Ultimate Beverage Challenge 94 points - (Ultimate Beverage Collection, Chairman’s Trophy) This sparkling wine carries a deep pink hue. The palate is driven by citrus, taking the form of tangerines, orange, and there is a hint of Californian persimmons. Dry, but with a delightfully fruity character. An easy quaffer. (Jul 2015)
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Poema carefully observes the Cava DO’s stringent regulations to craft its top-quality, small-production Cavas which are crafted using the same traditional method used in Champagne. The extremely rare red grape Trepat is used to produce Cava Rosado. The grapes are grown in the Conca de Barbera region of Catalonia, whose limestone soils are ideal for this grape. A green harvest and careful selection helps to ensure that only ripe, pristine grapes are picked. Grapes are harvested manually and pressed in three different wineries close to the vineyards. Grapes are macerated for 16 to 20 hours before fermentation in stainless steel tanks for 15 days. Second fermentation takes place in the bottle according to Metodo Tradicional.
Of the 145 hectares they control, 80.5 are given over exclusively to the cultivation of vines. The estate vines cover the western slopes of the Ordal mountain range known as "Costers d'Ordal", following the curves of the terrain in stepped terraces or on slopes exposed to the midday sun. As in all good wine-growing land, the soil in Can Vendrell has low organic content, with a variable content of clay and sand on a bed of calcareous stone, a permeable base with good moisture retention.
Leaving aside for a moment the suitability of the land for wine growing, there are other factors which intervene in the selection of the most suitable vines for cultivation, such as the lie of the land, the hours of sun, the humidity and altitude of the terrain.
The white varieties are Chardonnay (1.1ha) Macabeu (9.7ha), Xarel·lo (19.1ha), Parellada (10.5ha), Moscatell (0.4ha), Viogner (1.5ha), Sauvignon Blanc (0.3ha), Riesling (1.5ha), Garnatxa Blanca (0.2ha) and 4 experimental varieties (0.8ha).
The red varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon (10ha), Tempranillo o Ull de llebre (8.3ha), Merlot (5.4ha), Syrah (6ha), Garnatxa negre (2.2ha), Pinot Noir (2.9ha), and 6 experimental varieties (0.8ha)
Whilst the Xarel·lo, Macabeu and Parellada are the varieties traditionally planted in the Penedès region, the others had been lost at the end of the 19th century with the Philloxera crisis and the growth of cava, until their reintroduction to Can Vendrell by the Albet family in the early eighties.
The Can Vendrell modernist cellar was built in 1925 and houses the principal vinification processes. The Xapallà cellar next door was finished in August 2004 and houses the temperature-controlled warehouse, the barrel hall and a new bottling plant. The new gravity-based l'Era cellar was opened in 2010 to produce our top wines separately.
Organic wine is largely wine from organically grown grapes, but the regulations primarily limit the quantity of sulphur dioxide that can be used, approximately half the levels permitted in a conventional cellar. This means that the Can Vendrell cellar is required to maintain a level of hygiene far superior to that of a conventional cellar. Nonetheless, once more we can see that the key to making great wines lies in the quality of the raw materials: the grapes.
By working only with grapes in optimum sanitary coonditions, Albet i Noya are able to work largely without using SO2. We use authoctonous yeasts from the Albet i Noya vineyards, selected from the Xarel·lo variety and we are working in the selection of other yeasts for the remaining varieties.
The fermenting vats have an inert gas system (a mix of nitrogen and CO2) to prevent potential alterations in the wine. Once again, the emphasis is on prevention rather than cure: as the wine cannot be chemically corrected, the hygiene of the cellar is key to avoiding disappointments. The cellar equipment is cleaned using high pressure hot water (up to 90°C) instead of chemical products.