Like most wine geeks, I go through phases. Right now, that phase is white wines from Spain. As many of you know, we’re working with a new importer of Catalan wines (read all about him here) who’s focus is terroir-driven, full-flavored, natural wines grown at high elevations. He has a surprising number of incredible white wines from this region – something entirely new to me. I’m completely captivated by them – intensely mineral, textural, and unlike anything else. This week’s Wine of the Week is my favorite yet – Celler Frisach Vernatxa Blanca.
Celler Frisach is a very small, family-run operation out of Tarragona. It’s 100% Grenache Blanc, grown in soils that are essentially petrified sand dunes, at 1200′ elevation. Fermented on the skins for 14 days like a red wine, it’s technically an “orange” wine, but you’d never know it unless I told you. Pale in color, rich in texture, with incredible minerality that’s hard to find in wines at this price point. I imagine this wine on your fall dinner table, because it’s robust enough to pair with rich fall fare. Winter squash, roasted game birds, hearty salads, and cheese plates will all shine with this beauty of a wine.
Blend: 100% Garnatxa Blanca
Region: Spain>Catalunya>Terra Alta
Vineyard: Organically farmed 24 year old vines in petrified sand dune at 1200′ elevation.
Tasting Notes: A captivating, intensely mineral, full-bodied white wine with superb balance. Textural and complex with flavors of citrus and a hint of summer fruit, with a persistent mineral backbone.
Food Pairing: Marcona almonds, hard Iberian cheeses, olives, tortilla española
Production Notes: Fermented with indigenous yeasts on the skins in stainless steel for 14 days until dry. Aged 6 months in French oak. Bottled with minimal SO2.
Winemaker: Francesc Ferre
Bio: Ferre’s family has been farming organic grapes in the region for 200 years, but only since 2009 has the family made wine, when 21 year old Francesc took over operations. Their high elevation and unique climate with warm days and cool nights is perfect for growing pretty, fresh garnatxa.