Wine Club – September 2023
Nuria Renom, 2022
Nuria Renom has her own personal connection to Bar Brutal, where she was head sommelier from the day it opened in 2013 through until her winemaking endeavour became too big to handle only part time. And when we say too big to handle, we mean it. Nuria bought a beautiful piece of land called Can Barceló in the upper reaches of the Penedès a few years back, replete with no less than 17ha of grapevine that she is slowly but surely incorporating into her production. Of those hectares, most are planted with Parellada, a local grape known for bringing liquid volume to Cava. That is to say – not the best reputation for high quality wine. But if anyone knows how to make gold out of lead (or wine out of water), it’s Nuria. A bit of maceration, a bit of barrel, and this Parellada shines bright with energy like no other before it.
Escoda Sanahuja, 2022
Joan Ramon Escoda is another Brutal mainstay, because his wines are iconic, and because he’s been involved with the bar since the get-go, in his role as a part-owner. On top of that, with 20 vintages of natural wine under his belt, he’s one of Catalan natural wine’s original punk rockers (and Joan Ramon has plenty of opinions on the topic of punk rock, in case you ever get the pleasure.) This wine is almost a given on wine lists in Barcelona. Its ubiquitousness makes it wild that this is its debut in the TNWC canon. Els Bassotets is a mix of Macabeu and Chenin Blanc with a wild spirit and an easy, breezy drinkability. Slightly dusty, slightly fruity, slightly grippy, very interesting, and certainly one of the wines that has been opened most frequently – and with most general glee – within the walls of Bar Brutal. Finally, in your hands as well.
If you’ve been with us for a while, you are no stranger to Laureano Serres of Mendall, who was amongst the first in the region to abstain from sulphur in his wines coming up on two decades ago. We honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the first wine ever opened in Bar Brutal was by Mendall, a mainstay on the list since the very beginning. At this point, this man is a legend, producing rustic, frank, back-to-the-earth wines in rural Terra Alta that never cease to surprise. The team at Brutal chose Mosquito Guiu this month, a macabeu from a complicated vintage that saw high temperatures and no rain that shows a rich white fruit and a hint of V.A. that just helps keep it fresh. With a short skin contact, it’s not really a white nor is it an orange, but that’s okay – Laureano’s wines tend to defy classification. A rebellious soul.
Vinyes Tortuga, 2022
Dutch transplants to Catalunya Dido and Jurriaan were frequent guests at Bar Brutal before they ever decided to set up shop just 1,5 hours north of the city in beautiful Empordà to live out their winemaking dreams. We even met them there back in the day – it is a verified watering hole for natural wine drinkers, after all. Now, their own-vine project Vinyes Tortuga produces a wide range of banging natural wines out of the old cooperative cellar in a small town called Rabós, where Dido and Juurrian have successfully laid their roots as honourary Catalans. The team at Brutal has chosen Juicy for this month’s box: a verified, no questions asked glou-glou canon made of Garnacha and Merlot. It’s true-to-form fermented grape juice, meant to be chilled and shared, and evocative of many late-night Brutal lock-ins. (We can confirm.)