It was about 130 years ago when our great-grandfather Pau Batlle sensed that his wines made of the Xarel•lo grape had a unique ageing capacity. Josep Lluís and Bartomeu Gramona confirmed this remarkable capability of our sparkling Xarel•lo wines some 70 years later.
Gramona always believed, contrary to the established paradigm that held, that the sparkling wines from Penedès had to be young, that excellence in sparkling wines comes in equal parts from the land –soil, climate, human being- and from a long ageing process.
With the aim of exploring this paradigm shift in more depth, in 1997 Jaume and Xavier Gramona took up on the idea of taking the sparkling wine ageing process to extremes unknown by wine lovers to this day. And thus Enoteca Gramona was born - the first sparkling destined to exceed the 10 years’ ageing previously attained by the Celler Batlle.
Through Enoteca we have reaffirmed our learning: when you prolong the time a sparkling spends resting in bottle, it becomes more expressive, while retaining a commendable freshness, creating a deeper and more complex drinking experience.
Today we can humbly say that Enoteca Gramona is the culmination of the path initiated by our great-grandfather over a century ago and the finest work of our craftsmen, so far.
Gramona's first long-aged sparkling wine was the 1951 vintage
Wine growing has been in the Gramona family since 1850 and it has been a producer of sparkling wine since the start of the 20th century. Gramona’s first attempt at long-ageing was in 1951 with their II Lustros. They had noticed that some sparkling wines that had spent well over 10 years ageing on their lees and which they had been unable to sell since the Spanish civil and world wars, showed a surprising capacity to age well. The concept of long-aged sparkling wines from Penedès is currently exemplified by III Lustros and Celler Batlle. That this style of sparkling has been continued to this day, is a testament to the Gramona family’s perseverance and tenacity.
TERROIR FONT DE JUI
Time and science have proven the unique antioxydant properties of this grape, one of the oldest of the Mediterranean vineyards. We champion this variety and promote its potential for long ageing.
The Macabeo brings an array of aniseed-like aromas. It is a native grape, which is very balanced in terms of body and aromas. It is blended with the Xarel•lo, in order to impart freshness, balance and elegance to the sparkling wine.
It is a Bordeaux-style Paraje, a chateau concept, grouping plots of more than one grape variety
Paraje Font de Jui covers about 22.5 hectares, among them, 15 are planted with Xarel•lo and 7.5 Macabeo. They extend from the Anoia River (La Plana, 100 metres above sea level), with its sandy-clay soils that brings us acidity, to the Mas Escorpí hill (350 metres above sea level), overlooking the town of Sant Sadurní, which, with its rocky soil and dry air, gives us elegance and finesse, and with the clay-loam soil of its slopes, gives us body.
We work the Paraje, like all our land, according to organic and biodynamic principles.
It is a Bordeaux-style Paraje, a chateau concept, grouping plots of more than one grape variety, essential to the wine’s identity, around the Celler Batlle winery, located at the heart of the Paraje.
We breathe life into our vineyards and seek to increase levels of biodiversity
These types of viticulture are based on a meticulous analysis and handling of the factors affecting our terroir and its habitat. We do not apply chemical herbicides or pesticides, but instead use natural resources with the principle aim of maintaining the balance of the environment. The maintenance of spontaneous vegetal cover helps create spongy soils that promote the life of other plants, animals and insects, and provides better water drainage.
Through biodynamics, which goes one step beyond organic viticulture, we breathe life into our vineyards and seek to increase levels of biodiversity: we use plant-based infusions and decoctions to ward off pests and we produce our own animal and vegetal compost from our farm of cows, sheep, chickens, and horses.
The ultimate aim of our philosophy is the preservation of the vineyards for future generations and the expression of the wines which reflects our landscape and the identity of this land.
As we travel down this road, we, the caretakers of the land and the wine born from it, feel that we are increasingly becoming an integral part of nature and the universe that embraces it.
