• Celler Pardas Blau Cru:  Malvasia's Diamond-Cut Debut

    Celler Pardas Blau Cru: Malvasia's Diamond-Cut Debut

    Penedès surely is most recognized as the birthplace of Cava, but this Spanish region on the Mediterranean is now the next exciting stop on a tour that's re-shaped my thinking on Spanish whites. Celler Pardas has been on a journey since 1996 to show the serious side of still wine from Penedés. Their Blau Cru, comprised of Malvasia de Sitges, captures Catalonia with a dry Riesling-like precision that absolutely floored me.At $29 per bottle, Blau Cru makes the continuing case for Spain's wine renaissance towards diamond-cut focused whites.

    Malvasia grows in many regions throughout Europe, each with a slightly different genetic makeup. Wherever it may be vinified the resulting wines commonly stand out for rich, oily texture and vivid floral qualities. In the upper Penedès, the limestone, 300 meter elevation, and influences from the Bitlles River bring a more straight-line focus to Malvasia that actually conjures Germany's Mosel in its precision.

    Malvasia has a textural weight that sits on another spectrum from Riesling, but at its root the Blau Cru from Celler Pardas is defined by the same elements. There's a seamless texture and crystalline quality to the yellow stone fruits that screams of mineral spring purity. It's a wine I kept coming back to again and again during a recent tasting, mesmerized each sip with this unusual juxtaposition. One between the oily, broad texture and the incisive, energetic cut that took my mind to the most pristine qualities I find in favorite dry Rieslings. 


    Ramon Parera (an oenologist) and Jordi Arnan (an agronomist) founded this estate in 1996, sure of themselves that there was another side of Penedès to passionately get behind. While sparkling wine of Cava may be the largest export, it's the organic farming focus of this duo that's leading the charge in the artisanal movement from this northern pocket of Catalonia. For anyone who loves the mineral-driven side to whites, but also the richer orchard fruits commonly found elsewhere, this is the wine that shows these two worlds can brilliantly collide into one.
    Posted by Alexander Rosen
  • Penedès Game-Changer:  Pardas Xarello & Collita Roja

    Penedès Game-Changer: Pardas Xarello & Collita Roja

    Spain's Penedès region of Cava fame introduced me to Celler Pardas last year, and the impact from first tasting their still wines was a game-changer. We've received so many enthusiastic reviews from customers who tried their Malvasia from our first offer which sold out, and now we turn to the winery's two more recent releases. As Spain's re-emergence with wines built on balance and freshness are gaining more attention, this is the winery whose ultra-limited production still feels like its best kept secret. 

    Today, I'm happy to offer the Pardas Pur Xarello (white) and Collita Roja (red) for $33 and $38 per bottle, respectively.

    Pur Xarello is comprised on the variety that serves as one of the three blending grapes for Cava. Here, it sees a wildly different protocol, with hand harvesting, gentle pressing, and then aging split evenly between concrete egg, used French barrique, and new French barrique. Battonage (stirring of the lees) takes place during the 10-day fermentation.

    The head-turner here of Xarello comes from the white peach, green apple, orange peel, and white pepper notes that paradoxically finish with a crazy level of focus and precision. The deft use of these three formats for aging bring a texture that integrates everything perfectly. As with their wild success of Malvasia, the Xarello has a magical way of wrapping around the palate with an element of gloss, while simultaneously driving home that fine-grained, incisive minerality from these sandy limestone soils the region is so famous for.

    Collita Roja is comprised of 100% old vine Sumoll coming from these same soils. De-stemmed and fermented in stainless steel to preserve freshness, and then aged in used French barrique. Sumoll brings dark red and black fruits and very savory spices, all wrapping together with a mildly chalky mineral sensation that also drives through the long finish. The freshness from this dark fruit profile is what really pulls me in, as I expected a roasted or jammy quality on attack, but the underpinning salinity keeps everything unbelievably crisp and vivacious. 

    Celler Pardas has been on a journey to show the serious side of still wine from Penedès. 

    Ramon Parera (an oenologist) and Jordi Arnan (an agronomist) founded this estate in 1996, sure of themselves that there was a very different side of Penedès to passionately get behind. While sparkling wine of Cava may be the largest export, it's the organic farming focus of this duo that highlights the best artisanal approach I'm seeing today from Catalonia. 
    Posted by Alexander Rosen