Jané Ventura – Sumoll 2013

Sumoll is a rather old, odd variety. Despite being native to the region of Catalonia, it was disregarded in general and especially so after Spain entered the EU in 1986 and local varieties were seen as inferior to those from France–despite a lot of “French” varieties actually being from Catalonia in the first place. Given that it’s a pretty tough grape to vinify and it’s very easy to make a bad wine from Sumoll, there’s not that much of a surprise people were tossing it to the side.

Adventurous souls have been trying to reclaim the grape as of late to claim back their heritage. I’ve tasted a good number of these wines and a large percentage of them are pretty damned rustic. I try to keep an open mind but my mouth just doesn’t really want to follow. And then I was given this Sumoll from Jané Ventura during a recent visit to the offices of DO Penedès and this, this is a very different beast.

I’m often not fully convinced when it comes to many reds from Penedès but this wine is not only quite good and easy to drink. If you were to taste it blind, you’d immediately step back and go, “What on earth is this?” and rip off the cover in a spate of curiosity. The wine shows all the best characters of Sumoll and quite honestly is one of the best I’ve tasted to date. Naturally it helps that it’s from old vines of between 50-70 years. So if you’re curious to see what this grape is like, then this is a bottle worth your time.

Sumoll 2013
Pale garnet, rose rim. Rose petals, tart red cherry aromas, black pepper, graphite, small touch of cumin, oak well-integrated. Medium body, medium plus acidity that pulls in to a very long finish dominated by red fruit notes.

100% Sumoll 13.5% 23€