Catalan Wines

The second gathering of the Madison Tasters Club was on October 24th with the topic, Catalan Wines. The group was asked specific questions about each wine regarding visual, aromatic and palate impressions. Notes have been compiled based on the group’s impressions with the most common answers used as well as a few quotes from participants.

Alibet Y Noya, Xarello, “El Fanino 2015

Technical Data: From the Penedes region, this wine is comprised of 100% Xarello grapes that spent 6 months resting on the fine lees in oval cement eggs and 300 liter Acacia wood barrels.

Group Impressions: The wine showed in the glass straw to pale yellow and has a bouquet of grapefruit and citrus fruits with a subtle eucalyptus. On the palate citrus and tropical fruits marry with apple and a white pepper spice.

Quotes :

“Light, Fresh, Slightly Effervescent”

“Dry, Refreshing, Subtle Flavors, Nice Bite.”

 “Refreshing, Biting”


Herencia Altes Garnatxa Blanca 2017

Technical Data: 100 Percent Garnatxa (Garnacha) Blanca grown in a mix of sandy and chalky soils in the Terra Alta region. The wine was fermented and aged in stainless steel with stirring of the lees to preserve the freshness.

Group Impressions: Greenish-Yellow in hue this wine has a pronounced floral bouquet of honeysuckle and apples. The wine is medium bodied, dominated by pear fruit, touched with grapefruit, apples and a light chalky minerality.

Quotes :

“Enjoy the Taste, Medium Bodied, Powerful Aroma”

“It’s got a nice taste that is different enough to be exciting but not too far from a Pinot Grigio”


 Pares Balta, Mas Petit 2015

Technical Data: A blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 44% Garnatxa from the Penedes region that has been aged for 7 months in 2nd, 3rd and 4th fill French oak.

Group Impressions: This wine is Garnet in color with pronounced bouquet that offered violets, green bell pepper, tobacco and forest notes. The palate is medium bodied with red fruits including sour cherry, cranberry and pomegranate with notes of tea and tobacco.

Quotes :

“Fresh, Earthy, Alive, Nice Aroma, Fairly Full Bodied”

“It’s Complex, a challenge sorting out the tastes”


Acustic Celler, Acustic 2015

Technical Data:  A blend of 70% Carinyena and 30% Garnatxa from 40 to 65 year old vines grown in the Montsant region. The wine is aged in “low-toast”, one and two year old French oak barriques for 9 to 10 months.

Group Impressions: Bright purple in color this medium to full bodied red exhibits ripe plum, blackberry and black cherry fruit on the palate. The nose offers aromas of vanilla and mint with subtle  hints of licorice. The wine is rich and smooth yet exhibits firm dusty tannins.

Quotes :

“Rich, Lush. Licorice on the nose, very soft, a pillow of a wine.”

“Complex fruit and spice, beautiful color, soft, nice finish, delicious.”

“It fills my mouth, it’s tannic and full and chewy. Yum!”


Clos Pissara, “El Ramon” 2010

Technical Data:  A composition of 50% Grenache, 20% Carignan, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah from Priorat that sees no oak aging.

Group Impressions: Ruby in color this Priorat red has powerful aromas of violets, black raspberry and black pepper. Blackberry, blueberry and raspberry fruit dominate with a distinct pepper spice and nuances of walnut and roast meat. It is full in body with medium, rounded tannins from bottle age.

Quotes :

“Complex fruit and spice, lovely finish”

“Very structured, needs time to age, truly beautiful wine.”

It is complex, surprising, with a long lingering taste.”


Celler Vall Llach Embruix 2015

Technical Data:  A Priorat region blend of 30% Garnacha, 27% Merlot, 20% Cariñena, 18% Syrah and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in 3 to 4 year old French oak barrels for 12 months.

Group Impressions: Ruby in color this full bodied Priorat showed youthful, needing time to develop. The wine has a mix of red and black fruits with spice/herbal accents on both the nose and palate. The bouquet expresses notes of violets with spicy pepper and clove. The palate has big tannins and ample body with blackberry and cherry fruit. The consensus was that it is a very good wine that needs time to evolve.

Quotes :

“Plenty of fruit to deal with the tannins.”

“Complex dark fruit flavors.”

“ It tastes young but has great potential in the fruit.”