Wine News from Bata
It is a while since I visited the Co-operativa in Batea, so once my life had returned to normal I contacted Judith and heard they had a new wine. This was a must visit so I hitched up the ‘Wine Wagon’ and on Wednesday morning headed off into the high country. The day was fine and warm which for this time of year was a plus. although there was a gusting wind which made driving through the mountainous terrain interesting. The drive took me past the pink hue that are the peach and nectarine groves heralding the coming of spring whilst here and there farmers were doing some late pruning. Although they were all wearing jackets I was quite sure they were pleased that the sun was out even if it was a little windy. I arrived in Bata around 11-ish and went to meet Judith in the showroom.
This Co-operativa is an ever evolving entity, a place where new ideas are born and sure enough when I entered the bright and spacious showroom I found bath products such as Garnatxa bath oil and Cabernet Sauvignon soap for sale. This is something that I find interesting as it is a new way of presenting the various varieties of grape to people and I rather fancy a Sauvignon shower. But these were not what I had come to see.
Ranged along one wall are the various wines and liqueurs that are produced and sold here in Terra Alta plus the odd bottle of Cava from Penedes. Sitting on a shelf near the new wine was something that no kitchen or cook should be without – Ranci. Here it is used in cooking by the older generation to add flavour to dishes and has a warmth and bite that reminded me of “cooking sherry” a perfectly pleasant drink just don’t let the cook near
But this is the new comer, the wine I had come to see the ECOLÒGIC. There are three wines in this collection one white and two reds. First to arrive on the shelf is the white. This is a pale yellow which if held against a white napkin gives a soft slightly lemony hue, with a hint of violets but certainly you can sense wild herbs on the palate. But this wine has a flavour of something which is just out of reach but oh so familiar, almost as if it’s teasing you to pin the ‘something’ down. It certainly made my palate want more if only to do just that, this is definitely a wine for summer and is certainly on my list.
However the reds are to follow. Because of their time in the barrels the first Tinto not due till April, with the last due later in the year after spending around 12 months in the oak barrels. To explain this Judith took me to the barrel room.
So I will explain the blend. The barrels on the left contain white wine which is blended with the red in the barrels on the right to produce the Ecologic reds. The first red to arrive spends 3 months in the barrel and is blended with white wine from the Garnatxa white around 10% to three barrels of red. The Other red which will be a slightly deeper colour is blended with Cabernet Sauvignon at 10% to four barrels which gives it its distinct flavour.
The White is particularly good so I am looking forward to the red later this month. Judith also informed me that they only use the oak barrels for around two years then these are off to make brandy, or perhaps somewhere to sit, sip and contemplate the art of wine making.
© Michael Douglas Bosc