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Details for Pardas ‘Sus Scrofa’


CountrySpain
Region
AppellationPenedès DO
Grape
Year2016
Producer
Celler Pardas
(click to find out more)
ABV12.5%


Penedès

Penedès is the largest and probably best-known wine region in Catalonia, in northeastern Spain.  It’s the closest one to Barcelona, being only an hour’s drive west from the region’s capital city.
 
The coastal strip ‐ Baix Penedès ‐ is the hottest, producing fortified wines and full reds.  Further inland white varieties dominate in the hills of the Central and Alt Penedès.  These have long been famous for Cava, Spain’s answer to Champagne, which is made largely from the traditional local varieties Xarel-lo, Parellada and Macabeo, although Chardonnay and, to a lesser extent, Pinot Noir are increasingly used.  Parts of Alt Penedès are over 800m and sufficiently cool to support Germanic varieties like Riesling.
 
Penedès reds are made mostly from the usual Catalan varieties: Garnatxa (Grenache), Tempranillo (called here Ull de Llebre), Samsó/Cariñena (Carignan) and Monstrell (Mourvedre).  However, it was an early adopter of “international” (i.e., French) varieties, mainly thanks to the efforts of the region’s dominant producer, Torres.  It has become the top region in Spain for fine Cabernet Sauvignon.


Celler Pardas

Winemaker Ramón Parera and viticulturalist Jordi Arnan founded Celler Pardas in 1996 to produce wine from an abandoned farm, Finca Can Comas, near Torrelavit in the Alt Penedès region of northeastern Spain.
 
Can Comas had no remaining vineyards so they planted their own, mainly with Xarel.lo, Malvasia, and Sumoll but also with the Bordeaux varieties Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.  The local varieties were obtained by taking cuttings from ancient vines in the region, rather than commercial strains from nurseries.  Can Comas’s output is supplemented by some very old Sumoll and Xarel.lo vineyards located a few kilometres to the north in the Anoia valley.
 
They also renovated Can Comas’s medieval farmhouse and long-disused cellar, building a new gravity-fed winery.  Celler Pardas released its first wine from the 2004 vintage, and rapidly developed a reputation as a winery to watch, especially for its range of Xarel.lo-based whites and high-end Collita Roja red made from Sumoll.
 
All their vines are unirrigated and farmed organically.  They don’t plough the vineyards to avoid erosion, and plant cover crops between the vine rows to retain moisture in the soil.  Indigenous wild yeasts are used for all fermentations, oak is kept to a minimum, and the wines are not fined or filtered.

about this wine About this wine


The wild boar that features so prominently on the label (and in the name) of this wine is actually the emblem of Celler Pardas, and crops up somewhere on most of their labels. Boar are not uncommon in this remote region.
 
Sumoll is uncommon everywhere, but if you are going to find any in a vineyard, it’ll be here in the Alt Penedès.  Celler Pardas farm several old-vine Sumoll vineyards, and have planted more on their Can Comas estate.  Grapes from the younger vineyards find their way into Pardas’s rosé, while the 60-year-old Sumoll vines in the Pont Nu and El Muç vineyards provide the fruit for their high-end, part-barrel-aged red Collita Roja and now for this one, Sus Scrofa.
 
Sus Scrofa is intended to be a pure expression of the Sumoll grape, unoaked and for early drinking.  Pont Nu and El Muç lie between 200 and 300 metres above sea level, and are certified organic like all Celler Pardas’s vineyards.  They are not irrigated, and Celler Pardas don’t plough them, preferring to allow vegetation to grow naturally between the vine rows, avoiding erosion and helping to lock in moisture in the soil.
 
The two vineyards have a profusion of different soil types: limestone, loam, chalky clay and sand.  However, all of them are very free-draining, which when combined with the low rainfall tests even Sumoll’s famed drought resistance.  There is an upside to this aridity: it suppresses vine diseases and so benefits organic cultivation.
 
The grapes were hand-harvested into small 25kg boxes to avoid damaging them on their way to the winery.  There they were completely destemmed and crushed, then fermented in stainless steel using native wild yeasts for 10 days at a low (for reds) 20°C, to preserve the pure fruit aromas and flavours of this variety.
 
Ten days is a short fermentation, especially for wild yeasts which take time to multiply, so Celler Pardas will have used the pied de cuve method: preparing a wild yeast starter batch to initiate fermentation quickly.  A short, cool ferment has the additional benefit of reducing the extraction of Sumoll’s high tannins.
 
After fermentation the wine was aged in cement tanks for four months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered.  This is very much a ‘natural’ wine; just a little sulphur dioxide was added before bottling to protect against spoilage.


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