Tasting: Martí Serdà El Xitxarel·lo

Martí Serdà El Xitxarel·lo three bottle shots
Martí Serdà El Xitxarel·lo - the label has 77 Catalan insults

What is it?

100% Xarel·lo grape variety. Pronounced ‘chit-cha-re-lo’ it’s a wine for those who think the best way to keep a tradition alive is to keep the tradition going.

The Spanish white wine grape, the most widely used native grape in the Penedes region of Catalonia is the same used to make cava.

El Xitxarel·lo is a refreshing but insulting wine. Yes! Really! It is. Albert Virgili Hill designed the wine label by graphically illustrating 77 Catalan insults.

It was created with two aims: to promote the local wine and also to recover the good old art of vintage insulting.

The insults are a throwback to centuries of bad humour bantered around by Catalan farmers, which is why the vineyards have always been an exhaustible source of Catalan swear words.

At the side of the bottle, there’s a ‘Trompímetre’ a fake alcohol meter that ‘measures” your drunk level’ with old insults. In the middle of the bottle you start feeling a little bit “Calent” (a little bit drunk) and you end up becoming a ‘Buida-ampolles’ (a bottle emptier).

The Penedes wine making region is tucked away between the coastal hills, southwest of Barcelona in Catalonia, Northeast Spain. It is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the whole of Europe. In an area of predominant white grape varieties, Penedes is best known for its Cava but it also produces high quality oak aged reds and still white wines.

Xarel-lo is a bit like a Catalan insult itself: simple enough to make but to make it last you have to roll it around your mouth.

xitxarel wine-label
77 Catalan insults

Who is behind it?

Family-owned Martí Serdà Winery, located in the village of Sante Fe del Penedes,  240 metres high in the neighbourhood of Villafranca.

The family has a long history of wine growing and combine traditional methods with more modern, similar to those used to make cava. The soil is clay and sand allows water to seep through via the stream that runs alongside the vineyard.

marti-serda-vineyard
marti-serda-vineyard

What does it taste like?

Pale yellow in colour with hints of green. Aromas of apple and pear with a scent of citrus, jasmine and fennel. The palate is fresh and mineral with silky, fruity and creamy touches that give good balance. A long and pleasant finish.

What will it pair with?

Shellfish, crab, lobster, fish, pasta dishes, summer salad, sushi, rice, risotto, white meat.

Serve with traditional local dishes such as arròs negre (black rice flavoured with squid ink), Catalan mar y muntanya (surf and turf) dishes such as those using seafood, goose and suquets (fisherman-inspired seafood stews).

These wines are also proudly served in Catalonia’s star restaurants paired to cutting edge cocina de vanguardia dishes.

Cocina-de-vanguardia
Cocina de- anguardia

Technical stuff:

Grape:
Xarel-lo 100%

Appellation:
D.O. Penedes

Location:
240 metres in the village of Santa Fe del Penedes

Alcohol:
11.5%

Total Acidity:
3.8 gr/l

Residual Sugar:
4 gr/l

Total Sulphur:
90mg/l

Serving Temperature:
6-8 ºC

Trade contact details:

Mark Ferguson, sales executive (North England)

Moreno Wines & Co. Ltd

Tel: 020 7289 9952         Mob: 07976 981 162

Email: mark@moreno-wines.co.uk

www.morenowines.co.uk

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