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|Grapes||Xarel-lo, Macabeu, Parellada|
|Vineyard/Cellar Practices||Organically Grown, Low-Intervention/Natural Wine, Vegan|
Joan Manel Vendrell and his son, Joan Vendrell, make superb wines from vines over 60 years old at their estate in the heart of the Penedès region, near Barcelona. The limestone-rich soils of their vineyards lends a minerality that makes for serious, age-worthy cavas. They use only the oldest vines for their estate wines, selling the rest of their harvest to other winemakers in the region. ‘La Planta’, made from 45% xarel-lo, 45% macabeu, and 10% parellada, overdelivers on complexity given its modest “sparkling wine” designation. These are the first grapes the Vendrells harvest each year; the blend then spends a minimum of 24 months on the lees before being disgorged. This extended lees aging imparts a wonderful Champagne-like brioche note and long finish. We also find some lovely fresh stone fruit and citrus notes and faint honeysuckle. Organically grown, low-intervention/natural wine, vegan.