Sue Ray Uncorked
Mostra de Vins i Caves de Catalunya
Arc de Triomf, Passeig de Lluís Companys, 08003 Barcelona, Spain - 23 September 2016
This was the 36th “Mostra de Vins i Caves de Catalunya” – an annual festival showcasing wines and cavas from Catalan vineyards - which forms part of the city-wide La Mercè celebrations. It was held at the beautiful Arc de Triomf in Barcelona from 22 – 25 September 2016.
The Arc de Triomf was built by Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas as the main gateway to the 1888 Barcelona World Fair. It stretches across the wide promenade of Passeig de Lluis Companys leading down towards Parc Ciutadella which occupies the original site of the fair.
More than 65 wineries lined up along each side of the promenade offering tastings from 12 Catalan denominations of origin including DO Alella, Catalonia, Cava, Conca de Barbera, Costers del Segre, Empordà, Montsant, Penedès, Pla de Bages, Priorat, Tarragona and Terra Alta.
Tasting tickets were available on entry and each winery offered tasting samples costing from 1 to 8 tickets. Ticket prices were 5 for EUR6, 12 for EUR13 or the option we chose, 22 tickets split between the two of us for EUR20. In addition, you could either take your own wine glass or hire a Riedel one for EUR5. If you returned the glass at the end, you were refunded EUR2.
A number of masterclasses had been arranged throughout the event and there was also a good selection of artisan foods to try, including cheese, charcuterie and some stunning desserts.
On Sunday 25 September, the “Trobada d'Intercanvi de Plaques de Cava Diada 2016" was scheduled to take place - whereby collectors of cava bottle top wrappers meet to buy and sell cava tops!
Highlights of my visit are as below:
Jovani & Vins
Jovani & Vins is a retail wine store which opened in 2015 and is located in the neighbourhood of Sant Antoni in the Eixample district of Barcelona. They offer more than 300 wines and Champagnes as well as a vast range of craft beers, cheese and charcuterie. They also have a Wine Club and hold regular tastings. I tasted a couple of cavas from Cavas Berdié, a young, dynamic winery located in El Penedès which produces some very fresh and complex Reservas and Gran Reservas.
Berdié Rupestre Flower Edition and Berdié Brut Nature Reserva – both made from traditional cava varietals and aged between 15 to 27 months. My favourite was the Brut Nature.
Raimat dates back to 1914 when Manuel Raventós i Doménech, owner of Codorníu, acquired some dry, infertile land and set about creating what is now the largest family-owned ranch in Europe. Raimat is also the leading viticulture research and development centre in Spain and a pioneer in sustainability. The winery is located in Raimat, Lleida in the DO Costers del Segre.
Ánima de Raimat Blanc – a fresh, floral blend of Albariño, Xarel-lo and Chardonnay.
Ánima de Raimat Negre – a fruit forward young red wine made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Syrah.
Celler Gerisena is a member of the Agricultural Co-operative of Garriguella which is one of the longest-standing co-operatives within the DO Empordà. It was founded in 1963 by a group of vineyard farmers in Garriguella and now boasts the largest group of vineyards within the Alt Empordà region. In addition to wines from the DO Empordà, they also produce Vermut and Sangria.
Vermut Obre Boques – a smooth red (black) vermouth with balanced acidity and good herbal notes.
Remena Nena Sangria – a refreshing black cherry Sangria with ripe citrus and a touch of spice.
Alta Alella – Cava Privat
Alta Alella is a family owned enterprise which began over 20 years ago when Josep Maria Pujol-Busquets and his wife, Cristina Guillen, acquired Can Genis, a 19th century estate just 2km from the Mediterranean coast, between the villages of Alella and Tiana. It is the closest cellar to Barcelona and is fully organic. They produce wines and cavas in DO Alella and DO Cava.
AA Parvus Chardonnay – a very tropical Chardonnay with great acidity aged for 3 months in new French oak.
AA Parvus Syrah – a big, bold and earthy Syrah with ripe plummy black fruit and a hint of balsamic.
Celler Masroig was founded in 1917 and is one of the most celebrated wineries of the DO Montsant in Priorat. One factor they attribute to helping them produce such successful wines is their red clay soil which reflects the sun’s rays back onto the grapes, thus helping them ripen. In addition to grapes, the estate also grows olives and produces its own olive oils.
Solà Fred Blanc – a fresh, floral blend of Macabeo and Grenache Blanc with ripe tropical fruit and good acidity.
Solà Fred Negre – an unoaked and very deeply coloured red made from 100% Carignan with good fruit concentration and a touch of spice.
The “Mostra” was well attended both by locals and tourists and was clearly a popular event. On the Friday we attended, we had just finished tasting when the heavens opened and there was a tremendous storm with violent thunder and lightning. It was clearly a sign for us to head off to the nearest bodega to continue our pursuit for fine wine and tapas!
Copyright of suerayuncorked.com - September, 2016