Those who fancy a glass of deep red rioja while having steak, or a sweet cream sherry upon finishing your meal, will be acquainted with Spanish wines.
But homing in on the uniquely distinct Catalunya region, which alone offers plenty of diversity and dynamism for wine aficionados, is M.S.B Somms & Vineyards, which recently released a six-wine collection of vino that are all produced within Catalunya using only indigineous grapes.
Taking a one-of-a-kind approach, M.S.B Somms & Vineyards, a Barcelona-based venture by sommelier and restaurateur Miquel Sabrià Bernabeu (thus the venture’s name), produces wines in limited batches and in close partnership with various Catalan wineries.
It’s a literal collaboration between sommelier Miquel and the winemakers he meets, befriends, and forge a product together with. Each of the six wines come from a different winemaker, from a different Designation of Origin (DO) in Catalunya, and in a different style.
The Lila 2020, for instance, is a rosé made in Empordà by young 4th generation winemaker Josep Serra, using a mix of grenache and macabeu grapes. Light salmon in hue with bright acidity and alluring red fruit notes, this wine takes cue from the famed rosés of Provence, France.
Then there’s the Daurat 2019, produced by renowned winemaker Ramon Parera in Penedès, one of the oldest winemaking regions in Spain. Mostly xarel-lo grapes mixed with some malvasia de sitges, this partially-aged white is crisp-dry, sharp, and exudes minerality.
The other white in the collection is the Blanca 2020. Esteemed winemaker Joan Angel Liberia produces them in Terra Alta using 100% white grenache, and ages the wine for just 4 months in French barrels for a kiss of oak, that compliments well with the natural melon-pear freshness and floral undertones of the expression.
The lightest of the reds is the Essència 2019 from Conca de Barberà, where passionate winemaker Bernat Andreu produces an elegant, low-alcohol explosion of red fruits using trepat grapes. We like how it’s very drinkable, yet boasts an aromatic bouquet of spices worth savouring.
A personal favourite of ours is the Aura 2019. Made in the region of Montsant, winemaker Joan Ignasi Domènech makes a powerful, full-bodied grenache that has been aged in both oak barrels and concrete eggs. The result is a red that is complex and enjoyable now, but with the right tannic structure and acidity for further ageing potential.
Lastly, there’s Pur 2018, a self-proclaimed favourite of Miquel himself. Big-hearted winemakers Josep Maria del Aguila and Mayte Pellicer produced this Priorat wine using grenache and carignan grapes (some from vines a century old), which is then aged before being bottled non-filtered. Find layers of raspberries, blackcurrants, spices and more coalescing into a medium to full-bodied wine with a persistent long finish.
The wine bottle labels are worth noting too. Singaporean artist Mary Bernadette Lee created the original artworks using acrylic paint and watercolour for all six wines while she was visiting the vineyards and wineries in Catalunya for inspiration.
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They bear intricate meaning and detail. The label for Pur, for instance, seeks to highlight the gift of time while in the mountains of Priorat – how it is a gift in itself as well as a giver of things we love, such as wine. If you look closely at the artwork, a tiny figure of Miquel can be seen among the vineyards.
There’s a lot more to the provenance of the wines and why Miquel chose to work with these winemakers in particular, but that’s something that is best shared by the man himself and after you’ve had a taste of the wines for yourself.
Very limited quantities of the collection are now available in selected markets. Head to M.S.B Somms & Vineyards online for more info, or to the La Cosecha webstore for purchases of the six-wine collection (S$380) in Singapore.
About the Author
Dannon Har is the Managing Editor of Spill. Discovering his innate gift for drinking only at a ripe age, he spares no time trying to find more delicious drops to imbibe during his time on Earth. When he’s not minding every detail at Spill, he spends his time concocting luscious libations and sharing them with folks that visit his home bar.