July 2024 Blanco Y Tinto Wine Club

Espelt 2020 Pla De Gates Negre

Regular Price: $29.99
Club Price: $25.49

Meeting Anna Espelt was a cool surprise. Her importer set up a last-minute tasting with me here in the Berkeley shop, and I jumped at the chance to squeeze it into my day. Her family’s wines were some of the first wines I was introduced to when I started at the Spanish Table. Anna came in, warm and welcoming, and introduced me to her wines from Empordà where she’s all about organic and regenerative farming.

Anna has always made it a priority to align her values with the farming practices at her family’s expansive 200-hectare estate but she’s also pursuing something more personal — a project focused on 25 hectares of vineyards called Mas Marés in the Cap de Creus Nature Reserve. While hiking there, she saw the potential to revitalize old vineyards and discovered evidence of human interaction dating back to the early Bronze Age including a megalith stone featured on the labels. This discovery made her realize the special significance of this place and this ancient stone tells stories of the humans that erected it 4000 years ago.

When I asked about her work in Cap Creus, Anna described a land of granite, wind, blue skies, and the smell of wild herbs and sea spray. She didn't even mention vineyards at first because they’ve been part of this landscape forever. Anna’s dedication brings her vineyards back in balance with nature, honoring centuries of human touch.

As she poured, I watched wine catch the light as it hit the glass, Anna gently said “I make the house wine for the best restaurant in the world.”— I paused then responded, “Wait. What?” Then I realized she was talking about Disfrutar, the restaurant in Spain recently named the best in the world. I was blown away — and, you actually have to pass through her property to get to the restaurant. How cool is that! 

100% of the Lledoner Negre (Garnacha in Catalan) for this wine comes from Anna Espelt's personal vineyard, Mas Marés, where the vines are organically farmed in granite soil and surrounded on three sides by the Mediterranean where the sea breezes give the wine a vibrance and freshness, with fresh herb notes, a mineral streak, and a hint of salinity in the finish. Pla de Gates is a new-school style of Garnacha growing increasingly popular in Spain. Pair this with a day hike to the beach. JML


Espelt 2020 Pla De Gates Blanco

Regular Price: $29.99
Club Price: $25.49


Anna brought three carefully selected wines with her that day, and her white wine, Pla de Gates Blanc, stood out with a lovely purity that really sings! 

This wine is a special blend of Garnacha Blanca and Grenacha Gris, grown organically in Anna’s personal coastal Mas Marés vineyard. The 2022 vintage is a bright, golden beauty that's clean and crisp, with flavors of tangy white peach, zesty lemon, and green apple. There's also a hint of quince, wet stone, minty herbs, and almond, making it incredibly refreshing and vibrant.

Anna's approach to making this wine is really interesting, she can capture the aromatics and phenolic qualities in these varietals by letting the grapes cool overnight after hand-harvesting, then does a partial de-stemming, and gives them a short skin maceration before a gentle pressing. This process captures all the wonderful aromas and flavors of the grapes. The wine is then aged for six months in cement eggs, which really enhances its purity and complexity.

Eric Solomon, her importer, mentioned that these grape varieties thrive closer to the Mediterranean Sea, where the constant winds lead to smaller, thicker-skinned berries with fresher acidity. This adds to the wine’s excitement and balance. If you're looking for a new favorite white wine to enjoy with seafood, Pla de Gates checks all the boxes. This wine hits all the right notes.

Popular posts

Our favorites spots in Madrid - The Spanish Table
The Spanish Table Paella Recipe - The Spanish Table