Alemany i Corrio “Pas Curtei” (Penedès 2013) red
Special 6-pack Price: $142 (~$24/bottle)
The most inland and mountainous subzone of the Spanish appellation of Penedès is appropriately named the Alt Penedès. This Mediterranean region is characterised by relatively low yield and high quality. It is where passionate wife-and-husband winemakers Irene Alemany and Laurent Corrio are producing a range of world-class wines. Their true “garage” winery is located in the center of Vilafranca del Penedès where they vinify by variety and batch. The couple, who met at the University of Burgundy in Dijon, apprenticed in vineyards in France and California before settling into the Penedès region in 1999 to start their own operation using Irene’s family vines. Today, the two are recognized as being among the top winemakers in all of Spain.
Perhaps the wine most accessible and illustrative of their skill to express terroir into a glass is the cuvée “Pas Curtei” — a blend of 60% Merlot, 20% Carinyena, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged for 14 months in a mixture of one, two, and three-year old French oak barrels. It is a bold wine.
There are many interpretations for the term bold: big ripe fruit or crunchy young tannins to name just two. In any case, bold should not mean unbalanced. A wine that is bold should have the shoulders to pair with the burliest of cheeses and the most marbled hunks of red meat but it should not be cumbersome or tiring to your palate. “Pas Curtei” is bold and balanced. It is a wine with the physique of Saint-Émilion and the soul of the Alt Penedès.
In a glass the lush aromatics of the herbal maquis shrubland, licorice, cassis, and spicy cedar precede the wine’s deep structure and long finish. Full of sunny, ripe red and black fruits, it’s power and sumptuous body is balanced by a vein of acidity. Stop by on Saturday to taste this newest vintage of “Pas Curtei” available in the US.
Principia Mathematica (Penedès 2016) white
Special 6-pack Price: $132 (~$22/bottle)
Produced from 100% Xarel·lo (shah-REHL-loh), an indigenous grape variety to Penedès that most Cava drinkers will recognize. 55 year old Xarel·lo vines from plots in Subirats and Garraf see fermentation in new French oak barrels of 228 and 700 liters. A third of the wine is then aged for nine months in stainless steel on the yeast (sur lie) with the remaining two thirds aged in oak barrels with occasional stirring (battonage). The result is a wine of freshness and depth that fully expresses a Burgundian style of winemaking alongside high coastal Mediterranean terroir. Dried stone fruits and subtle floral aromatics exude from a crisp and balanced juice finished by hints of citrus and hazelnuts.
Sot Lefriec (Penedès, 2006) red
Special Price: ~$67/bottle
If Pas Curtei is equivalent to a high-quality Saint-Émilion than Irene and Laurent’s top cuvée, Sot Lefriec, is much like a Premier Grand Cru Classé from the same region. It is a blend of 50% Merlot, 30% Carinyena, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon from the miniscule yields of their very best parcels. The wine is aged 23 months in French Oak barrels (70% new) and is only made in prime vintages. For the cellar or the dinner table, Sot Lefriec is bursting with spices and big, dark fruits. 5,500 bottles total production, only 300 bottles imported to the U.S.