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Tag: Terra Alta

Wine of the Week

So long, Merian!

Merian is here short for Mercè (Solé Llop) i Antonio (Mèlich). The finca was established in 1942 in Terra Alta (Catalunya). Today the two of them, together with Mercè’s sisters and brothers, 4th generation, run the estate, based on terroir and sustainability.

This wine is based on garnatxa negra 100% from their own organic vineyards in the municipality of Batea, a center for viticulture in Terra Alta. (Here is another Batea wine.) The soil is rich in clay with chalk, but also rolling stones, in an altitude of 350 – 450 meters.

The grapes are hand-picked, before a new selection in the winery. After a light pressing the juice is transfered to steel, and a fermentation at 26 degrees with a 15 days skin-maceration.

Here with filled aubergine incl. cheese (leftover raclette) and sliced meat

Merian Garnatxa Negra 2020 (Cellers Tarroné)

Dark cherry red, blueish hint. Young, fresh aroma (blueberry, raspberry), together with anise and some leathery notes. Fresh in the mouth, but also with a certain depth from mature berries, smooth tannins and a fruity finish.

Price: Low

Food: Red and light meat, grilled if you like, game, casseroles, pasta and salads with meat

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Wine of the Week

Making Sense

Celler Batea speaks about duality. One expression of this is the mixture of Continental and Mediterranean influences in their home town Batea, DO Terra Alta (Catalunya). Another is the focus on two grape varieties, that is the black and the white version of garnacha, or let’s just name it garnatxa, like it’s written here. It is these two varieties that make up the series of non-added-sulphites wines called Sense (meaning without in Catalan).

Credit: Celler Batea

In 2019 the producer launched these wines, with total sulphites less than 10mg per liter. They are completely organic, do not contain any chemicals, nor preservatives and have not been filtered. The white wine was fermented in steel at 14-16°C with native yeasts, stayed there for 6 months on fine lees, with “batonnage” (stirring) to give more complexity and mouthfeel.

Sense Blanc 2020 (Celler Batea)

Dark golden colour, hint of brown. In the front are aromas of mature apples and bitter almond, underlying we find fennel, aniseed and a touch of honey. Quite full and nutty in the mouth, with a good acidity that’s important to balance the ripe fruit and relatively high alcohol (14%). Somewhat bitter end. Lots of character.

Price: Medium-low

Food: Rice dishes, salads, white and red fish, tasty shellfish, pasta, pizza, cheeses and more

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