Wednesday 13 March 2024

Penedes Tasting


The fewer the tasters the better, you could say. No standing behind huge blokes like up against a pub bar. We hope the organisers achieved their goals because Penedes is a fantastic appellation and they deserve every success.

There were any number of Xarel-lo wines on show - all good. This together with its pink mutation Xarel-lo Vermell are wonderfully reliable and sometimes really terrific. It has been said that Xarel-lo might be related to Macabeo but Slotovino considers Xarel-lo to be superior.

Sumarroca, Gramona, Loxarel and other luminaries were there but for our purposes it was Torres who held the greatest attraction since they had brought some of their 'Varietats Recuperadas' from their 'Projecte de recuperacio de varietals autoctons ancestrals.'

Forcada 100%?

the first was Forcada 2019

Forcada with Xarel-lo

Then Forcada 2022. On the back label is written 'More than forty years ago, Familia Torres embarked on a project to recover ancestral varieties in an act of archaeology that aims to restore a shared heritage, and among its fruit is Cos Ancestral . Forcada is the first recovered white pre-phylloxera variety to be vinified and combined with Xarel-lo, it endows the wine with an incomparable authenticity.'

and Moneu, a red, albeit in a blend with Tempranillo and Garnacha Tinta,

On the back label is written 'Castell de la Bleda, in the heart of the Penedes, our homeland, has been a winegrowing area for over 2000 years. There we have found Iberian and Roman vestiges, from the Middle Ages and from the time just before phylloxera when ancestral varieties like Moneu thrived in the vineyards. It took us years of research to recover this variety, which is why we are thrilled to include it in the blend for Clos Ancestral...'

We had hear about the Torres programme to revive almost extinct varieties and had always wanted to taste some of the wine made with them. They have counted more than 50 such varieties. After Forcada and Moneu there is Garró, Querol and Pirene.This was a great opportunity to get an idea of the programme not least because bottles of these wines are made in very small quantities so far and are very expensive. 

From tasting we half understood why Forcada and Moneu have been placed in blends. The 2019 Forcada (which we presume is in purezza) was not very approachable.

It is early days and if anyone can find the best way to present these rescue varieties, Torres will.

No comments: