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Pla de Bages
Finca La Indiscreta Tinto, Pla de Bages '21
There aren’t too many firsts at Perman Wine after 16 years in business. But this month’s wine club features one of those.
In all that time, we have never featured a wine from the Pla de Bages DO in Spain. Before anyone from the appellation gets mad at us, we have an excuse, as one has never been available in Chicago before! That’s because this very small appellation, located just an hour northwest of Barcelona, consists of fewer than 20 producers, and in total around 600 hectares of vineyards.
It wasn’t always this way. There has been wine in the region since Roman times, and in fact the word Bages derives from Bacchus, the god of wine. The real boom of Pla de Bages came as France was suffering the effects of phylloxera in the late 1800s. At that time, there were 27,700 hectares under vine, the most in Catalunya, and a far cry from the 600 of today. Phylloxera reared its ugly head in Pla de Bages in 1889, and by 1895, all the vineyards were destroyed.
In the past two decades, renewed interest in the history of the area and the diligence of several wineries are helping put the region back on the map. It acquired DOP status in 1997, which helped spur investment into the region.
Pla de Bages has a continental climate, with cold winters and hot summers. The geography of the area is breathtaking, as a 10,000-hectare natural park is a prominent part of the region, and is dotted with forests of pine and oak trees alongside wild lavender, thyme, and rosemary.
This wine offers a great representation of what the region can achieve. The Alegre family has produced La Indiscreta Tinto at the Can Serra del Exibis winery. They are working with high-altitude vineyards, this wine a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Mandó (the locale name for Mourvèdre) and 20% Sumoll. A pure expression, this wine is fermented with natural yeast in vats, with just 10% of the wine aging in oak for four months.
The resulting wine is fresh, with bright red berry fruits and notes of wild herbs on the nose and palate. It is medium-bodied, with a great balance between fruit, savory herbs, and structure. Pair this alongside grilled chicken thighs, or a pork shoulder stew with white beans and herbs.
Finca La Indiscreta
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