In 2014, Barcelona native and wine lover Ernest Pérez-Mas got the call—the call of the wild. And in El Pla de Manlleu, high up in the pine-scented hills of the Penedès, on a farm established by the Knights Templar in the late thirteenth century, there the wild was: the Heretat Mascorrubí. The prior owner had been selling the grapes, but on purchasing the estate Pérez-Mas sought to overhaul the farming (now practicing organic) and begin estate-bottling. There are some usual suspects, like Garnacha and Garnacha Blanca, but the true jewels of the estate are the gnarled bushvines of neglected local varieties clawing deep into the rocky red-clay soils. Here, under the watchful eye of the 12th-century Romanesque Ermita de Sant Miquel, grow varieties like the white Montonega (a higher-quality clone of Parellada), the red Sumoll, and even the vanishingly rare Sumoll Blanc (unrelated to Sumoll, total remaining surface: five hectares). These are fresh, drinkable, delicious wines that are lively emblems of what we might call—apologies to certain wine writers—the New Cataluña. Don’t miss them.
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