Time is the key that turns a wine into a fine sparkling wine
One of the fundamental ingredients in the production of wines that undergo such a long ageing process is Time. Time is the key that turns a wine into the fine sparkling wine that can be made in Penedès and that today finds its ultimate expression in Enoteca. If time is the greatest of luxuries, then Enoteca is too. Only a few of the really enjoyable things in life take such a long time to craft. To the 15 years that one of our Enoteca can spend ageing, should be added the 30 years on average that a vineyard requires to be able to produce this fine wine. Half a lifetime.
Each bottle will develop its own personality, a product of the soil, the character of its wine and its ageing
We possess a unique raw material for the creation of our longest-aged sparklings… our grapes, which are carefully picked by hand, selected on a sorting table, received into the winery through gravity flow, and pressed in whole bunches.
Deep down in the cellars, sealed with a natural cork stopper for the second fermentation, Enoteca has benefited from an ageing process en rima (on its side) that usually exceeds 12 years, but you can also enjoy Enotecas that have 14, 15,... or even 20 years ageing. Each bottle will develop its own personality, a product of the genetics of its soil, the character of its wine and its ageing using a craft process that involves the use of pupitre racks, with riddling and disgorgement carried out by hand.
The length of time the wine has spent ageing on the yeasts is stated on the bottle label with a number indicating how many years the wine has been aged organically.
Wine lovers can also try our Enotecas matured for some time after their disgorgement, when they have undergone an oxidative ageing process that makes them even more pleasurable to drink. To see if this sparkling has benefited from this post-disgorgement ageing, look for the date of disgorgement on the back label. If you compare it to the vintage and the years of ageing stated on the label, you can work out the length of time the sparkling wines has spent taking on the exceptional characteristics that can only oxidative ageing can create.
Sparkling wines which spend over 6 years sur latte in contact with their lees are best aged with a cork stopper. Its composition, rich in polyphenols and ellagic tannins in particular, ensures that the oxygen exchange from the outside is trapped by these powerful antioxydants.
BRUT and BRUT NATURE
We have made the Enoteca in accordance with both the Brut and Brut Nature classifications, as a respectful homage to these two different styles. One style for those who like to discover the personality of the land and its surroundings in each glass – brut nature - and the other style for those who believe that sparkling wine is the best way to please the senses – brut -. The brut includes Gramona’s exclusive dosage, which has solera wines at its base, giving it our unique family signature.
THE VINTAGE CELLAR
We have bottles of sparkling wine that we have been ageing since 1930. Bottles from more than 40 different vintages which are not for sale. As we were sorting through our precious treasure, we had the idea for the Enoteca which is available today.
The current vintage of the Enoteca on offer is the 2002; however some earlier vintages may be available, in small quantities, starting from the 1997. Each of these limited editions is numbered and carefully labelled by hand. The time of aging with yeasts is reflected in the label of these bottles with a number that informs of the years of this biological aging.
Year: hot and wet Date of harvest: 6 September Number of bottles: 40 Annual temperature: 15,55 ºC Rainfall: 673,8 mm
Tasting notes. Clarity, purity and precision, this wine is the essence of its original form that exudes finesse. It shows a pronounced marine-like character, giving the impression of a metallic salinity, verticality and tension on the palate. Surprisingly young, its pronounced acidity suggests a cellaring potential difficult to determine. This vintage was the first harvest to be brought forward, preserving the freshness that we find in the wine today.
The 1997 harvest was the earliest in the history of ...Read morethe Cava Regulatory Body, at the time. There was heavy rainfall between September and October. Although, in the period from April to October, there had been very little rainfall compared to the 20-year average. This resulted in lower volume and a finer balance. Hide
ENOTECA GRAMONA 1998
Year: mild Date of harvest: 1 September Number of bottles: 150 Annual temperature: 15,77 ºC Rainfall: 439,7 mm
Tasting notes. Serenity and complexity. The passage of time, the essential wisdom of the ageing process, shows itself in this wine’s roasted and autolytic character. It is resplendent on the palate, with a solid structure and well-honed acidity, and lingers endlessly with a long, pleasant persistence.
