biodynamic buzz low intervention organic spain sustainably farmed

Parés Baltà: Passion for History, Nature and Wine

Joan Cusiné Carol of Parés Baltà

Estate: Located in Pacs del Penedès, in Catalonia, northeastern Spain, Mr. Joan Cusiné Hill took over the Parés Baltà estate in 1978. With a long history of winemaking, the estate’s first vines were planted in 1790. Joan Cusiné [Joan Cusiné Hill’s son], focused on increasing the quality and produced the estate’s first red wine in the 1980’s. Today he still works alongside his sons, Joan and Josep Cusiné Carol, managing the estate. Winemaking is in the hands of Elena Jiménez and Marta Casas, Joan and Josep’s wives. [Check out their bio page here.]

The 176 hectares of vines are spread across 5 estates, at varying altitudes from 170-750 meters above the sea, with diverse soil and microclimates. Passionately preserving and perpetuating their Mediterranean ecosystem, the estate is certified both organic and biodynamic by Demeter. For a closer look at their low intervention, organic viticulture practices, click here.

Philosophy: Committed to crafting natural wines “without adding or removing anything during the winemaking process”. The natural ecosystem with healthy vines and land are a fundamental component of the Parés Baltà sense of identity.

I had the pleasure of meeting Joan Cusiné Carol at Wines From Spain, held at Mercado Little Spain in NYC. Genteel and kind, his passion for history, nature and wine is infectious. Following are 7 wines I found expressive of their habitat and territory.

*All wines are fermented with native yeasts.

Parés Baltà ‘Blanca Cusine’ Cava DO 2011
Winemaking: Blanca Cusine is a small production cuvee only made in the best vintages. Chardonnay and Xarel-lo fermented in stainless steel tanks, Pinot Noir fermented in new French oak barrels and aged over the lees for 2 months with battonage 3 times a week. Second fermentation in the bottle following the traditional method, with ageing for 80 months.

Tasting Notes: Lemon tart, baked pear, wildflowers, straw, roasted herbs and a trace of nutmeg are buoyed by fine bubbles and citrus acidity. An almond streak runs thru to the marmalade and toast finish. Engaging and luscious.

60% Xarel-lo, 20% Chardonnay & 20% Pinot Noir
11.5% Alcohol
$40 [average price]

Parés Baltà ‘Amphora’ Penedès DO 2018
Winemaking: Inspired by ovens dating back thousands of years ago for making pottery on the estate, the family crafted amphorae from the clay on the property for fermentation and ageing of this wine. Only made in the best vintages, grapes are from 100 year old vines, aged for 2 months in amphora.

Tasting Notes: Pear, grilled lemon, a trace of butterscotch and fresh acidity glide atop a savoury undercurrent. Graham cracker and a wisp of smoke linger between each supple sip.

100% Xarel-lo
12.5% Alcohol
$40 [average price]

Parés Baltà ‘Calcari’ Penedès DO 2018
Winemaking: Fermented in stainless steel tanks, followed by lees contact for 3 months with daily battonages.

Tasting Notes: Kiwi, lime, melon and pear drape over a mineral backbone, tangy acidity and a fresh herb streak run thru to the clean mineral finish.

100% Xarel-lo
12% Alcohol
$22 [average price]

Parés Baltà ‘Mas Elena’ Penedès DO 2015
Winemaking: The 3 varieties are fermented separately, aged 8 months in 2nd and 3rd year old French Allier oak barrels.

Tasting Notes: Powerful and generous, with concentrated wild berries, grilled poblano, forest floor and a shake of black pepper framed by firm tannins and fresh acidity. A trace of eucalyptus accents dark fruit, cocoa and cigar box on the plush finish.

69% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc
14% Alcohol
$22 [average price]

Parés Baltà ‘Indigena’ Penedès DO 2017
Winemaking: Fermented in stainless steel tanks, aged 5 months in new and second use French oak barrels.

Tasting Notes: A fantastic fusion of fruit and spice, with boysenberry, blueberry and crushed black peppercorn supported by fresh acidity and hearty tannins. Wild berries, smoky minerality, toasted cigar box spice linger on the silky finish.

100% Garnatxa [Garnacha]
14% Alcohol
$23 [average price]

Gratavinum is the family’s estate in Priorat.

Gratavinum ‘2πr’ Priorat DOQ 2016
Winemaking: Aged 14 months in new and second year use French and Hungarian oak barrels.

Tasting Notes: Concentrated blueberry, blackberry, plum, strawberry, raspberry are underscored by spice, leather and licorice. Fresh acidity and strapping tannins fuse into dark fruit, earthy truffle and a wisp of cedar on the velvety finish. Powerful, expansive and lavish.

Blend of Grenache, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah
14% Alcohol
$40 [average price]

Gratavinum ‘GV5’ Priorat DOQ 2012
Winemaking: Aged 13 months in new French and Hungarian barrels.

Tasting Notes: Rich baked cranberry, plum, fig and cherry with a wisp of smoky vanilla drape over a muscular tannin backbone. Black cherry, cedar and spice infuse the seemingly never-ending finish. Saturated, sumptuous and robust.

Blend of Carignan, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon
14.5% Alcohol
$40 [average price]



Media event hosted by Wines From Spain.

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