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Huguet Can Feixes Blanc Seleccio 2012
The historic Can Feixes estate is situated on gravelly slopes above the 400-meter level in an amphitheater at the tree line near the famous Montserrat pinnacle, which forms Penedès' northern boundary. The farthest Penedès vineyard from the Mediterranean, temperature variation here is more Continental in its extremes, the drier climate more conducive to grape health. The altitude and mountain terrain constitute the tiny viticultural home of the Parellada variety, locally known as Montonec ("grape of the mountain"). Recognized as the region's Grand Cru, Can Feixes sells the majority of its grapes and a large portion of the fermented wines as well. Only the best grapes, and subsequently the best wines, are kept for production under the family label. Total vineyard area of approximately 120 hectares (300 acres) is planted to Parellada (Montonec), Macabeo, Chardonnay, Tempranillo, and Cabernet, with small amounts of Pinot Noir.
Vineyard plantation at Can Feixes is documented back to the year 1400, registered by Sr. Jaume Feixes. The estate has continuously produced wine since 1690, the Huguet family acquiring the property following an interruption in descendency at the turn of the 20th century.
Today's modern bodega includes subterranean aging cellars with pupitres for manual riddling of the CAVA, bottle storage and oak cooperage for the aging of red wine. Viticulture and enology are handled respectively by brothers Joan and Josep María Huguet.
Only free-run must from rigorously selected grapes is used. Bottled production averages 6,000 cases per year depending on vintage, including a fragrant, firm and minerally dry white (Can Feixes Blanc Selecció) and superb CAVA.
A superior source of white grapes for the production of Spain’s prized sparkling wine, Cava, the Penedes region is part of Catalunya and sits just south of Barcelona. Medio Penedès is the most productive source of the Cava grapes, Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellada. Penedes also grows Garnacha and Tempranillo (here called Ull de Llebre in Catalan) for high quality reds and rosès.
With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.