“Mirabelles”, Malvasia de Sitges, Penedès Blanco
With “Mirabelles” we move beyond Xarel·lo into uncharted waters. Within the vineyard “Can Rossell,” located 10 kilometers from Sant Sadurní d’Anoia at 200 meters altitude, Celler Credo tends 0.9 hectares worth of a local obscurity called Malvasia de Sitges—a variety of unknown origin that was nearly decimated by phylloxera in the late 19th century. The variety grows wild here, and Ton and his team harvest minute quantities of grapes each vintage from these low-yielding long-branched vines, which are spaced far apart and wonderfully aerated. Pressed whole-cluster, fermented in a combination of stainless steel and ceramic, and aged in steel for 18 months, “Mirabelles” is explosively aromatic, offering a viscerally saline evocation of the nearby Mediterranean. Notes of tangerine oil and smoke offset the wine’s intense minerality, and a gripping sense of dry extract drives the wine toward a remarkably lengthy finish. This combination of unique variety and incredible terroir make for a completely singular experience, as “Mirabelles” offers a moving glimpse into the pre-Cava, pre-technological past of the region.