A great wine should send you shivers across your body and give you a rush of excitement. This criteria is what makes the cut between something good and divine.
You problably have heard of Xarel-lo, right?. This is one of the principal grapes used to make Cava in Catalunya. It gives power, degree and acidity;reason enough to be called the white lady of Barcelona’s Vineyards. I have tried a few ones available at the SAQ but nothing trascendental. Most of the commercial available Xarel-Lo available in Quebec comes from young vineyards and the wine it yields is not that interesting. Dont get me wrong, they are good whites but they could pass for a passe partout.
However, Xarel-lo gets interesting when you have very old vines in the hands of a skilled winemaker. This is the case of Enric Soler: the master of Xarel-lo. Recently I had the chance to taste his improvisacio and it blew me away. His old vines ( 45 to 65 years old) are cultivated according to the principles of biodynamic agriculture. The wine is aged on a mix of French foudres and cement eggs.
The wine had a profound minerality and deep floral notes that accentuate as you let the wine breath with time. This minerality could be described as something silex-chalky like. Ripe and tense on the palate, it brought memories of drinking an incredible Grand Cru Burgundy but with a smaller price tag.
I had to pair it with seared halibut with vegetable couscous and fiddleheads. It was a success. The 2017 retails for $53.20 in Quebec as a private import ( 6 pack case). For more information, you can contact its importer Wino import