Amós Bañeres & Els Vinyerons
Here we have two new labels, Amós Bañeres and Els Vinyerons Vins Naturals, which is essentially one winemaker (Amós) splitting his time between two seperate estates in Penedès, just out of Barcelona.
Amós’s own label, his namesake, are the wines that he grows and makes himself on his own estate. He and his family farm 5 hectares biodynamically and produce just 2-3 wines each year from 2 different varietals, Macabeu and Xarel-lo.
Els Vinyerons, on the other hand is a partnership between Amôs and Alex Ruiz, owner of a larger, organic estate growing mostly Xarel-lo and small amounts of Tempranillo and Grenache.
Both labels have a common approach to farming (Amós is biodynamic, Els Vinyerons is organic) and a common approach to winemaking too (all are hand harvested, wild fermented, unadjusted, unfiltered, unfined, and without any added sulphites). Stylistically the wines from Els Vinyerons are more traditional and accessible, while the wines from Amós are incredibly intense and concentrated; perhaps a little more polarising but all the more memorable.
Pregadéu (praying mantis, the cuvées are named after the insects found in the vineyards) - Brut nature métode ancestral (disgorged) Cava of100% Xarel-lo.
Lluerna (firefly) - Still white of 100% Xarel-lo, direct pressed into stainless steel, always blended with approx 10% from the previous year which is held in used French oak barrels
Saltamarti (cricket) - Still red from approx 90% Tempranillo, 10% Grenache - destemmed and fermented in stainless steel (seperately), short maceration on skins, also aged in used French oak barrels, also blended with approx 10% from previous year
Missatge en una Ampolla (message in a bottle) - Still white from 100% Macabeu - direct pressed into stainless steel with a small portion of wholebunch to lend some more texture
Vinya Oculta (hidden vineyard) - 100% Xarel-lo - put into stainless steel, some pigeage, then fermented semi-carbonic/on-skins for 10 days before being pressed into used French oak
Annual production: 2,000 bottles (Amós)
Penedès, Catalonia, Spain