La Salada &

La Salada 'La Filla del Macaners' Sumoll Catalonia 2021

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Press 2 • June 2024 Direct Press Selection

Toni Carbo is following in the footsteps of his grandfather Toni Carbo, who worked and saved enough to purchase vineyards near the village of Parellada where nobody else wanted to plant grapes. These were limestone screes and shaded areas near the river that were difficult to work but have proved to be excellent sites for great wine, and they are now valued as such. The younger Toni and his partner Anna Serra now work 28 hectares of vines completely without chemical treatments, planting grains in between the rows. 

La Filla del Maçaners is all from one vineyard of mostly Sumoll, an old drought-resistant Catalan variety that is nearly extinct after being ripped out en-masse in the 1980s for not being as high yielding as other cultivars. However it is a serious red wine grape with the depth and grip of Nebbiolo, and has had a growing renaissance due to people like Toni and Anna. After an aging farmer could no longer maintain his 100 year-old plot of Sumoll, he let Toni and Anna take cuttings, from which they propogated a new vineyard. The wine is foot stomped and fermented whole cluster in open top amphora, then aged in amphora for six months. It's an intensely rustic wine, with Brettanomyces, of course. Smells like a hippie store with a haze of Nag Champa incense. There's also bee propolis, apple skin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cedar, and some jerky in the mix. It's grippy and textural but there is finesse and soulful intention to the wine that tames a bit of the feral, gnarly energy. Age it for a few years or drink now with some pork sausages or duck confit. Jonathan Kemp

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