Gramona Gessami Blanco Penedes 2007
Gramona is located in the Penedes region of Spain just 45 minutes from Barcelona along Spain's Mediterranean coast. The Climate in the Penedes is mild and warm, benefiting mostly from a Mediterranean influence. However, as the differences in elevation are quite dramatic (with some vines at over 700 meters), there are many microclimates in the zone. Soil in the region is not particularly rich in organic material (as is often the case in great winemaking regions) with high levels of sand and clay.
Gramona is, unfortunately, one of the last remaining family-owned cava houses of the Penedes. Here, elderly ladies from the village carefully wrap each bottle before being packed for transport and the entire operation is carried out by people who love the family and the estate. For the property, their reference points are in Champagne in France, and they regularly taste wines from this area next to their own (with often astonishing results). However, pricing remains very low compared to even the most mundane, negociant Champagnes on the market. These are some of the best values in our portfolio.
White grapes are used in two famous types of Spanish wine, Sherry and Cava, but we will limit this discussion to still whites. Let’s begin with perhaps the best known and most highly regarded internationally, Albariño . Produced in the region of Rías Baixas, just above Portugal in northwestern Spain, Albariño typically sees no or little oak and is medium to medium-plus in body. Aroma and flavor notes often include citrus and peach, often with subtle floral notes and a suggestion of sea spray, giving the wine a zesty feel. Often bottled as a single varietal, Albariño is sometimes blended with other indigenous grapes like Loureira and Treixadura. Try one of these Spanish whites from Forjas del Salnes.
Let’s look at a few other Spanish white wines. Godello also hails from northwestern Spain and presents a profile of grapefruit, minerality and a slight smoky quality. Enjoy a bottle from Bodegas Avancia. The region of Rueda, northwest of Madrid, is home to Verdejo , which makes refreshing, un-oaked white wines whose herbal vibrancy recalls Sauvignon Blanc . Protos makes a tasty version. Up north in the Basque region, we find the wine called Txakoli (sometimes called Txakolina). Pronounced “sha-ko-LEE,” it’s made from a local grape called Hondurrabi Zuri and is light, fresh, citrusy, dry … and with razor sharp acidity that makes it a fantastic partner with local seafood and tapas. Ameztoi Gertariako is a good Spanish white wine producer to check out.
The Penedѐs region, best known for the oceans of delicious Cava it sends to the world, also produces still Spanish whites, sometimes from international varieties like Chardonnay , and often from the same grapes used for Cava. These include Parellada, Xarel-lo and Macabeo. Avaline produces a fine example of Penedes white. Finally, we visit the Rioja region. While it is historically and internationally famous for its reds, Rioja also produces fine Spanish white wines. These are usually based on Viura (the local name for Macabeo) and make good everyday sippers, although some aged versions can be stunningly complex. A good place to start is the white Rioja from Bodegas Muga.
As you can see, Spanish white wines offer a vast opportunity for exploration!