Today we share a holiday week wine from Granache Blanc pioneer Cellar Barbara Forés.
Called ‘brisado’ in Spanish (orange wine), here Granacha Blanca (white Grenache) is skin-macerated and aged in clay amphorae 6-months. This method was a traditional and locally called ‘brisados’ then somewhere as time passed was forgotten. Mother daughter team Carmen Ferrer and Pili Sanmartín Ferrer decided to research and recover this wisdom. Abrisa’t is the first wine made by them together; Pili joined as the sixth generation in 2014.
In my glass tangy quince, pear, apple blossom and chamomile are quite prolific. And how about that round and expressive, savory palate attack of sea spray, macerated apples, chamomile and the faintest apple cider! A balanced acidic lift and tannic feel together tame each other and open to persimmon, dry apple cider hints and green almonds, framing an ever so slight bitter and lengthy finish.
Two things we loved about this wine? It paired beautifully with butternut squash soup seasoned with Herbs de Provence and pear. (The garniture was a cashew, cilantro and creamy goat cheese mixture.) And number two- this is a wine to enjoy by itself, a sipper that doesn’t need food.
Tell Me About Orange Wine!
Essentially orange wine, also called amber or skin-fermented wine, is a white wine made like a red, meaning the skins are left on the white grapes during fermentation. This imparts tannins from the skins and pips (seeds) and also a deeper color to the wine. They are often deeper gold with orange or amber hues. As far as mouthfeel, you’ll definitely get some tannins albeit a lighter amount. And taste wise, flavors typically include bruised fruit, apricot, apricot kernel, fruit beer, herbs and more. If you’ve not enjoyed an orange wine, this is a nice one to try!
About Cellar Barbara Forés
The cellar is a tribute to Barbara Forés, the daughter of a wine merchant and farmer who together with her husband, started making wine in the mid-1800s. She’s great grandmother to Carmen Ferrer who wanted to respect the tradition of making wine through the generations in D.O. Terra Alta, the most westerly wine-growing area in Catalonia.
Carmen and Manola (her husband), and now Pili are pioneer winemakers in Terra Alta where Garnacha Blanca is the backbone of their project.
“Blindly committed to the land we inhabit.”
Cellar Barbara Forés website
While the estate of 30 hectares is certified organic, it is so much more. These three focus on the agroecology with a goal to recover and maintain soil fertility; it (the soil) becomes tangible in the entire operation.
Using minimal copper, preferring rather fertilizers of vegetal and animal origin, they have a few ‘green layer’ areas farmed to make their own green compost. Additionally, soil tillage is minimal and they follow the lunar calendar.
Finally, their website discusses the ‘three economies’: nature (biodiversity, soil fertility, water preservation), people (an economy of sustenance), and the market (where humans not corporations interact). How uplifting is that?!?
If you are interested in finding this wine, one of their US importers is Terrestoria. The wines are also found in the UK and Europe, and other parts of the world.