VN Vinel.Lo Blanco 2017 - Bodega Partida Creus - Catalonia, Spain 75cl
Partida Creus is a small traditional winery that produces a very limited quantity of high-end very original wines made with organically grown grapes. The initiative was started in 2007 by a couple of Italian architects from the Piedmont region, Antonella Gerosa and Massimo Marchiori, who, seeking a complete reversal in their lives, relocated to the quiet village of Bonastre. There they refurbished an old agricultural building, converting it into a cellar, a project carried out with recycled materials and solid structures.
Members and producers of Slow Food, since 2004 they have been engaged in the recovery and preservation of Bonastre’s viniculture heritage in the Baix Penedès region. Tasks in the vineyard are shared with Orazio and Vincenza, a donkey and a mare that help them practice a traditional environmentally friendly philosophy.
The name Partida Creus is a reference to the crosses used to separate holdings back in the day. Massimo Marchiori and Antonella Gerona are an Italian couple from Piedmont. Both of them are architects who initially moved to Barcelona for that reason. Around the year 2000, they had had enough of the big city and they moved out to the country in search of a “slower” lifestyle. They settled in the Massís de Bonastre in the Baix Penedés. There they started farming all kinds of local foodstuffs but had trouble finding wines made in the same style so they started making their own, recovering old vines of local grape varietals. In most cases, the vineyards were close to abandoned. Whenever they find a new vineyard, they’ll go to the nearby town, find out who the owner is and approach them to buy or at least farm the vineyard, organically of course. People think they’re crazy for doing this as they are very old, low yielding vineyards and in most cases, obsolete grape varietals. Some have been disqualified from D.O. for lack of colour, as was the case with Sumoll, others were never even accepted. Now they’re known as the crazy Italians making incredible natural wines with the grapes that all of the locals had written off in exchange for the more “international” varietals.
The Vinel·lo is a field blend of seven grape varietals: Trepat, Sumoll, Garrut, Queixal de Llop, Ull de Perdiu, Garnacha, and Samsó. This is actually one of their younger vineyards as it was planted back in 1995 and the soil is predominantly calcareous clay. Separate whole cluster macerations in stainless steel tanks, shortest extraction for the Garrut, which has the most colour, for about 20 hours. The longest is the Trepat, lightest in colour, for about three days. All of the others in between about 48 hours. Once finished they are all blended and racked into the same stainless steel tanks where the wine ages on its fine lees and naturally decants, slowly through the cold of the winter meaning unfiltered, unfined, and no addition of sulphur at any part of the winemaking process. I think a common denominator in all of their wines is freshness and precision. All of them are very direct with low alcohol and high acidity which definitely keeps them intact. The white (VN Blanco) is light and salty-fresh – think super-charged Muscadet and reassuringly turbid. It features features a dirty half dozen (plus one) of local yokels: Vinyate, Moscatel, Garnacha Blanca, Panset, Macabeo, Xarel.lo and Parellada. Massimo and Antonella farm organically with their donkey and make crazy wines from ancient abandoned varieties which are ridiculously fresh and drinkable.
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