Cartema Blanco 2012
Hell hath no fury like July in Catalonia and one with little chilled wine to drink. Given this heat and blustery humidity, I was scampering about to find something to chill and while reds are fine a bit on the cool side, a white was really more desired so it was a bottle from Cartema I stumbled upon that was left over from the article I wrote about DO Méntrida for Decanter a year and a half ago.
Buf, I thought. This is a blend of Moscatel a Petit Grains and Sauvignon Blanc that in my notes from then, I put, “barrel regimen structure that hides a good deal of the fruit and leads in to a rather short finish” and gave it 87 points. Thankfully, in addition to this, I also stated that the ideal drinking age was 2017-2019.
This age is quite key as while we in the wine world will give a drinking window, at best, it’s an educated guess and given that many who write about wine are poorly educated, you can infer how much worth that guess might actually have. In this instance, I’m happy to say that I got it a good deal right. While I should have scored it higher when tasting in the fall of 2015, I’m happy to have had the chance to revisit it as, holy crapola!
Méntrida is a weird, weird place and while Grenache does very well there (and indeed dominates the plantings) a number of French grapes have shown themselves to be right at home such as Petit Verdot (check out Arrayán). To that list I would definitely add Sauvignon Blanc as what they’ve managed to accomplish with this wine is to create something of an Iberian take on a white Bordeaux. Most people don’t really know the whites of Bordeaux but for those who do, I recommend giving this wine a try. If I’m wrong, feel free to badmouth me in the comments but keep in mind that at 8€, the wine is a tremendous value at the moment as well.
Cartema - Blanco 2012
Sees 12 months in barrel but very well integrated. Waxy lemon peel, honeysuckle, touch of old wood, bread crusts, very very light grapey notes. Medium plus acidity and more juicy lemon in the mouth but with a full, round creaminess to it and a lightly bitter finish off medium minus length.
Muscat à Petits Grains, Sauvignon Blanc · 12.5% · 8EUR