fairly subtle classic cava nose, Very vibrant dark honey, fresh, fresh citrus, not completely unfamiliar, clean fresh, very approachable and drinkable.

Brut nature
Slightly brighter and more vibrant fruit and floral nose. Tighter fresher, broader and denser, full flavoured, bright fresh.

Brut Rosat (garnacha, merlot)
Very dark ruby colour, juicy blackcurrant juice nose, Dark juicy, fresh bold, mellow, not really bright, but pretty juicy and floral. Almost like a slightly savoury sparkling Ribena.

Extra Brut (pinot noir)
A cava expression of pinot noir, bold red berries, nice and yeasty and rich, quite broad and very fruit creamy but very toasty and quite special, different. Elegant, flavours last a long time in the mouth.

Torreblanca cava ageing in the cellar

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