Raventós i Blanc, Blanc de Negres “Textures de Pedra”
Raventós i Blanc, Blanc de Negres “Textures de Pedra”

Raventós i Blanc, Blanc de Negres “Textures de Pedra”

Penedés, Spain 2017 (750mL)
Regular price$50.00

Raventós i Blanc, Blanc de Negres “Textures de Pedra”

There are many historic wine estates scattered across Europe, but there are precious few that have the same pedigree and tradition of Raventós i Blanc. The same family has owned and operated this 300-acre property since 1497, yes, that is over five centuries of unbroken succession at a single estate. This equates to the longest fully documented viticulture tradition in the world. Yup, in the world.

Add to that another claim to fame: in 1872 Josep Raventós created the very first fully bottle-fermented sparkling wine in Spain that used only native grapes from their estate. The French would call this Méthode Champenoise, Pepe Raventós just calls it fate. Armed with high-elevation vineyards, soils that are full of minerals and old vines of obscure native varieties that are perfectly adapted to the land, he has all the raw materials necessary to craft complex, elegant sparkling wines that are dripping with minerality.

Once Pepe’s ancestors discovered that the climate and geology of Penedès were uniquely suited to producing excellent sparkling wines, some of their neighbors noticed the commercial potential and ran with it. Fast forward a hundred years and, after much consolidation, a couple of very large companies now produce lakes and lakes of cheap, generic tasting Cava. That race to the bottom, coupled with the ability to call anything with bubbles from anywhere in Spain “Cava,” was what led Raventós to drop the designation entirely in 2012. In its place Pepe was able to develop and secure a brand new DO for his family’s small corner of Penedès geography, Conca del Riu Anoia, a.k.a. the Anoia River Valley.

To be clear, Raventós i Blanc was never producing anything but the very finest expressions of Cava, but Pepe’s vision was to take their centuries-long tradition of excellence to its logical conclusion. The new DO tied the vines directly to their unique terroir in a small valley that is nestled between two mountain ranges about 30 miles from the Mediterranean coast. Another part of the vision was converting all of these vineyards to biodynamic farming. This conversion ensured optimal natural health for the vines and the fruit they produce which in turn helps Pepe craft wines of pure precision and terroir transparency. 

“Textures de Pedra” is a relative newcomer to the Raventós line up, and it is a very exciting new addition to boot. The inspiration came when the Raventós team discovered that a few vines growing in one of their rockiest vineyards that were always thought to be Monastrell were actually the rare local variety Bastard Negre. Pepe realized that he had the three native, black-skinned grapes of Penedès growing next to each other, their old vine roots struggling through many layers of stone and marine sediment to reach the water source. It was time to produce the first Blanc de Negre of the Conca del Riu Anoia. 

The three varieties, Xarel·lo Vermell, Bastard Negre, and Sumoll are fermented separately in steel tanks before blending and bottling. After secondary fermentation in the bottle, the wine is aged on the lees for at least 48 months before disgorgement. No dosage is added, it is a true brut nature. Brilliant red raspberry and currant fruit up front melds into hints of citrus flowers and porcini which is all supported by a rich texture and substantial structure that finishes with the Raventós calling card of mouth watering salinity. At two years of aging post-disgorgement, this wine is just entering what should be a very long drinking window. Serve chilled, but not too cold, in an all purpose glass or a Burgundy bowl next to a simple meal of duck rillettes and you will enter into a world of pure pleasure.

Raventós i Blanc, Blanc de Negres “Textures de Pedra”

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