Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Gerry Dawes Quoted in The New York Times, Sat., May 26, 2012 in Eric Asimov's "In Spain, the Promise of Godello"



Glass of Godello at sunset at Adegas D. Berna, Valdeorras. 
Photo by Gerry Dawes©2011 / gerrydawes@aol.com.
(Not published with The New York Times article.)

The New York Times, Saturday, May 26, 2012

In Spain, the Promise of Godello

by Eric Asimov
Excerpt: 


". . .Some people have already made up their minds about godello. Gerry Dawes, who has been writing about Spanish wines for decades and who recently went into the importing business, has called godello “Spain’s emerging hope as an equivalent to the great white Burgundies.” Others aren’t so sure.

To assess godello for ourselves, the wine panel tasted 20 bottles from recent vintages, including 11 from Valdeorras and 3 each from Bierzo, Monterrei and Ribeira Sacra. Florence Fabricant and I were joined for the tasting by Kerin of Tinto Fino and Michael Madrigale, the head sommelier at Bar Boulud and Boulud Sud.

Michael, it is safe to say, was far more familiar with white Burgundy than with godello, and he was not buying Mr. Dawes’s comparison, at least not yet. He said he often found the wines confusing, as if the aromas were telling one story and the flavors another. . ."



Godello Slide Show May 2012

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Heretat Navàs Vi Negre (Red Wine) 2008 Montsant


Catalunya

Terrasses del Montsant Heretat Navàs, Montsant (Tarragona)

Owner: Xavier Mestres

Heretat Navàs Vi Negre (Red Wine) 2008 Montsant 14% 6/750ML $28.99

 Heretat Navàs 2008
40% Garnatxa Negra, 20% Carignan, 20% C.S., 20% Syrah. 


Heretat Navàs Vi Negre shows a deep black cherry color.  The nose is intense with ripe fruit and toasty oak nuances.  On the palate the wine is balanced, but deeply flavored with ripe fruit flavors of cherry and blueberry and it has a persistent finish.

 The Navàs family was a pioneer of the Priorat wine, to which county the small village of Serra d'Almos belongs. Can Navàs, from Serra d'Almos (Tarragona) dates beyond the beginning of the eighteenth century. It’s history as a property is documented from the year 1724 and related to wine, from 1854, when Jaume Navàs began producing wine.  His son Joseph Navàs took over in 1896.  Later, in 1935, Teresa Navàs took over the reins of Casa Navàs.

Now into the twenty-first century, Casa Navàs is still producing quality wine.  Made by the heirs of the Navàs family (Heretat means heritage), the property now falls under the D.O. Montsant.

History and tradition join with innovation to create the wine Heretat Navàs Vi Negre under the direction of the great Catalan winemaker
Joan Milà, a great aficionado of the history of this house and this land. Joan Milà, who died in a traffic accident in January 2010, vinified this wine in 2008 and guided it through until it was bottled in September 2009.

The geo-climatic conditions of the Montsant region, located south-west of Tarragona, are characterized by a dry climate with relatively rainy winters. The soil is naturally high in clay, lime and slate, with rounded edges that allow for fine permeability and oxygenation. This means that the vine’s root system can burrow deep, preventing the vines from being overly affected by prolonged rainy periods or droughts. All of these factors yield grapes that are rich in colour, aroma and sugars.

The orography of the region is rugged, which requires the vines to be planted in terraces like those in neighboring Priorat, thus shaping a particular landscape and requiring a crop system that stresses the characteristics of vines that are intense, structured and aristocratic, which help distinguish the fine table wines they produce. The average altitude: 350-400 meters (1000-1300 feet above sea level). 



 

The region is heralded for being the cradle of fine wines. The climatic conditions in the Mediterranean, along with soils that are particularly apt for ideal vine growth, make this geographically rugged zone an ideal site for master winemakers to practice their craft.

There is a predominance of indigenous varieties planted in vineyards of the estates "Els Figuerals", "Maimó", and "Els Clots" in the village of La Serra d'Almos. 
Over half the vines are Garnatxa Negra and Carignan, the rest Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.


After a pre-fermentation soak to 14 degrees for 3 days for accentuation of the aromatic expression, the fermentation of the must in contact with the grape skins begins. During alcoholic fermentation, the wine is kept to 26 degrees maximum. Bleeding from the partially fermented grape must is carried out after about 15-20 days according to taste. A good maceration allows us to extract a good dose of tannin structure as well as polyphenols.

The wine is aged for 10 months in French oak barrels of different toasts, then it is transferred to tanks until bottled.  The wine receives few stabilization treatments, so there will be some sediment at the bottom of the bottle.