Very good quality, but much lower volume ...Read more(around 20% lower than last year). The region was hit by hail in May, resulting in a drop in production. The weather conditions remained good throughout the year, which led to a harvest of perfectly healthy grapes with a good balance of degree and acidity. Harvesting started earlier than usual, as it has in the past few years. Hide
ENOTECA GRAMONA 1999
Year: hot and dry FDate of harvest: 26 August Number of bottles: 131 Annual temperature: 15,37 ºC Rainfall: 388 mm
Tasting notes. Maturity and charisma. This wine shows intensity and good definition. Its well-built body contrasts with a velvety texture. Both these sensations show a beautiful harmony. Round and vinous yet very fresh. This vintage illustrates the nobility of the fruit, showcased by the experience of the winemaker.
A few attacks of powdery mildew were localized and controlled in the spring. ...Read moreIt was a very early harvest due to high temperatures and a lack of rain in August. The little rainfall that there was, was concentrated in the month of September, during which there was even a hailstorm that mainly impacted the Macabeo; the Xarel•lo, due to its thicker skin, was less affected. This made hand picking and selection on the sorting table even more important than usual. Hide
ENOTECA GRAMONA 2000
Year: mild Date of harvest:31 August Annual temperature: 15,5 ºC Rainfall: 479,2 mm
Tasting notes. Generous and hearty. This wine offers us a wide array of sensations. Well-structured and inviting on a palate which combines maturity and precision. This vintage produced a wine with concentration and depth.
The heat, drought and lack of water reserves (after a similarly dry 1999 ...Read moreresulted in 15% less production, mainly caused by fruit set problems. On the upside, the high temperatures and the relatively low humidity facilitated the work in the vineyards, which were in excellent condition. Hide
ENOTECA GRAMONA 2001
Year: hot and dry Date of harvest: 30 August Annual temperature: 15,3 ºC Rainfall: 370,7 mm
Tasting notes. Voluptuous and intense. This wine has a rich, complex sensory profile, it is corpulent and shows a pronounced varietal character on the palate – it is the pure expression of Xarel.lo. Due to its freshness and verticality, this wine lingers endlessly on the palate. This was a year of extremes that blend together in a delicate balance of insolent elegance.
2001 was a harvest of extremes that resulted in a drastic drop in production ...Read more3,500 hectares in the Penedés region were hit by frost in April. Meanwhile, the ongoing drought was of concern: in the first week of September there were under 100 lts./m2 (usually at that time, there are more than 400 lts./m2). The water stress suffered by the vine resulted in very small, high-grade berries (+1% Vol.). The grapes were in excellent condition, which made the work easier. As the harvest was 15 days earlier than usual, we were able to offset the total acidity and the concentration of sugars. Hide
ENOTECA GRAMONA 2002
Year: cold and wet Date of harvest: 1 September Annual temperature: 15 ºC Rainfall: 744 mm
Restrained and subtle.
This wine, of noble and elegant character, stands out for its freshness, purity and austerity. Its mouthfeel alternates between a fine creaminess and tautness, coming together in a delicate balance and resulting in a vintage of great refinement, which reflects the challenges faced in vineyards.
The warmer months of June and July brought heavy rains that ...Read morelled to an increase in relative humidity, resulting in very localized outbreaks of disease, so we had to step up the work in the vineyards. Heavy rain in August was another big challenge which demanded extra work. This is when human intervention is all the more important; careful picking by hand in the vineyards and a second selection on the sorting table. This was the first harvest to go through the new Celler Batlle facilities. Hide
An accolade from friends and opinion leaders
We consider Enoteca Gramona to be a fruit not only of the experience of five generations of a family dedicated to sparkling wine, but also as a result of the strength that have given us accolades from friends and opinion leaders who have believed in the ability to reap and in the possibility of excellence of our sparkling wines, and that we briefly mention in a modest homage:
Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, Néstor Luján, Alfred Rexach, Betónica, Isabel Mijares, Bartolomé Sanchez, Custodio López Zamarra, l'Isidre, Michel Bettane, Juancho Asenjo, Agustí Peris, Alfred Peris, David Molina, Ferran Centelles, Javier Oliveira, Adolfo Gomez, Montse Alonso, Federico Oldenburg, Andrew Jefford, Eric Asimov, Will Lyons, José Peñín, Victor de la Serna, Tom Stevenson, Luis Garcia de la Navarra, Robert Parker, Jose Luis Casado, Antonio Casado, los Asturianos, Gila, Ángel, Juan Carlos Navares (Pipo), Juan Fernández Cuesta, el Gato,...
