There is something magical about wine tasting when visiting a wine region. I loved Napa’s vineyards and was gutted that we didn’t have more time in the Chianti region whilst cruising. So when I was asked if I fancied getting some friends together to sample the wines of Catalonia I jumped at the chance, I was already a fan of some of them so new ones are always welcomed. Keep reading to the end for your chance to win a bottle yourself!
The Penedes was the first area in Spain to use stainless steel and cold fermentation equipment which has helped them create modern wines using both native and French grape varieties. Possibly better known for its Cava production, the region is considered one of the countries best just being pipped to the post by Rioja. I sampled a wine from each category to give you a proper overview of what the region has to offer, I know it is a hard job.
Codorniu Cava Cuvée Barcelona Brut – Sparkling
Anyone who knows me will tell you how much I love Prosecco or Champagne. If I am being totally honest, Cava is my favourite. A lesser known (or appreciated) member of the sparkling wine family I like its drier and slightly less sweet tones and this one is no exception. Can we just take in how pretty this bottle of Cava is? I love the floral detailing on the label.
Cava was first made in the penedes region when descendent of Codorniu, Josep Raventos, studied the traditional sparkling wine method in Champagne and brought it home. This Cuvee Barcelona 1872 is an original Cava that is pale straw yellow in colour with a heavy scent of apples and pears on the nose. The apple is fresh on the palate with notes of honey adding a little sweetness also. It is the perfect sparkling wine for a traditional Spanish feast of paella, sardines and stew yet I personally prefer it with a good smorgasbord of meat and cheese.
Gran Vina Sol Chardonnay – White
Torres wines hold a special place in my heart as they are a favourite of my Mum who buys them by the caseload. They are popular in the Canary Islands where I spend a lot of time and I regularly mither my parents to bring me a bottle of San Valentin home when they have been on holiday there. San Val (as it is affectionately known) is a sweet yet dry wine that is perfect to enjoy after a hard day at work when the sun is shining in the garden. I also like Vina Sol and have drunk many bottle before being sent this to try.
What I didn’t know about this wine is that Gran Vina Sol was a pioneer in the production of cask-fermented Chardonnay in Spain. This wine is much more diverse than the traditional Vina Sol which my Mum enjoys. The Chardonnay grape can vary massively depending on how the wine has been produced. The Gran Vina Sol has blended Chardonnay and Parellada after fermenting a percentage in Limousin oak barrels. The result is a complex wine with an intense flavour that is heavily floral with fresh fruit notes most notably pineapple. Golden in colour the floral notes also come through on the nose alongside a rich smell of toasted almonds, truly delicious.
Jane Ventura Rosat Seleccio – Rose
This is the type of wine that I would buy just from looking at the label and the colour, we do buy with our eyes first after all and I am one of those people who has bought books before just from the cover. The imagery of the label is also the inspiration for the wine which leans towards the traditions and landscape of Catalonia. It is a fresh and young rose who’s grapes are destemmed and slightly squeezed to make a pre-fermentative film maceration. The wine is then discarded to ferment at 17 degrees. The result is a salmon pink coloured rose that appeals to most rose lovers. The flavours do too as it is smooth in the mouth with fruity notes of raspberry and cherries on the nose.
Albet i Noya Curio’s Tempranillo – Red
Whilst red isn’t my wine colour of choice, I do appreciate a lighter fruity Tempranillo and this hits just those points. I love the quirkiness of the label that once again would draw my eye amongst other bottles on a shelf. This one is a bright cherry red in colour with those cherries on the nose too alongside some floral yet sweet notes. It is fresh on the palate without that dryness that heavier red wines leave at the back of the throat. There are sweet tannins present but they don’t disrupt the the fruit and slight spice that dominate the flavour. It is perfect for a cheeseboard but would also go well with fish dishes.
If you are planning a wine trip you could do worse than visiting the Penedes region and it is definitely on my bucket list so I can try more of their amazing Cavas. Inntravel offer self guided holidays in a tour through the region that sounds right up my street especially that it would mean I could take the wine tasting at my own pace. Oh also, how cute is my ‘Rose all day coaster’? It is from Coconut Lane and if you put PHATCUPCAKE20 in at the checkout you will get 20% off.
Inntravel have kindly given me a bottle of the Gran Vina Sol Chardonnay worth £11.99 to one of your lovely readers. To enter please use the Rafflecopter below. This competition is open to UK over 18’s only and the prize will be honoured by the PR company. Good luck and happy drinking, responsibly as always.