Penedès, on Spain's north-eastern coast, is one of Europe's oldest viticultural areas, and has undergone many waves of transformation since the Phoenicians first planted Chardonnay grapes here in the 6th century BC. Today, its fame comes primarily from the production of Cava, one of the world's greatest sparkling wine values. The massive popularity of Cava in the area results in many not having tried one of the region's outstanding still wines. Time to change that!
Bodegues Sumarroca, like many wineries in the area, devotes a large percentage of their production to Cava, but makes the stunning line of Vincles wines exclusively for restaurants. The white is a blend of the native grapes that are typically dominant in Cava production: Macabeo, Xarel-lo (pronounced "shah-RELL-oh"), and Parrellada, along with international grapes Muscat and Chardonnay. The grapes are farmed organically, and fermented and aged in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. Enjoy now or over the next two years at a well-chilled 8 C.
Aromas of ripe white peach, golden apple, and cantaloupe burst from the glass, and as the wine warms up, notes of bruised pear and fragrant orange blossoms begin to emerge. It smells like fall in a glass, and is a perfect white to transition into cooler weather.
The palate is medium bodied and ripe, with more fruit flavours of fresh-pressed apple, pear, and peach. Chardonnay provides some heft, but the native Cava grapes contribute enough acidity to keep this brisk and lively. There's a stoney minerality on the long finish, but the star of the show is the ripe orchard fruit flavours. Serve well chilled, but let it warm up a bit in the glass as you enjoy it, to draw out the evolving range of flavours.
The combination of the wine's texture and freshness makes it a great complement to pasta in cream sauce, especially with shellfish or seafood. Or match with a fall classic like roast chicken.