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Discovering the wines of Sumarroca

joseph puig

Director General Joseph Puig

"Mr. Sumarroca visits the vineyards every day," says lively Director General Joseph Puig about the owner of this winery, the largest non-corporate family winery in the region. In welcoming our group of wine savvy visitors, Mr. Puig gave an excellent overview of the unique terroir, as well as the family's obsession about the need to constantly experiment and improve the vineyards and methods used in the winery.

The property that now serves as the winery's flagship had been owned by royalty, yet over the centuries fell into disarray. The Sumarroca family found it and spent an enormous amount of money restoring it and adding a tasting room for visitors, as well as gorgeous grounds where many lucky couples can marry.

We begin the visit by tasting a variety of the wines, beginning with the entry level cava (NV Brut) which has been aged much longer than necessary, resulting in a crisp, clean dry wine with a crisp dry finish and hint of almonds. It is a blend of the traditional three grape varieties macabeo, parellada, and xarel-lo.

The next cava is xarel-lo from older vines, with a profile of white fruit, fennel, and white peach lightly dusted with sugar (though it is technically dry). A delicious wine to pair with many foods.

The next is a still wine, this one 100% xarel-lo. Without the bubbles you can really taste the wine's true character. Americans would go crazy over it with its mineral nature and vibrant tangy acidity. It is made without oak and has subtle almond notes and white flowers.

Afterward comes everyone's favorite - the appropriately named Temps de Flores, with a fragrant floral nose and palate. "I tell the staff not to serve this at weddings," Josep jokes, esplaining that the guests would have nothing else.

At long last, we explore the reds, beginning with the Santa Crue 2010 - an old vine garnacha with a bit of cabernet sauvignon  aged 12 months in French oak. Lots of concentrated red and black fruit with vibrant tannins and balanced acidity.

Next comes the Terral 2010, named after one of the many winds in the area, mostly made from bush-trained syrah and a tiny bit of petite verdot that spends 16 months on the barrel.  Very nicely structured wine with bright overtones of racy acidity and dry earthy tannins.

I should mention that during the tasting lovely hors d'oeurves are passed -- octopus, various foie gras creations, cheese -- and I silently admire the caterer. It turns out she is Josep's wife, Montsey Gil, who is in charge of Sumarroca's catering department.

Montsey prepared an incredible lunch that began with a gorgeous fresh gazpacho with a shrimp and a special cheese, artistically and rather dramatically served by the waitress presenting the dish then adding the soup. It was accompanied by the Blanc de Blanc 2012.

GAS[ACHO

The next course was  delicious fish paired with the Boria Syrah fom a single parcel  - a very balanced and delicate wine.

FISH

To end the meal was the special sparkling Pinot Noir and a gorgeous dessert!

DESSERT

Many thanks to the team for making this a most memorable visit.

HUSBAND AND WIFE

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