Nestled between the Serralada Litoral (Catalan Coastal Range) and the Serralada Prelitoral (Catalan Pre-Coastal Range) is the Catalan Coastal Depression (aka Penedes Depression) that runs according to NE-SW orientation essentially as a valley between parallel mountain ranges. It is here in the province of Barcelona – more specifically, the limestone ridge overlooking Sant Sadurní d’Anoia at the northwestern extent of the Garraf Massif – that Ramon Jané, Mercé Cuscó, and Toni Carbó create “Desig” from old-vine Xarel.lo. Despite up to half a millennia (!) of familial history dedicated solely to grape-growing, Ramon Jané chose to vinify these selfsame grapes rather than sell them. Traditionally, this is the heart of the heart of Cava country, and so these pristine, biodynamically farmed Xarel.lo grapes that had gone into some of the nation’s greatest Cava, now are (since 2006) vinified and bottled on-site by their growers, their original stewards, in a full range of Grower Cava, still whites, and still reds. Despite being their entry-level white, the “Desig” is elegant as can be and will in years to come have a skyrocketing price and profile as will their entire line and probably most of Penedes for that matter. “Desig” is an absurdly delicious, refined take on Xarel.lo that speaks directly to the immaculately grown, old bush-vines trained there at the southern extent of the Catalan Coastal Range within reach of a sparkling Mediterranean Sea.
Vinification: 100% organic and biodynamic Xare.lo, from a single fifty year old parcel. Grapes are hand-harvested, followed by a cold maceration in tank. The wine is then aged for seven months on the lees, with regular battonages. Unfined, unfiltered with no SO2.
Tasting: Golden yellow in the glass. Light to medium bodied. Yellow fruit and stone fruit mingle with stony minerality. Lively acidity. A simple, pleasurable white to serve alongside fish or a heartier salad.