All of them and many more, some almost anonymous, have written or pushed with their opinion to dare to seek the excellence of Enoteca. The search for the "Holy Grail" of the Sparkling wines made in Penedès.
'a bad day…luckily I have a box of III Lustros under the bed'
Manuel Vázquez Montalbán
‘The Cava that I would have in my private storage cellar’
‘Gramona is more sumptuous and refined that I ever dreamed a cava could be...’
Andrew Jefford, Decanter
‘It might have taken 130 years, but on this evidence -the tasting of Gramona - , it seems that some cava producers have finally earned a place on the top table of Sparkling wine.’
Will Lyons, Wall Street Journal
‘Gramona, the before and after of cava.’
Eric Assimov, New York Times
‘Gramona, the Aristocracy of Wine.’
Alfred Rexach, La Vanguardia
‘Don’t stop doing what you do, the only top sparkling with a different grape ...’
‘Cava in the Olympus. Gramona caused a sensation when tasted alongside the most prestigious Champagnes.’
Federico Oldenburg, Fuera de Serie (Expansión)
‘Gramona reaches the greatest expression of the best champagnes.’
‘Let us consider what is unquestionably the most impressive portfolio of cavas that money can buy.’
Neil Martin, The Wine Advocate-Parker
‘With its elegance and character it can compete with the best champagne’
Federico Oldenburg, Fuera de Serie (Expansión)
‘Gramona is by far the finest cava around, and belongs among the greatest sparkling wines of the world.’
Tom Stevenson and Essi Abellan, The World Encyclopedia of Champagne and Sparkling Wine
2018 - Enoteca Gramona reaffirms once again the positioning of the top cavas reaching the ‘Olympus of the Peñín Guide’. In its latest edition, that of 2018, two of its vintages, 1997 and 2002, chosen as Best Cava with 98 points, being the highest punctuation given in this edition. Bothe vintages are described by the guide as cavas ‘blessed by a wide range of registers [...], all surrounded by a very long and fine bubble and with a structured finish’.
2017 - In the last edition, Enoteca 2001 was awarded as the Best Cava and Best Wine in Spain, which was considered by the guide itself as ‘[...] a historic event of great significance, for opening a new path in the development of the appellation that supports the most sophisticated elaborations [...]’, since for the first time in the history of Spanish wine, a sparkling wine is chosen as the best Guide of wines. Enoteca Gramona gets 99 points, only granted five times in the 27 years of history of the most widespread and translated Guide of wines of Spain.
Best Cava 2015 (1997), 2016 (2001) and 2017 (2002) (tied), following a rigorous blind tasting. Enoteca Gramona was considered by the publication to be ‘a world-class sparkling wine, of great subtlety’.
One of the most respected magazines in the UK organized the first blind tasing of the “Finest Cavas” to be held in the UK, with the participation of three highly experienced tasters: Andreas Larsson (World’s Best Sommelier 2007), Andrew Jefford (wine writer at Decanter and internationally recognized critic) and Jesús Barquín (sherry expert). The highest scorer was Enoteca 1997, followed by Enoteca 2001.
After trying the Enotecas from Gramona, respected wine expert, Federico Oldenburg, said, ‘they are sumptuous wines, which have set their sights very high: to compete in the Champions League of sparkling wines on equal terms with the great Champagnes, He also stated that Enotecas are high-flying cavas, which will appeal to even the most devoted champagne fans’.
Enoteca 2002 Brut Nature, Best Sparkling Wine by the Vins de Catalunya Guide 2018. With this distinction, Enoteca consolidates its recognition in this guide since it was already chosen Best Sparkling Wine of the year in 2015 and Best Wine of the Guide in 2013, among all categories.
In rigorous blind tasting, this heterogeneous group of experts consider Gramona, for 17 years, the Best Cava. In its latest edition in 2018, Enoteca 2001 enters in the club of +99 as the Best Sparkling Wine and is ranked among the best rated wines of the guide in its history. In this same edition, the 2002 vintage also obtains 98 points.
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