2017 Castel d'Age L'Essència del Xarel·lo Penedes
In the past few months, here at PRIMA Vini, we have neglected the wonderful wines of Spain so I’d like to address that oversight with the inclusion of a delightful white wine from northeast Spain, the Penedes region to be more specific. The 2017 Castell d’Age Essencia del Xarel-lo is just that, a beautiful expression of the nature of the grape variety, unadorned by oak influence. The estate, located in the heart of the Penedes, the Alt-Penedes, is well-known for their Cava sparkling wine production but they also produce a small amount of still wine, in this case, from a single vineyard site where the vines are over 25 years of age.
The Castell d’Age property celebrates three generations of women owners, all with the same goal of producing high-quality, expressive wines from their organically farmed vineyards. (The estate is moving toward bio-dynamic farming.) The Xarel-lo featured here is sourced from a vineyard composed of chalky soil, perfect for the production of Cava, but in this case, yielding a lovely, dry, delicate white wine with a slight saline quality and long, mineral aftertaste. The low alcohol also makes it very easy to drink, either on its own or with Spanish-inspired cuisine, particularly the varied fish and vegetable dishes from Catalonia in northeast Spain. This stylish, aromatic white just might become my current everyday white wine. Hopefully, yours as well.