Catalonia covers a large area and encompasses a wide range of wine regions and styles so it is impossible to do justice in one tasting. However, we did our best!
Cava was our first focus. Penedes is the principal area producing this well known Methode Traditionelle sparkling wine and we compared and contrasted two high quality examples from Raventos I Blanc.
This estate took the controversial step of leaving the Cava DO in 2012 complaining that there was not enough focus on quality. The Blanc de Blancs 2020 was clean, crisp, well balanced and very drinkable.
In contrast, the Texturas de Piedra 2016 was richer, more complex and earthy. After 48 months on the lees it was full of yeasty toastiness. Both wines were significantly more expensive than most Cavas we see readily available.
We tasted two wines from a project run by David Seijas, former head sommelier at El Bulli, which were top class. The Ikigall white was wonderfully aromatic and fresh with great balancing acidity – reflecting the quality from Penedes outside of all the Cavas.
The red was a Carinena/Garnacha blend from the Emporda DO – north along the coast from Barcelona. This DO is very much and up and coming and this red had a vibrant fruity intensity with 15% alcohol well integrated into the soft tannins and oak.
Priorat has to be a priority for any Catalonian tasting and the small, 7 hectare estate of Mas La Mola was our focus. Priorat is a superb wine region producing mainly reds from low yielding vines in very challenging vineyards.
The white showed a wonderful minerality and intensity; the Expressio was a fruit forward example designed to show an easier drinking style; and the Vi d’Altura showed all the intensity and concentration you would expect from a top class Priorat.
We rounded off the evening with a late harvest, lightly fortified Garnacha from Clos Mont Blanc that was delightfully sweet and would be perfect with Ol Sciur a blue veined goats cheese from Piedmont.
See the details of what we tasted on the Wines we have tasted page