Skip to main content

Poema White and Red Two DO Catalunya Wines from Catalan

Time to take home a taste of Catalunya!

Wine is truly about food, family and friends. This self-evident truth was presented clearly to me when I received two bottles of wine from DO Catalunya for review. Unexpectedly, the following week I received two gifts from my sister-in-law who lives in Spain; the first a book on the Catalan wine regions and the second a book on Catalan cuisine! That is synchronicity. Thank you Crystal for the wonderful gifts. 

DO Catalunya is one of twelve Denominació d’Origen in Catalonia. Catalonia/Catalan is the wine growing region in Northeastern Spain surrounding Barcelona.

Catalan? Catalunya?

The DO Catalunya is one of twelve Denominació d’Origen in Catalonia. Catalonia/Catalan is the wine growing region in Northeastern Spain surrounding Barcelona. Catalonia produces over 140 million bottles of wine and 240 million bottles of Cava.

Wine has been produced in Catalonia for over 2,500 years. Rome was particularly fond of many wines from the area. Today, over 55,000 hectares (135,908 acres) of vines are cultivated for wine production.

The Catalan Designations of Origin includes - DO Emporda, DO Alella, DO Pla de Bages, DO Penedes, DO Cava, DO Conca de Barbera, DO Costers del Segre, DO Catalunya, DO Tarragona, DOQ Priorat, DO Montsant, DO Terra Alta.

DO Catalunya.

The Denominació d’Origen Catalunya was created in 1999 covering all of the traditional grape plantings in the area. It was added on top of the existing Catalan DO’s and offered DO certification for wineries located in the excluded DO areas with high quality wines. DO Catalunya has a vineyard area of 47.066 hectares (116 acres planted to vine). It is considered to be an innovative DO allowing for greater experimentation with more diverse grape varieties.

Map of DO Catalunya - image courtesy DO Catalunya.

The Catalunya Region includes more than 340 municipalities. It is located in the north-east of the peninsula, bordering France to the north through the Pyrenees, Aragon to the west and the Region of Valencia to the south. The soils are formed, mostly, by sedimentary stores with predominance of calcareous materials and low contents of organic matter. The diverse, Mediterranean-influenced climate makes it an ideal winegrowing location. The coast is known for dry and hot summers and mild winters, whereas inland vineyards experience hot summers and cold winters. To the north, the Pyrenees provide a high mountain climate with very cold and snowy winters and hot summers with abundant rainfall. An interesting and diverse DO.

DO Catalunya has 35 authorised grape varieties for winemaking.

White grape varieties: albarinho, chardonnay, chenin, garnatxa blanca, gewürztraminer, macabeu, malvasia, malvasia de Sitges, moscatell (d’Alexandria and de Frontignan), parellada, Pedro Ximénez, picapoll blanc, riesling, sauvignon blanc, sumoll blanc, xarel·lo, viognier and vinyater.

Red grape varieties: cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, garnatxa negra, garnatxa peluda, garnatxa roja (garnatxa gris), garnatxa tintorera, merlot, monastrell, petit verdot, picapoll negre, pinot noir, samsó (carinyena), sumoll, syrah, trepat and ull de llebre.

“The culture of a country manifests itself via different means of cultural communication; be it through its history, language, art, traditions, or roots, but also its diet.”  Roots: Essential Catalan Cuisine According to El Celler de Can Roca” by Joan Roca, 2004.

Catalan Cuisine

When you think of pairing the wines of Catalunya with food, you should think of traditional foods from the region, in particular, fried calamari or picada for stews, meatballs for the escudella and minced pork for the botifarres, slow cooked onions for the sofregit, piles of cannelloni and flan infused with cinnamon and lemon. Catalan cuisine offers an explosion of aromas and flavors acquired over thousands of years of food and wine culture. From the self-sufficient villages of Catalonia, its cuisine is based on seasonal products offered by the garden, fishing, rabbits, chickens, pigs and veal. Rice became part of the local cuisine in the 15th century, along with beans, peppers and tomatoes.

Catalan cuisine and wines are interlinked with a diverse history of cultural interaction. And yet, those foods and wines remain uniquely Catalan, reflecting the character of its peoples. If you are interested in learning more about Catalan cuisine, please visit the links I have shared at the bottom of this post.

Now let's look at my tasting notes for these two DO Catalunya wines.

1. Tasting Notes Poema White Wine 2014 DO Catalunya

After pressing and cold settling for 24 hours, the must is fermented at 59˚-62˚F. The wine then rests on the lees for an additional 2 months to gain a smooth texture and added complexity.

Color: Silver-gold with green highlights.
Nose: Yeasty, mineral, lychee, white flower.
Palate: Dry, round roll of fruit mid-palate, clean pear, lychee, finished to the front with light nectarine. First impression positive.

After 15 minutes: More fruit on the nose, pear with mineral, lychee and delicate spice. Soft with crisp white nectarine, pear, dry with tingle on the back palate. Easy drinking, not complex, light finish.

At 30 minutes: Focused nose, spice, kiwi, honeydew melon. Smooth, soft, textured, dry, light nuttiness, pear/honeydew melon, acid zing back palate, finish bigger at this point. I would have enjoyed a crab or shrimp salad with this wine. Thoughts of spring, lunch with friends and sunshine came to mind along with the tinkling of laughter. Like.

At one hour: Interesting aromatics, white flower, a little funky, with melon. Soft mouth feel, acid in back, melon, floral, subtle savoriness with salinity into the finish. Like.

Thoughts: This wine showed well. Suitable as an aperitif, also perfect for salad and fresh shellfish. Enjoyed this wine, obvious because the bottle emptied on the same day. Time to take home a taste of Catalunya!

