Nicholas Pearce Wines are thrilled to share a new offer with one of the most celebrated natural wine producers in Spain.
The natural wines of Escoda Sanahuja continue to garnish great praise from wine lovers around the world. Our last offer was a huge success with many of the top restaurants and wine bars taking most of the allocations. We have now organized a new exclusive domaine direct offer with some new wines and vintages.
Please find below a great introduction to the winery and wines by our main man Jamie Good from The Wine Anorak and also full details, pricing and tasting notes on the different cuvées from The Wine Advocate at erobertparker.com.
Escoda Sanahuja was formed in 1997 by Joan Ramón Escoda and Carmen Sanahuja, in the Conca de Barberà region of Spain. Organic from the start, they switched to biodynamic viticulture in 2003. They also make their wines as naturally as possible, with virtually nothing added – interestingly, their labels display the levels of total sulfur dioxide (SO2), demonstrating that very little has been added save that which is formed naturally during fermentation. Since 2007 the wines have been made with no added SO2 at all.
Altogether Escoda Sanahuja have just 10 hectares cultivated, but this is not all vineyard. In line with biodynamic philosophy, mixed farming is practiced, with olives, almonds, vegetables and livestock as well as vines. The vineyards are not clean cultivated: vegetation is left between the rows in order to encourage a soil rich in humus and microbes, which helps maintain soil moisture in this dry climate.
These are highly individual wines, with a distinct personality. That’s a really good thing. But how much of this personality comes from the vineyard, and how much from the decision to use very little or no SO2? It’s hard to say. My guess is that the very dry nature of the tannins is in part a result of the interaction of oxygen with the phenolics (tannins and anthocyanins) in the wine, unchecked by the presence of free SO2. Some will find the tannic structure just a little too dry; others will really appreciate the way that this counters the sweet fruit. – Jamie Good, Wine Anorak, click here for the full article.
Escoda Sanahuja are members of PVN (the Spanish association of natural wine producers).
Our work philosophy in the wine making process is to respect the wine to the maximum, without submitting it to any type of filtered or clarified, and making the fermentations with natural yeasts from the vineyard. Thanks to it, we can make wines almost without sulphur. – Joan Ramón Escoda
Escada Sanahuja PET NAT, 100% Sumoll Blanc – $39.95
Escoda Sanahuja Pet Nat 2016 is a sparkling wine made with Sumoll White.It has an ageing of at least 8 months in bottle on its fine lees.
Pet Nat is the abbreviation of the French term Pétillant Naturel that is a system of elaboration of Wines by which the must is bottled before the natural fermentation ends. This causes the bottling to include the sugars and yeasts that when combined, inside the bottle, will produce carbon dioxide gas that can not be expelled because the bottle is closed, thus producing bubbles. This method is also known as ancestral method, as it is the oldest way to obtain sparkling wines. No Filter, No Sulphur = Just Natural Juice.
Els Bassotets Skin Contact Blanco 2015 – $27.95
This is a Macabeo based blend with some Els Bassots Chenin Blanc. Fantastic drinking experience, this is a wholly original style, from the slightly cloudy, orange colour to the slight fizz on the palate which is both silky and gently tannic at the same time. Flavours are complex and very long on the palate, expressing pear, apple, ginger, darjeeling tea, white pepper and fennel. But bear with the wine, it needs time to open up and will evolve for days – if not weeks! So natural…!
The wine was made very simply, naturally and without added sulfites. Grapes were very carefully hand harvested into small cases, and any less than perfect fruit picked out by hand and discarded. The bunches were de-stemmed and the fruit crushed into tank to macerate on their skins for 5 days. The juice was then pressed very gently into concrete tank to ferment using wild yeasts at ambient cellar temperature around 18ºC. The wine was bottled unfiltered after 8 months ageing in concrete (as opposed to inox in the past).
Els Bassots (100% Chenin Blanc on Skins) 2016 $38.95
A skin contact Chenin. Yellow/orange colour. Structured with apply, nutty characters, plus minerals, lemons, pear and herbs. Some structure evident. Such a distinctive wine with interest and complexity. 93/100 (That was Jamie Goode’s Note and score on the 2011)
The grapes are very carefully hand harvested into small cases and any less than perfect fruit is picked out by hand and discarded. The bunches are de-stemmed and the fruit crushed into tank to macerate on their skins for two weeks. Then moved to finish fermenting and to age in Tinaja (amphorae) for 5 months before being bottled by gravity.
