Indigenous varieties are the name of the game in my book and last week at the Penin Guide tasting organized by Colangelo , I had the occasion to taste two fantastic wines made from grapes usually used for Cava or sparkling wine production.
In fact, Carles Andreu is an established Cava producer from the Conca de Barbera’ DO near the city of Tarragona. The winery has been in existence since the 1700s and the family has been growing grapes since that time. They currently have 150 acres where they grow Macabeu, Parellada, Trepat and Chardonnay. In 1991, Carles Andreu decide to bottle his own wines and created his brand. He makes great Cava in many styles including Brut, Brut Nature, Brut Nature Reserva, Reserva Barrica and Rose’ cava made from Trepat.
Apparently, no one else makes a Trepat into a still wine. Even if they use it in a blend, I was told, it usually doesn’t reach 50% of the blend. I thought this was a fabulous wine. It is made from 50 year old vines and is aged for six months in new French oak barrels and then in the bottle for 20 months. I tasted the 2007 and the 20008. The 2007 was fuller bodied and rounder than the 2008 but I assume that is just because of its age. They only make about 7000 bottles of this wine. On the palate it was spicy and chewy with tobacco notes, cedar and jammy fruit. It was very persistent with a nice long finish. I would love to see this wine in the United States but as of the tasting last week, they were still looking for an importer.
The parellada, a classic white grape in the cava blend, usually assembled with macabeu and xarello, is also seldom seen as a mono varietal wine. This one was a 2009 made from 30 year old vines. It was nutty and yeasty with peach aromas and flavors. Only 4000 bottles of this wine are produced.
I went to this tasting late in the day but loved both the location, the American Natural History Museum, and the wines.