2013FrisachVernatxa2013 Celler Frisach, Vernatxa, Garnacha Blanca, Terra Alta DO, Spain.
This is a totally new find for me, an all organic producer from the tiny Corbera d’ Ebre near in Terra Alta, in the very southwest of Spain’s Catalunya region. Imported by Andrew Yandell of Trumpet Wines in San Francisco (a new and young importer of organic selections from Spain), Celler Frisach is a young winery, with 26 year old Francesc Ferre making these natural/organic wines from his little cellar, where his family has been growing grapes on ancient sand dunes for more than 200 years. This area sits at high elevation, it’s saving grace to add acidity from cool breezes and chilly nights, even though it is one of the western most areas of Catalunya it is not far from the Mediterranean and is influenced by the coastal in flow. This is a great site for Grenache Blanc, and Francesc has a gifted touch, all of his wines are lovely, but especially standing out was this Vernatxa bottling of Grenache Blanc from 24 years old bush vines grown on the petrified sand dunes on this mistral swept area. This 2013 tastes like a Chateauneuf du Pape white with deep flavors, richness, but with nice lively force from the balanced acidity, it shows loads of stone fruit, hints of tropical essence, white flowers, citrus and spice with apricot, honeycomb, chalky/stones, lemon/lime, white peach and a touch of oily/clarified butter. This is a classy effort, and while not much has so far reached the US market, Frisach is a winery that I hope makes it here, these are very attractive wines that offer plenty of character, charm and I was very impressed by the superb quality and compelling nature of this hand crafted of this beautiful young and vibrant wine.
($26 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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