Wine Club – December 2021
Laureano Serres Montagut, 2021
One of the legendary producers of the Terra Alta in Catalonia. We were lucky enough to bump into Laureano at Tarragona’s Bar Cortijo, which led to a long tasting in his cellar, replete with Bob Marley posters and XX records; meeting him is half the vibe, but the wine is every bit as good. His Roig is 100% Garnatxa, the grapes receiving a short maceration of four days, starting their fermentation in inox, then being transferred to clay amphora for another month and a half. It’s soft where you expect it to be strong, with dark berries, cherry, but a herbal background. Very pleasant drinking, the type of bottle to become part of your regular line-up.
Palheto started as a new cuvée in 2019, an experiment to see how an old Portuguese style that mixes red and white grapes would work in the Humus cellar. The Touriga Nacional/Castelão (red) and Fernão Pires/Arinto (white) were fermented together on the skins then aged in old barrels. If it sounds like a heavy blend, it’s not; the light ruby colour is a better indicator of taste and strength, juicy, floral, slightly woody, light-bodied but with strong, direct flavours, made by Rodrigo Felipe with grapes planted by his father just to the north of Lisbon.
Mas de la Lune, 2019
A hearty white from some relative newcomers, a couple that started making wine in 2017 after taking over seven hectares of vines in the Roussillon region of France, close to Perpignan. The vines themselves are between 70 and 90 years old, and the harvested fruit is deep and expressive: with a mix of Grenache Gris and Macabeu, typical of the area, you can find some peachy and floral notes, with some almond and good sense of bitter minerality to round out the Lune Blanche.
Nuria Renom, 2021
The latest in our series of wines bottled exclusively for T.N.W.C., this time by our favourite Barcelona winemaker/sommelier, Nuria Renom, who treated local members to a very generous tasting last month with some new and unreleased cuvées. And for those who couldn’t join, she’s disgorged a special version of her Pinky Way pét-nat, made with 60% Tempranillo macerated for four days in inox (giving the wine a darker colour than in previous years, when the Tempranillo received a direct press) blended with 40% Muscat of Alexandria (undoubtedly the favourite child among all her grapes). Lots of red fruit, acidity, very, very lively!
Clos Lentiscus, 2017
Best to temper any overwhelming urge for bubbles these holidays with the legends of traditional-method natural sparkling at Clos Lentiscus. That said, the Blanc de Noirs isn’t your standard bubbles: starting with the beautiful copper colour, the wine also makes a smooth marriage of yeasty, umami flavours with a jammy sweetness that keeps it from being totally savoury. The second fermentation was kickstarted with honey from their own hives after the base wine finished fermenting in oak barrels—all made with Sumoll, a red variety that was on the verge of disappearing in Catalonia and still makes relatively few single-variety wines.
Franco Terpin, 2016
Jakot’s an inversion of the name Tokaj (or Tocai), now the exclusive property of a Hungarian appellation, but also a grape that’s widely grown through the Friuli and Italian-Slovenian border region where Franco Terpin has made wine since 1994. His are in the style of long white macerations, and Jakot has that long, serious feel to it—one to close the end of the year or be cellared for a while longer. It’s fuller-bodied without being overpowering: candied fruit, apricot, acidity, concentrated but fresh. Don’t drink it too cold, so as not to kill off the perfume, and it’s worth decanting or letting the wine breathe to get the most out of it.