Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Gallina de Piel. Best of Design and Wine!

Gallina de Piel

The first thing that caught my attention when I got these two bottles were the labels and their amazing designs. Then again, I shouldn’t be too surprised because some of the best label designs I’ve seen in recent years have come from Catalonia.

Gallina de Piel is an exciting winemaking project from the former head-sommelier at El Bulli. David Seijas worked at Catalonia’s famous three-Michelin-starred restaurant for 11 years until it closed in 2011.

Along with Ferran Centelles (another El Bulli alumnus), this highly acclaimed Spanish duo’s aim is to create versatile wines from Spain’s gastronomic northern regions: Catalonia, Aragon and Galicia. They work with local growers, selecting the best vineyards and indigenous grape varieties.

The vineyards are located in the Penedès denomination at an altitude of between 750 and 1,000 metres above sea level on deep clay soil with pebbles on the surface. The vines are aged between 35 to 80 years old and trained on the double Guyot system.
Lithograph for the Mimetic label

Gallina de Piel Mimetic Calatayud (DO) 2018, 14.5%, €20.99
Baggot Street Wines; Blackrock Cellar; McHugh’s Off Licence - Kilbarrack Rd; McHugh’s Off Licence - Malahide Road; Drink Store Ltd; Bradley's, North Main St., Cork;

This first one, the first of the two that I tasted, certainly lives up to its billing. It’s a bright juicy Garnacha (98%) with an engaging freshness. Colour is a mid to a dark ruby. Dark fruits with a touch of herb (marjoram), feature in the aromas. First thing I noticed on the palate is the balance, no extremes in this graph, and that perfect harmony continues between the delicious fruit flavour and acidity. A touch of spice adds interest through to the lengthy finish. Elegant and fresh, this is Very Highly Recommended.

Vinification: Fermentation took place in concrete tanks using natural yeasts for three weeks. The wine then underwent full malolactic fermentation and spent six months ageing on fine lees in concrete tanks with periodic bâtonnage.

Gallina de Piel, `Ikigall` Penedès (DO) 2018, 11.5%, €20.99

Blackrock Cellar; Baggot Street Wines; McHugh’s Off Licence - Kilbarrack Rd; Bradley's, North Main St., Cork

Mid straw is the colour. Fragrant for sure, floral and citrus (lime). Immediately you note that tingly feel at the tip of your tongue, a feel that soon spreads, right through to crisp finish. Citrus flavours are subtly influential in this fresh and rather elegant white. Highly Recommended.

Xarel-lo is a light-skinned grape from Catalonia, northeastern Spain, and is one of the region's most widely planted varieties. It is perhaps best known for its role in sparkling Cava. The other grapes included here are Malvasia (10%) and Muscat of Alexandria (5%).

The 2018 vintage didn’t enjoy ideal weather but it all came good towards the end. The grapes underwent cold maceration for five hours before fermentation took place in stainless-steel tanks at a controlled temperature of 15°C. The wine then spent four months ageing on fine lees before filtration and bottling.

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