Abudancia De Calpino 2017
Comparing a Spanish white wine to Grand Cru Chablis is a bit jerky, I guess. But when I tasted this bottle over this past winter in the kitchen of Jesus del Rio Mateu, it was the first thing that came to mind. Then, when Jesus told the story of the wine, as with all of this farmer/historian/anthropologist's stories, my comprehension took shape.
First, it is made from Grenache Blanc planted around 1898! Second, there is total production of just 295 bottles. Third, it is Spain's best white wine.
None of these things are misprints (although one is an obvious opinion). In fact, Jesus believes he has the oldest white grape vineyard in Catalonia on his hands, planted by his 2nd great grandfather just after phyloxerra. Wow. The vineyard is a gnarly old man, with vines like small bushes, low to the ground, and yielding a really tiny, but intense few clusters of grapes each year.
So when Jesus offered me 36 bottles of this incredible wine I had no idea who I would sell it to. But how could I say no? I guess I could happily drink it all myself, but instead it seems right to share this incredible bottle with just a small cadre of good customers. I think this one will be in your wheelhouse.
On that day Jesus cooked up a lunch for four--some fried fresh sardines, mussels, and a gorgeous Paella. Drinking this wine over such a simple Catalan lunch, served in his quaint country cottage, was extraordinary. For a few hours we nursed the bottle, thinking aloud during that time that it came from vines planted in the 19th century, and wondering where the wine ranked in terms of Europe's finest. I came away believing just that.
Mas de la Abundancia De Calpino 2017
- made from 120+ year-old Grenache Blanc
- arguably and possibly the oldest white grapes in Catalonia
- Only 295 bottles produced
The wine is called de Calpino, named after the heritage home of the Mateu family. Jesus is extraordinarily proud of this wine and babies it in the winery like no other. There is NO wood fermentation, only stainless steel tanks, so as to preserve the fresh, mineral aspect and make it as natural as possible. He does leave the grape skins on the juice for an extended maceration though (I really like this style) and as such the finished product has a rich, satiny, but textured mouthfeel.