Communion wine and more…
Sunday 14 June
I haven’t got a religious bone in my body but you can’t avoid communion wine in Tarragona.
I’m afraid there still isn’t much to get excited about in this region. A 1954 sweet Moscatel and a 1964 dry version from De Muller winery were pretty delicious but oddities. Its £3.99 rosé (available in Morrison’s) is more mainstream and fab value for money: dry, zippy with lots of creamy raspberry and red fruit. Other than that, the wine scene seemed rather dull.
Things didn’t get much better in Conca de Barbera. The region is dominated by co-operatives who need to pull their socks up. Most of the wines here (70% ish, but don’t quote me) are sent to Cava houses as base wines to be made into the Spanish sparkler.
There’s so much diversity here and it lacks a clear identity. The wines range from boring boring Macabeo to pale Syrahs and meaty Cabernet Franc/Syrah blends. The highlight was Torres’ Milmanda barrel-fermented Chardonnay. It’s not cheap but it does show this region has the potential to make decent stuff.
And what about rosé? Why aren’t these guys listening to the market? Rendé Masdeu’s 2008 Rosat Syrah sells for three euro in Spanish shops. It’s great commercial stuff: dry, lots of fresh acid, light body and raspberry jolly ranchers. We’d lap it up. More of this please.
Native variety Trepat is thin-skinned making wines with pale colour, the light body of Pinot Noir, and the peppery spice of a northern Rhône Syrah. It has potential, but it’d be a hard sell.
Anyway, it’s time leave the serenity of our Priorat base (and the mosquitoes - little buggers have eaten me alive) to go back to London. I can’t contain my joy of returning to the sweaty tube and police sirens. Still lots of interesting stuff to cover but I’ll save it for another day…