From: Penedès, Spain
Taste: The Alvaro Gonzalez 1L Xarel-lo Mushroom Label White Wine presents itself in the glass with a brilliant, pale straw hue. On the nose, it showcases an inviting medley of fresh citrus and green apple, accompanied by subtle floral undertones of lime blossom and a hint of the characteristic lime-cordial aroma. A whisper of wet stone and crushed herbs adds complexity and allure to the bouquet.
Upon tasting, this Xarel-lo wine reveals a refreshing, vibrant acidity that dances on the palate. The dominant flavors of lemon zest, green apple, and white peach intermingle harmoniously with nuances of fresh-cut grass, fennel, and a slight saline minerality. The wine's texture is elegant and silky, with a subtle vegetal undertone that adds depth and character to its profile.
Pairing: This Xarel-lo white wine pairs exceptionally well with a variety of light to medium-bodied dishes, particularly those with a focus on fresh seafood, shellfish, or vegetables. Its bright acidity and citrus-driven profile make it an excellent companion to recipes with herbs, citrus, and mild spices.
When considering regional dishes, Catalan cuisine offers a plethora of options to complement the Alvaro Gonzalez Xarel-lo wine. Pair this wine with tapas, such as escalivada (roasted eggplant and bell peppers) or esqueixada (salted cod salad), for an authentic experience. For a heartier meal, consider a traditional seafood paella, Catalan-style fish stew (suquet de peix), or a simple grilled whole fish with olive oil and fresh herbs.
The wine's versatility also lends itself well to vegetarian dishes. Try pairing it with a Mediterranean salad, featuring arugula, olives, cherry tomatoes, and feta cheese, or a vegetable-based pasta, like pesto linguine with pine nuts and sun-dried tomatoes (or check out the pesto pasta recipe below!). For a more adventurous option, consider a vegetable terrine or a grilled vegetable platter with herb-infused olive oil. The wine's acidity and citrus notes will bring out the flavors of fresh vegetables and harmonize beautifully with the dish.
Pasta, Green Beans and Potatoes With Pesto
By Nancy Harmon Jenkins
From the world of technology to the vineyards of Penedès, Alvaro Gonzalez's story is a testament to passion and dedication. Once a software developer and CTO, Alvaro left behind his career in IT in 2017 to return to his first love: wine. With an initial vintage of just 500 bottles, Alvaro remains committed to creating "live wines" using healthy, hand-harvested grapes grown in the largest vine-growing region in Catalonia, Spain.
Located near Barcelona, Penedès boasts a Mediterranean climate influenced by its proximity to the sea. Alvaro's vineyards are managed biodynamically and worked exclusively by hand. Harvesting is carried out using small boxes to preserve the delicate fruit, and the grapes are processed using native yeast and minimal intervention in the cellar. As Alvaro puts it, his goal is to "allow the grapes [to] become wine in a natural way."
The star of Alvaro's collection is his 1L Xarel-lo Mushroom Label White Wine, made primarily from Xarel-lo, a light-skinned grape native to Catalonia. Valued for the acid structure it brings to wines, Xarel-lo is one of Spain's finest white-wine varieties. It is typically blended with Macabeo and Parellada to create the renowned sparkling wine, Cava.
Xarel-lo boasts thick skins, high polyphenol content, and a well-balanced juice of sugars and acids. Rich in the antioxidant resveratrol, it contributes to the age-worthiness of the finest Cavas. Despite its unremarkable appearance in the vineyard, Xarel-lo's adaptability to varying soil compositions and climatic conditions makes it popular among both winemakers and grape growers.
Alvaro's Xarel-lo wine, produced in a traditional Catalan country house (Masia) with a
400-year history of winemaking, showcases the grape's unique qualities in a still wine. This refreshing white wine features bracing acidity, stone fruit flavors, and a textural palate with subtle vegetal characteristics. Its distinctive lime-cordial aroma adds a layer of complexity that sets it apart from other Xarel-lo wines.
Penedès, the region where Alvaro's vineyards are located, is renowned for its diverse wine styles and high-quality sparkling wine production. The region's red wines are made from classic Spanish grape varieties like Garnacha, Carinena, Monastrell, and Tempranillo, while its white wines feature varieties used for Cava, like Macabeo, Parellada, and Xarel-lo.
Alvaro Gonzalez's 1L Xarel-lo Mushroom Label White Wine stands as a testament to his artisanal approach to winemaking and his unwavering dedication to creating live wines using healthy, hand-harvested grapes. His journey from the world of IT to the vineyards of Penedès demonstrates the transformative power of passion, a passion that wine enthusiasts can taste with every sip of his exceptional Xarel-lo white wine.
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