Roure Cullerot - Winemaking practices go in waves--what once was hailed as the latest flashiest most fashionable practice becomes stale, and we are drawn back to older ways.
In our current environmental crisis, it's no wonder that modern ways are being traded in for ancient practices that are gentler to the earth, and feel more honest and less artificial, or harsh. Francisco (Paco) & Pablo Calatayud of Celler del Roure in Valencia, Spain started in 1995 with the latest in modern equipment. A tour of their cellars then would have revealed gleaming stainless steel and new French oak barrels. A tour would have included the ancient amphora vessels that came with the property only as a history lesson, an ancient curiosity of winemaking in simpler times. Pablo's curiosity to experiment with these ancient methods overtook him and he restored some of the amphora and began aging wine in them again. A longtime champion of indigenous grapes, it only made sense for him to experiment with indigenous methods too. His Cullerot ("tadpole" in Spanish) is a layered, textured blend of Pedro Ximénez, Macabeo, Tortosina, Malvasía, Verdil, Merseguera, and others. Farming is organic and the wines are certified organic. Amphora aging lends itself to the textured aspect, as it's a more porous vessel than oak and certainly more than cement or steel. The blend of floral, fruity, and mineral white grapes, suffused with oxygen and vibrant, rich, and light all at once, is the perfect white for rich white fish with earthy components like mushrooms and wintry cabbage and fennel.
Roure Vermell -The importer European Cellars describes Roure's red blend thus:
Based on the Monastrell grape (Spanish for Mourvèdre), one of the indigenous varieties of Valencia, Vermell also includes smaller portions of Garnacha Tintorera and Mandó in the final blend. Hand harvested, destemmed and fermented by natural yeasts in stainless steel tanks and stone lagars, then aged in amphorae, Vermell showcases the typical dark-fruit flavors and herbal nuances of Monastrell without being overripe, overbearing or overloaded with oak. It is an excellent introduction to the new “old style” of wines being made at Celler del Roure.
The soil is a combination of clay and sandy loams 600 meters above sea level. Valencia is located just about midway on the east coast of Spain, about a 3 1/2 hour drive south from Barcelona. Vineyards closer to the coast have a Mediterranean climate and those further inland a continental one.
Try this robust but elegant Vermell blend with a warming pot of mussels, clams, or fish stew in a briny tomato stock infused with herbs and pancetta and served with warm fresh bread and Spanish cheese.
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