Texturas de Pedra 2019 by Raventos i Blanc
‘Texturas de Pedra’ is literally ‘Textures of the Stone’ and the name comes from the rocky soil of the vineyard Vinya Més Alta. The name is so suggestive for me, that – while tasting the wine – I could not get rid of the image of large stones and I had this really vivid of sensation of touching and smelling the rocks in the heat of the summer. Nevertheless, Texturas de Pedra is a great sparkling wine, stunning and unique. Raventos i Blanc wines are available in several countries, wherever you live, it is quite likely that you can find it.
The very first sip won over me. It is the essence of purity, and at the same time it has complexity, a distinct, layered nose and palate with hay, apple, pear and some flint. It has a character which demands respect. I would not mention it among the “lovable” wines, it is a wine to appreciate, to be handled with respect.
I have never tasted Texturas de Pedra before, even though – as I learnt afterwards – it has been made since 2011. So, being overwhelmed by the tasting experience, I was curious to see other wine writers’ opinions, and saw that Texturas de Pedra 2019 is evaluated as outstanding by others as well, for example the Barcelona based Californian Miquel Hudin included it in his list of top 100 Spanish wines tasted in 2023.
See Hudin’s Top 100 Spanish wines
Food for wine geeks
Raventos i Blanc was the first winery in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia (Penedès wine region) to leave the Cava DO even though Josep Raventos (the ancestor of the recent owner, Pepe Raventos) created the very first cava in 1872. The appellation is called Conca del Riu Anoia, and Pepe Raventos claims that the best terroir of Penedès is the valley of the river Anoia with countless marine fossils.
The estate is very keen on giving every detail about the wines, probably their data sheets are the more detailed ones I have ever seen. (On the website there is a shorter version, but I received paper copy.)
The data sheet obviously lists every important fact, like the grape varieties – 50% Xarello, 25% Sumoll and 25% Bastard Negre – but it also lists all the viticultural treatments and applications. We can learn for example that cow and donkey manure was used in the compost, pruning took place on 29 and 30 January on descending moon and that they added only 3.5 g/hL sulphur.
Some more facts about Texturas de Pedra 2019: There are 3500 vines / hectare, the year of planting is between 1965 and 2002, the sea level is around 200 metres. The three varieties were pressed separately, gently at law pressure. The base wine fermented and aged for nine months in cemented tank. In the bottle it aged for 42 months, there is no dosage, the residual sugar is 0.8 g/L, so we can call it bone dry. 14 820 bottles were made.
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Vinya Més Alta, the stony vineyard
The three local folks
Probably the most important thing about this sparkling wine is the grapes themselves. Xarello is quite well known by now since it is the most important variety of the Penedès, the main player in the trip of the cava varieties (Xarello, Macabeu, Perellada), however, here Xarello Vermell is used, a variation of Xarello with pinkish skin giving pink / light red wines. Sumoll is also a local grape, Pepe Raventos believes that this grape is a great survivor, it can be the solution to the challenges of global warming in the region. Bastard Negre might be the less known of the three, a grape identified at Raventos only recently. “This variety tastes rustic and has high acidity levels, and is well adapted to our area. It gives Textures de Pedra strength and potency, as well as density and texture on the palate, reinforcing the golden note and giving it volume and tension.” Pepe Raventos claims that Bastard Negre is identical with Graciano in Rioja, but so far, I have not found any evidence on that, the book Wine Grapes (by Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding and José Vouillamoz) does not list Bastardo Nero o Bastard Negre among the synonyms of Graciano. Raventos also mentions Sardinia as the origin of the grape, while Wine Grapes describes Bastardo as a grape identical with Trousseau with origin in France, in the Jura wine region. The name Trousseau comes from a French word referring to the pyramid-like shape of the bunch. I have emailed to José Vouillamoz, when he answers, I will update this post.
Pepe Raventos also adds: “Our Bastard Negre vines were planted in 1974, and the plant material is a massal selection of the estate. It is a variety that keeps the acidity well, has a low pH, and is extremely good for producing long-aged sparkling wines if it is vinified like a vin gris.”
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