STILL good:) (Though SparklingSpain is dedicated to sparkling wines, I write about still wines as well, especially if there is a connection.)
Purity and richness – can these notions ever match? I am not a natural wine fan, what is more, the recent buzz around wines dubbed as “natural” or “low intervention” made me sceptical. However, I certainly care for our planet, thus IF a wine is good, all these trendy extras are considered valuable extras.
When receiving a bottle of Can Sumoi Garnatxa Blanca I was afraid. The bottle is too special, the story is too precious – made from fruit from an abandoned vineyard at the highest point of Penedés of 600 m above sea level –, the producer is too famous, so what if I cannot appreciate it, or simply do not like it? I postponed to open it from one day to the other, but when I did, all my doubts vanished in a second. I wouldn’t say the nose is intense, rather subtle with some juicy citrus in the background, and so pure, like crystal clear streams in a mountain. And then the mouthfeel: immensely creamy, medium acidity, but this time it was refreshing enough, so balanced with the texture. Layered, lingering – and I agreed with myself the next day, and the third day. I felt some in the bottle to taste how it changes with the aeration, but it did not change significantly. A great wine undoubtedly.
When to drink? The wine was released at the beginning of the summer and was supposed to drink at summertime. Maybe, but since it has a massive structure, I would not consider it an easygoing summer wine, not at all. I suggest to taste it now, it will perfectly match with the September ambiance, featuring the promise of autumn, yet warming with the last heatwaves of the summer.
You are lucky, the wine is still available for example here.
Rebel soul by DNA
The producer is Pepe Raventós, the descendant of Josep Raventós, the brave pioneer who went to Champagne, took notes and creating the very first sparkling wine of Spain. He was not the only rebel in the family. A century later another Raventós had enough of the mass production of Josep Raventós’s heritage, so he walked out of Codorníu, one of the giant cava companies and started to make cava in the ancient family estate. His grandson, Pepe Raventós joined the row of rebels: he was not even willing to use the word cava any more, since its regulation was far too broad for his top quality products. Pepe created a new appellation called Conca del Riu Anoia, since he believes that the valley of the river Anoia is the best terroir for sparkling wines in Penedés. He converted the estate into a biodynamic farm, and the sparkling wines are all long aged and made of indigenous grapes.
He was also searching for the best plots to make still wines as well, and Con Sumoi is the result of several years’ constant research. “It is a farm dating back to 1645, located at 600m above sea level, with 20 ha of vines over 50 years old and 380 ha of forest. It includes a main cellar and three late 17th century farmhouses where wine was made.”
Garnatxa Blance vs Grenache Blanc
The grape is the same, the difference is the quantity of vineyards planted with the variety. While in France Granache Blanc is now the 5th most planted white grape, and it is also common in the north of Spain (in Rioja Garnacha Blanca is also used for sparkling wine called Rioja Metodo Classico now) and also in many DOs of Catalonia (Priorat, Tarragona, Alella, Costes del Segre), however, in Penedés wine region the grape is quite rare.
Some more words from the producer
“After several vintages working closely with local viticulturists, getting to know plots and small parcels, in 2022 we found two Garnatxa Blanca plots that we were passionate about.
Plots that allow us to discover the history of this variety in the Prelitoral mountain range and help us reaffirm that high altitude vineyards are an ideal terroir for proper maturation.
Like all wines from Can Sumoi, Garnatxa Blanca is organic and natural: it is made with minimal intervention in all viticulture and winemaking processes.
Organic for ecological viticulture in our vineyards, with manual harvesting, all pressed at the winery and only with natural yeasts.
Natural for an elaboration without any oenological additive added during its vinification (neither enzymes, nor sugars, nor gelatins, nor tannins or copper). Only, when necessary, we add a minimal amount of sulfites at bottling. Following the French “Vin Méthode Nature” regulations, there are no more than 30mg/L of sulfites in total.”