• 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