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Reply to "Penedes Spain"

There are a few. In fact, until they introduced the Champagne method for Cava in the late 1800s, Penedès was known for its red wines. At this point, Cava dominates and there are 2 producers who dominate Cava production.

One thing that makes it difficult to bring wines from Penedès is that they allow a number of grapes from everywhere. That isn't a bad thing per se, but it makes it hard to create a regional identity in the US market for branding. And without that, it's hard to sell the wine. Americans seem to like finding a region and a grape that they can ooh and ah about until the next discovery comes along. The best shot for Penedès is probably Xarel-lo, which can be really good, but it's diluted by all the other varieties that are made there.

For ex, they planted Chardonnay for Cava and now that's grown all over. A lot of it is actually good, but it's just one more Chardonnay on the market with nothing to really distinguish it or make it a compelling buy. Same with Muscat, Gwertz, and any number of other whites. They also have Tempranillo, Cab Sauv, Merlot, and other reds that aren't particularly distinguished. So if you're an importer, what do you do? You look elsewhere.

Torres, as mentioned, makes a great Cab Sauv that can be quite outstanding in good years and they've recently been instrumental in finding and propagating hitherto forgotten and unknown grape varieties, so we'll see what happens in years to come. None of those are in production yet and nobody even knows where to plant them, so anything coming from that initiative is a way off. Other than that cool thing, most of the Torres wine isn't all that great - they make an ocean of plonk and that's their bread and butter, so to speak.

As far as those that are imported, Balta is one, Albet i Noya is definitely imported - they make a Tempranillo and a red blend. Jean Leon made a decent Cabernet, Can Rafols used to be available in the DC area, not sure if they still are. Jané Ventura is imported and they're pretty ambitious - besides the 9.99 wine, they've got a red blend that they're charging around $30 for.

Pinord made a sparkling red from Garnacha and Tempranillo that was interesting, Sumarrocca has a Tempranillo, Heretat Montrubi had a red blend available, and the René Barbier wines are available.

As of this summer, Penedès has also approved an icewine from the D.O. How do they make an icewine in Spain? They put the grapes in freezers. That's of course illegal in Germany and as far as I know, Penedès is the first place in Europe that's allowed to do it that way. Don't know what the future of that initiative is going to be.
Last edited by gregt
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