Mas del Gaio (amphora aged white) 2016 – $49.95
A blend of Parellada 50%, Macabeu & Garnacha Blanca, this is a brilliant new white addition to Escoda’s range. It’s named after the recently acquired parcel it comes from, which lies in front of the cellar framing the magnificent view towards Montblanc. It was a wild, previously abandoned field of massive, gnarled old vines as well as olive, almond and fruit trees and herb bushes and it has now revealed its magic with this wine! Made, of course, naturally, without added sulfites, in Anfora, it’s pure, rich, complex, precise and still refreshes. Only 1,000 bottles were made and only 120 imported so don’t wait to get some! Only 12.7% Alcohol and < 7 mg/L SO2 Tot. The Cuvée name comes from the name of the parcel and would have been someone’s name in the past. The animal on the label is a goat, a “cabrirol”, found plentifully here.
Gorgeous! Can’t get enough of this wine. It has elements of his Bassotets and Bassots, the savoury, salty, mineral lemon citrus and pear character but there’s a more honeyed side to it, a red berry fruit character, a softness, and a very gentle spicy complexity that begs even greater attention – and some meditation. Very persistent, it will evolve over several days, if not weeks.
Nas Del Gegant 2013 (Cabernet Franc, Carignan, Garnatxa, Merlot) $27.95
“The 2012 Nas del Gegant is an unoaked blend of Garnacha, Carinena, Cabernet Franc and Merlot from a warm vintage but has a fresh herbaceous nose with hints of fresh herbs, red and black fruit and a light to medium-bodied palate with pure and clean flavors of raspberry leaf, quite pungent and long. I think bottling this kind of wine young works well. There were 8,000 bottles produced. Drink now-2017. ” – erobertparker.com
La Llopetera 2013 (pinot noir), $35.95
“I only tasted the clean and precise 2013 La Lloptera, which feels very reductive and different from previous vintages. It’s pure Pinot Noir with some herbal traces, some bitter cherries and good freshness. However, you still have to guide yourself by the palate which is sharp, with fresh flavours of blood oranges. By far the best wine I can remember from Escoda. 2013 represents a change for the Escoda-Sanahua as he has moved to a new winery and does a much more reductive style, without wood, with the wines vinified and aged in amphorae.” – 91 Points Tasting Notes from erobertparker.com for the 2013 Vintage.
Les Paradetes 2013 (garnatxa, carinyena, Sumoll Tinto), $35.95
Les Paradetes is a blend of Sumoll Tinto (a grape of which there are less than 70 hectares remaining in Spain), Garnacha and Carinena. It has a well-defined nose with baked cherry, fennel, truffle and dried herbs. The palate is fresh and vibrant on the entry. It is woven with crisp tannins and comes across as very fresh and lively with red cherries and wild strawberry. It has a crisp, tannic, brittle finish with garrigue on the aftertaste. This is a wine that takes you straight to the Mediterranean on a balmy August evening.” – erobertparker.com
Coll Del Sabater 2007 (cab. franc), $34.95
“Coll del Sabater is made up of 80% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot aged for 10 months in French oak. Inky purple in color, it exhibits an expressive nose of Asian spices, scorched earth, smoke, mineral, and assorted black fruits. Mouth-filling on the palate, it has layers of spicy fruit, plenty of ripe tannin, and a lengthy finish. Give it 4-6 years to fully unwind…” – erobertparker.com
Vamos Vamos Magnums, 100% Grenache Blanc 2015 – $79.95
For those of you missing the wines of Laureano Serres (Mendall), take note: Vamos?Vamos! is 100% Grenache Blanc, half from Laureano in Terra Alta and half from the ebullient Joan Ramon Escoda in Conca de Barbera. Vamos?Vamos! from amphora is textured and minerally with a pinch of white pepper and zero added SO2 at any time. Vamos?Vamos! — Want it?Grab it! “Should we do it? Let’s do it!” That’s basically the translation for this wonderful collaboration (hopefully not a one off) between Laureano Serres and Joan Ramon Escuja, two dedicated vignerons working in southern Catalunya (Terra Alta and Conca de Barbera, respectively). The name came from a moment when the French importer of the two wineries, Thierry Puzelat, said that he liked samples of each of their wines, and it was somehow suggested that they be blended together. To which Joan said “Vamos?” and Laureano replied “Vamos!”
HOW TO ORDER?
Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or for further information.
All bottle prices are subject to HST and Bottle Deposit
Available in 12 bottle case sizes unless otherwise mentioned
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Tags: Catalonia, Escoda Sanahuja, Good Food Fighters, Nicholas Pearce, Spain, Wine