Escabeces

Escabeces is a brand-new project from René Barbier of Priorat and Monstant fame hailing from the D.O. of Taragona. A few years ago, a farmer acquaintance approached René to see if he’d be interested in making a wine from a small parcel of 65-year-old Cartoixà Vermell, the very rare Catalan grape also known as red Xarel.lo. The trick with this wine is that, while it presents as a rosé, it is made as if it were a red wine. The Cartoixà Vermell, however, never develops a tremendous amount of pigment, so even with a long skin maceration, the wine only achieves a coppery-pink color. The grapes are harvested around 12 degrees of potential alcohol in the beginning of October. From there, they are moved to the winery, where the must ferments on the skins for a period of three weeks to a month in ceramic containers. It is then pressed off the skins to continue its aging in ceramic containers for another 5-6 months and neutral barrels for the remainder of its 18-month élevage.