10 Sentits is back with Cat Negre 2012


In Catalonia there exists a a marauding group of enologs who go anonymously as the “10 sentits” or “10 senses”. I’ve met some who know a member or two, but it seems that no one fully knows (or won’t admit) who they all are. Undoubtedly, having visited as many cellars as I have, I probably know a couple of the members of the group myself, but they’ve never come clean about it. It’s probably for the better as their masked winemaking has allowed them to be “dangerous”.

It was a couple of years ago that came out of the shadows in 2011 to release a “blanc de noir” and a “noir de blanc”. Why? Because they could, that’s why. That and these two style of wine are notoriously hard (at least in my opinion) to actually make well. This was followed up by Escumoi last year; a sparkling wine from the rather unknown Sumoi (Sumoll) Blanc grape.

Then, they went a bit silent. In October they announced that no, they weren’t dead and would soon be back on the offensive. And so they were with the release of Cat Negre. This is a wine that could only be produced under the DO Catalunya regulations as while it is 100% Grenache, it is comprised of Grenache from all ten of the Catalan Denominations of Origin. Cava was excluded as it has no Grenache and is actually a weird, Spain-wide thing despite 95% of the production being from Catalonia.

If you can read Catalan or pass the release article through Google Translate, you’ll see that a great deal of care was taken to make this wine and it’s all quite dizzying in detail. Given that Grenache varies wildly in character between regions I can’t even imagine how the final blending went but as I’m a lover of the grape, I look forward to the chance to taste it, hopefully soon.