This week we focus our efforts on three wines from Spain and Italy. These were wines that we didn’t know exactly what to expect as they evolved over the course of an evening. The end results were overall every positive: from the Denavolo’s truly memorable floral nose to Metamorphika’s ability to bring peach and kiwi fruit notes into an orange wine to Celler La Salada’s exceptional Pet Nat rosé blend that was mouthwateringly good. The sum of this week revealed that sometimes not knowing what to expect – not really having too many expectations at all – is the best way to drink new blends or old favorites from new vintages.
Denavolo Catavela (2016)
A somewhat cloudy straw yellow in the glass, this wine features expressive floral and white fruit aromas on the nose. Juicy stone fruit like peach and apricot predominate but there’s also a lovely citrus acidity, some structured tannins, and a wonderfully wet stone mid-palette that finishes dry with a little bit of funk and soft earth. There’s almost a lactic creaminess that reveals itself as the wine opens up a bit. A few hours later, more of the wild funk shows, along with some of the dryer mineral notes. This is a real delight in terms of a highlighting how funk and floral notes can coexist so well.
Metamorphika, Sumoll Blanc ‘Brisat’ (2016)
From the minute you look at this bottle of wine, you’re entranced. From the white clay to the orange and red all seeing eye label. Sumoll Blanc in an orange wine style? This really hits the spot, featuring juicy fruit and bitter earth on the nose. On the palette, this wine, as you’d expect from a Sumoll, is fruit forward, with peach and kiwi notes showcasing themselves. There is a driving tartness and acidity but it quickly moves into drier and earthier notes on the mid-palette, anchored by a lovely tannic weight. The finish is dry and some of the rounded stone fruit notes integrate back in.
Celler La Salada, Roig Boig Pet Nat Rosé (2016)
For 20 dollars, it’s harder to imagine a better Pet Nat from Spain. It hits above its price class for sure. This wine is wonderfully aromatic on the nose with aromatic herbal spiced notes that remind us of the holiday season. The first sip reveals cranberry tartness and zippy acid but the transition happens quickly to some soft funky earth and a touch of oxidative roundness. As the wine evolves, you catch undertones of Catalonia salinity and some crushed rocks. When you let it finish, the pleasant herbal spices creep right in, finishing things off in a full circle kind of way. Run, don’t walk, to this wine.
Join us next week as we dive into a 2009 Denavolo, a memorable Riesling from Mosel, and Nestarec’s cherry juice rosé. Until then, happy sipping!