Recommended + Big Like + Great QPR.

Country: Catalan/Spain
Region: Catalunya
Blend: Macabeu - Muscat
Closure: Screw Cap
ABV: 11.5%
SRP: $11.99
Sample for review

2. Tasting Notes Poema Red Wine 2014 DO Catalunya

The Garnacha is grown at higher elevations in Catalonia's Terra Alta terrasses. Tempranillo grapes are dry farmed for optimal concentration in Alt Camp. All grapes are hand harvested, de-stemmed and slightly crushed before fermentation in stainless steel tanks for 10 days.

Color: Clear, light ruby.
Nose: Friendly, soft cherry, spice, sandalwood, vanilla perfume undertone, prune.
Palate: Fresh, crisp, light body, tartness, cherry cola, currant, dry, tacky on tongue, bit of prune into the finish.

After 15 minutes: Currant and prune dominant, dry, juicy, almost candied on short finish.

After 30 minutes: Full in the mouth and juicy, cherry, cranberry, cola, dry, tacky on roof of mouth with currant on finish. Easy drinking. Not serious, but a fun drinking casual wine.

After 1 hour
: Light fruit, juicy, dry, cherry/currant, touch of dry sage, light on finish. Perfect patio sipper at this point. Think deli or cafe and a light repast of bread, olive oil, white cheddar and charcuterie. Good BBQ wine too.

Decanted 1 hour: Softer, quite grippy on the gums, light fruit, cola and cherry, dryness more apparent. Think it would be good with a French Dip or steak fajita.

Day two: Dry, good weight, fluid, with some vegetal qualities, almost jammy, lighter on the finish.

Thoughts: Fun, casual wine. Drink at open. Do not hold. If you are looking for an inexpensive bottle of wine to drink at the table, this is it. Serious value and perfect for a BBQ. Time to take home a taste of Catalunya! 

Recommended + Good Value.

Country: Catalan/Spain
DO: Catalunya
Blend: Grenache, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon
Closure: Screw Cap
ABV: 13%
SRP: $11.99
Sample for review

About Poema Wines

Poema is a small-production, quality-oriented Spanish wine producer that crafts top value Cava and fruit-forward red and white blends. Sourced in Catalunya, grapes are grown in a Mediterranean climate with the ideal soil composition to yield fruit-driven, easy-drinking wines. The fruit is sustainably farmed, using organic fertilizer without herbicides. I need to get my hands on some Poema Cava. Seriously trying to make this happen.

Books on Catalan cuisine and wine, a welcome gift from my sister-in-law.

Catalan and Catalunya Resources:

Related posts:

Many of us have the desire to travel and visit wine regions around the world. There are many places I want to visit. Getting there is not always possible. When you bring home a bottle of wine from NE Spain, read about the region, its people and cuisine, it helps to bring that part of the world a little closer to home. Thinking about you Catalunya.


Popular posts from this blog

Review: Sho Chiku Bai, Unfiltered Sake

Last month in Seattle, I purchased a bottle of Nigori sake at Uwajimaya. Uwajimaya is one of the largest Asian grocery retailers in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve been visiting Uwajimaya for almost 40 years. When I was much younger, I’d buy model ship and plane kits, Japanese comic books (manga) and I never left without at least one steaming Humbow in hand. Today I buy the manga for my son; while I still enjoy the tasty steamed Humbows, now I never leave without at least one bottle of Sake in hand. Uwajimaya has a terrific selection of imported sake. This most recent visit, I left with a bottle of Sho Chiku Bai Nigori sake. Nigori sake is generally the sweetest of all sakes, with a fruity nose and a mild flavor, making a great drink to complement spicy foods or as a dessert wine. Typical sake is usually filtered to remove grain solids left behind after the fermentation process; however Nigori sake remains unfiltered, resulting in a cloudier beverage. Before serving, the bottle must

Spirit Review: Ole Smokey Tennessee Moonshine White Lightnin' @OleSmoky

Today I have crossed the line from wine to spirits. At 100 proof the Ole Smokey Tennessee Moonshine is definitely turning up the volume (ABV 50%). "Moonshine, white lightning, mountain dew, hooch, and Tennessee white whiskey are terms used to describe high-proof distilled spirits, generally produced illicitly...The word "moonshine" is believed to derive from the term "moonrakers" used for early English smugglers and the clandestine (i.e., by the light of the moon) nature of the operations of illegal Appalachian distillers who produced and distributed whiskey." Source Wikipedia My family is no stranger to Moonshine.  That is, my great-grandfather and grandfather were not strangers. Evidently the family occasionally produced their own spirits on their Oregon ranch. My grandfather told me about his younger brother getting into his dads stash with predictable results. Grandmother also told me stories about midnight runs and secretive deliveries d

A Special Oregon Pinot Noir with Eastern North Carolina Inspired Ribs #OTBN #winePW 10

Open That Bottle Night - A great excuse for a Wine Pairing Weekend.  February 28th was Open That Bottle Night - I selected a bottle of wine I helped blend using barrel samples of Pinot Noir from R. Stuart winery in McMinville, Oregon. I was saving this bottle for a special occasion and knew it was likely time to open and drink. I hoped it had improved. "Blending wine is no task for mere mortals."   - William Pollard Jr.  Our Wine Pairing Weekend group decided Open That Bottle Night would be an appropriate occasion to pair our selected bottle of wine with something special as well. After some consideration, I decided North Carolina ribs would likely pair well with my special bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir. For this post I'll review the wine first, then provide the recipe, and wrap up with the results of this wine + food pairing. *Note: What is Open That Bottle Night? Wife and Husband columnists Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher invented Open That Bottle