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91POINTS

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Negre Franc by Celler Pardas 2012

Negre Franc

by Celler Pardas 2012

Producer : Celler Pardas

Region : Penedès (Spain), Spain (Spain)

Bottle Per Case : 6 x 750 ml

Food Pairing : Breads, Cured Meat, Ham, Hard Cheese, Red Meat, Roasted Vegetables, Salted or Marinated Mushrooms

Tasting Notes

Rich ruby in colour, the wine has abundant, fine legs. The nose is serious and intensely fragrance, showing a balsamic background, with aromas of black pepper, fresh plums and hints of candied oranges and pencil lead. In the mouth, the wine seduces and expands, providing plenty of fleshy, black fruit. The persistent tannins give way to a long, elegant finish.

91 points - Peñín Guide to Spanish Wine 2018

Specs

Bottles Per Case 6 Pack
Point Score 91
Bottle Size 750 ml
Producer Celler Pardas
Region Penedès (Spain), Spain (Spain)
Alcohol 14.5% alc./vol.
Style Warm and spicy reds
Vintage 2012
Farming Method Sustainable
Grapes 65% Cabernet Franc, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Sumoll
Food Pairing Breads, Cured Meat, Ham, Hard Cheese, Red Meat, Roasted Vegetables, Salted or Marinated Mushrooms
Descriptors Earthy, Floral, Fruity, Mineral
Wine Type Red
Wood Presence Oaked
Body Medium
Price of Case $239.70

The Producer

Celler Pardas

Celler Pardas started when two growers from Penedès, Ramon Parera, and Jordi Arnan, acquired an old estate called Can Comas in Alt Penedès.. The property surrounds an old mediaeval farm and spans 30 hectares of forest and other crops as the local grape varieties—Sumoll and Xarel-lo. The other source of fruit for the wines comes from two ancient plots further north, where they own old vines of Sumoll, Xarel-lo, and Malvasía de Sitges; Ramon calls this fascinating local strain of Malvasía, an incredibly acidic grape notoriously difficult to vinify, the ‘Riesling of the Mediterranean.’

They observe many biodynamic principles are followed: the vines are dry-farmed, and the clay-limestone-rich soils are not plowed to avoid erosion to foster the micro-biology of the terroir. They regularly use ground vegetation, and no synthetic products or pesticides are utilized. Their work is certified organic.

Ramon and Jordi are in the forefront of the varietal revolution happening in Penedès. The story of native grapes in the region is not unlike many others in different areas: the local varieties, deemed hard to work and less valuable than international ones, were slowly substituted by high-yielding types. Many of the new generations of growers in the area, however, decided to replant and work with the original grapes. Pardas' plantings all come from cuttings of old vines found in the region.

The work in the cellar is as respectful to the wines as their work on the vineyards is to the land. Fermentations are spontaneous, the wines are never clarified nor corrected, and they use a mix of steel, concrete, and oak for winemaking and élèvage. The resulting wines are expressive and very direct. Sumoll is not an easy grape to master—’the most masochistic grape there is’, says Jordi— but as the Sus Scrofa shows, Parera and Arnan have conquered its rusticity and are making a delicate, fresh, and immediate wine. The same goes for their Xarel-lo and Malvasía, which are floral and aromatic and yet retain great salinity and minerality, no doubt owing to the chalky and rocky nature of their vineyards.

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