By: Joe Manekin | K&L Spanish & Portuguese Wine Buyer
I've got Catalunya on the mind. Having just finished writing the March newsletter, which focuses on some new Catalan stuff we will soon be receiving, I'm reminded of how many truly delicious wines are made in this part of Spain. Catalan regions may not have the historic pedigree of Rioja, the cool climate of Pais Vasco, or the newly re-discovered mojo of Jerez (do you know that there are now sherry bars recently opened up in places like London and Brooklyn, where I'm sure your palo cortado is served by a bar keep dressed in a getup worthy of a Portlandia sketch?). What it does have, though, is a committed group of passionate vignerons who are making wines from their own grapes, learning on the job, and developing styles quite opposite to the big, heavy, oak dominated wines which have (incorrectly, of course!) come to define Spanish wine for some people.
Why Catalunya? Because it's beautiful. Because the soils are largely calcareous clay (great for wine grapes). Because it's easy to grow stuff organically there (lots of sun, Mediterranean climate). Finally, Catalunya has always been a hotbed for entrepreneurship, creativity and progressive thinking. Whether we are talking about resisting during the Spanish Civil War, developing paradigm shifting restaurants (ever hear of El Bulli?), or in our case, producing memorable, delicious wines, Catalunya has long been well worth exploring.
Please keep an eye out for the new wines we will soon be picking up from the Catalan D.O's of Penedes, Terra Alta and Binissalem. In the meantime, here are a few of my favorite Catalan whites to enjoy with our surprisingly balmy recent weather.
2011 Vega de Ribes Sauvignon Blanc Penedes - $14.99
2010 Clar de Castanyer Xarel-lo Penedes - $19.99
Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American Wine Buyer
K&L Wine Merchants
Ph: 877.559.4637 ext. 2748