escoda sanahuja

Conca De Barbera, Catalonya, Spain

Joan Ramon Escoda and his family make wine together on their 10 Hectare estate in Conca de Barbera in Catalonya. They are located near the town of Montblanc, southwest of Barcelona between Penedes and Priorat. Founded in 1997 the estate has always practiced organics but fully converted to biodynamics in 2007. According with true biodynamic principles the estate is incredibly diverse with olive groves, almond trees as well as a large vegetable garden that supplies Joan Ramon’s restaurant. They have a small farm with chickens, sheep and cows which allows them to make their own compost and fertilizer. They treat their farm as a living organism with no trace of chemical residue anywhere on their land. Full cover crops around the vines ensure healthy humus and microbiological life. This also allows the soil (which is predominately limestone) to maintain humidity. This is important in their dry climate. In 2017 they built a beautiful new winery where they live and a lovely restaurant called Tossal Gros, named for the mountain range just behind the property.

Grapes are hand harvested into small cases from low yielding vines. Ferments are done with natural yeast, wines are not stabilized, filtered or fined. There are never any adjustments or chemicals used, not even S02. These are living wines and change dramatically after time open. Some of the wines improve with decanting and aeration and greatly improve with time open.

Joan Ramon is extremely active in the Spanish and International natural wine scene. He is the co-founder of the “Brutal” label which invites winemakers from around the world to create SO2 free wines under one label. He founded PVN which is a certification for natural winemakers in Spain and is one of the owners of Bar Brutal, a fantastic restaurant in Barcelona loudly promoting natural wines from around the world. The wines of Escoda Sanahuja have been mainstays on the wine list at NOMA for years and were always served at restaurant El Bulli when it was open. Production is extremely limited and we are thrilled to be allocated small amounts each year!

 

2016 PET NAT

Made entirely by hand from start to finish, including riddling and disgorging. 600 bottles produced. Made from Sumoll Blanc, an indigenous variety. Whole clusters of grapes are brought into the winery, foot stomped and whole cluster pressed after fermentation begins. The wine is bottled during fermentation before it is dry, resulting in a finished wine with natural CO2 - hence the name "Pet Nat” (Petillant Natural).  

 

2013 Els Bassots

Chenin Blanc from one hectare of 15 year old vines grown in clay and limestone soils 500m above seal level. Maceration on skins for two weeks results in an orange wine with fantastic structure and depth. The wine is fermented with natural yeasts in stainless steel and aged in amphora for 5 months. No sulphites added. Unfined and Unfiltered. Els Bassots means the "basins" in Catalan as there are small ponds near the vines. The animal on the label is a fox found in the neighbouring countryside. This wine loves aeration and will evolve over the course of many days once open.

 

2016 Els Bassotets

Chenin Blanc and Macabeau on skins for 8 days (read: Orange wine) and sealed with a crown cap. Some of these wines are a little bit fizzy, others are not. Roll the dice and find out! Delicious.

 

2016 Mas Del Gaio

From 80+ year old bush vines planted on limestone just outside the winery door. The wine is named for the vineyard it comes from which is co planted with Sumol Blanc, Valenciata, Muscat, Grenache Gris, Grenache Blanc, Macabeau and Parallada (which makes up the majority of the blend). Fruit is picked together before being foot stomped and whole cluster pressed into amphoras, cement tanks and old oak barrels where it ferments and ages on lees. Joan Ramon’s most serious white wine.

 

2016 Vamos? Vamos? Vamos!

Bottled only in magnums, this wine is a collaborative effort between JR and his two best buddies: Laureano Serres of Mendal Winery in Spain, known for founding PVN a natural wine group in Spain, and Theirry Puzelat of Clos du Tue Boeuf in the Loire Valley, known for popularizing Georgian wine, Bringing the first amphoras to France, selling them to other Vigneron and for being BFFs with Alice Fiering. These guys together represent a very loud and vocal part of what is exciting about (natural) wine today.

This wine was first made in 2009 and was originally a blend of wines from both JR’s and Laureano’s cellar. They were tasting together with their buddy Theirry in Spain and he suggested they blend their efforts together. The name basically means, “want it? grab it!”. The original drawing had a cartoon drawing of the two vigneron.

Each vintage they follow the same process. Thierry Puzelat comes for a visit and they taste wines from both JR’s and Laureano’s cellars and make the blend together - always 50/50 from each winery.

But now in 2016 they have invited Thierry to join the party. The finished wine is now a blend of wine from the Loire Valley, Terra Alta and Conca De Barbera and is fermented and aged in a 300 year old Georgian amphora. Each vintage the wine is completely different, changing at the whims of these three Passionate Vigneron. The 2016 vintage has an extra “vamos” in the name to recognize Thierry’s involvement. Now it is “Vamos! Vamos! Vamos!"

 

2016 Nas Del Gegant Rose

This is the Saignee (bleeding) method from the Nas Del Gegant red. This wine is now made entirely in giant clay amphoras that are almost 100 years old. Garnatxa (Grenache), Samso (Carignan), Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Sumoll and Carinyena. From various parcels of 12 to 30 year old vines, grown on limestone and calcareous clay soils between 450 and 600m altitude with a variety of different expositions.

The rose spends 6 hours macerating with the skins before it is bled off (via a tiny tube in the base of the amphora. No pumping) into cement tanks and stainless steel. This is not a light Provencal Rose designed for summer drinking - hence its’ July release date - but has the same ease of drinking as these styles of wine. Destemed then fermented with natural yeasts. No sulphites added. Unfined and Unfiltered.

 

2016 Nas Del Gegant

Garnatxa (Grenache), Samso (Carignan), Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Sumoll and Carinyena. From various parcels of 12 to 30 year old vines, grown on limestone and calcareous clay soils between 450 and 600m altitude with a variety of different expositions. Destemmed then fermented with natural yeasts and aged in enormous amphora for 10 months. No sulphites added. Unfined and Unfiltered.

 

2013 La Llopetera

Pinot Noir from 15+ year old vines grown on south facing sand and limestone soils 600m above sea level. Destemmed and macerated for 7-10 days on skins. Fermented with natural yeasts in stainless steel and aged in old French oak tonneau for 12 months. No sulphites added. Unfined and Unfiltered. A nearby Monastery in the Conca de Barbera that links to Burgundy is probably the reason for the grape's existence here. The Bird on the label is a Partridge. A bit reductive out of bottle, give it some air and watch it unfold at the table.

 

2014 Les Paradetes

Garnatxa (Grenache), Samso (Carignan) and Sumoll. 15+ year old vines grown in calcareous clay soils 450m above sea level. Destemmed then macerated for 10 days on skins. Fermented with natural yeasts in stainless steel and aged in old French oak tonneau for 16 months. No sulphites added. Unfined and Unfiltered.

 

2007 Coll del Sabater

Cabernet Franc and Merlot. 15+ year old vines grown in calcareous clay soils 450m above sea level. Macerated for 10 days on skins. Fermented with natural yeasts in stainless steel and aged in old French oak tonneau for 16 months. No sulphites added. Unfined and Unfiltered.

 

Retail

  • Kenaston Wine Market
  • Banville and Jones Wine Co
  • The Winehouse
  • Ellement Wine and Spirits
 
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