Wednesday, December 14, 2011

7 medals in Millésime Bio


Our cellar achieved 7 medals in one of the two most recognised international competitions for ecological wines in the world, with 834 wines evaluated.
What gives it more merit is that in this edition no other cellar from the 10 countries that presented samples has obtained 3 gold medals in this competition.
Specifically, the three gold awards are for our wines SYRAH COL•LECCIÓ 2008, Lignum NEGRE 2009 and TEMPRANILLO CLÀSSIC 2010, which we can consider as a very good result and even more so taking the SILVER medal into account for the CHARDONNAY COL•LECCIÓ 2010 and the two BRONZE for BLANC XXV 2010 and CAVA BRUT NATURE Gran Reserva 2008.

Only one other Catalan cellar has obtained a bronze medal in this competition, the cellar "ALTA Alella" from the Alella DO, with its CAVA NU.

The awards ceremony will be held during the Millésime-BIO fair that will take place on the 23rd, 24th and 25th of January 2012 in the Montpellier Exhibition Centre (France)

Dry stone wall-making course

On the 12th and 13th of December our cellar organises in the Can Milá de la Roca estate, in Lavern (Subirats), a short, intensive, 16 hour course limited to 20 people, given by two Majorcan professionals, on how to learn to make dry stone walls.

The area of "Costers del Ordal", where Albet i Noya has most of its vineyards, is one of the most abrupt vine regions and one with the most dry stone walls in Catalonia, which, through the years, have become deteriorated due to abandonment and because they haven’t been properly maintained.

The dry stone wall maker trade has nearly been lost in our region and the techniques on how to make dry stone walls have been forgotten.

In order to recuperate this heritage, Albet i Noya has decided to bring two wall makers from the Majorcan school, which is one of the schools that has made more contributions to recuperating and dignifying this work.

The unequalled landscape of "Costers del Ordal", with its characteristic terraces of dry stone alternating with terraces of vines and forest, cutting out the upward slopes towards the Ordal summits, which are the natural Penedès frontier with Barcelona to the south.

According to Josep M. Albet, technical director of the cellar "learning the building techniques with dry stone is the first step in recuperating an historic heritage that forms part of a landscape that is carstic and hard, but unequalled, and in the future could become considered as world heritage by UNESCO ".

Monday, December 12, 2011

Albet i Noya working for “La Marató” ( TV fund raising programme)

From Monday the 12th to Sunday the 18th Albet i Noya will make the most supportive cellar visits.

All the income received during this week from visitors and shop customers will go to the TV 3 Fundación La Marató, which is raising funds this year for the regeneration and transplant of organs and tissues.

Also this year we will use the resources that were usually earmarked for Christmas gifts to help other solidarity causes, Clowns without Frontiers and the damages caused by the earthquake in Japan. Albet i Noya will make this known through its traditional Christmas card sent out to all of its friends, clients and suppliers.

The D.O Penedès is promoted with a new ad

The Penedès Denomination of Origin is placing a heavy and clear bet on promoting its wines and territory.

On this occasion the protagonists are from the region itself, like a farmer and a producer, to materialise the passion for Penedès.

The campaign conveys clear messages, the origin through the vine, the careful elaboration through the cellar and the nearness to the end consumer through the sommelier.


Albet i Noya stands out in the Peñin Guide


Specifically they are; Reserva Martí best score at 93 points, followed by the Syrah Colecció and the Belat with 92, the Finca La Milana and the Blanc XXV with 91 points and the 3 Macabeus, El Fanio, and the Tempranillo Clàssic, with 90 points. The last three and the Petit Albet Blanc the "Guía Peñín 2012" also classifies them as excellent regarding the PRICE-QUALITY RATIO, giving each one 5 stars (the maximum in the category), this being one of the most important and decisive factors nowadays when end consumers make their purchases.

Albet i Noya is on the ranking podium with a 2010 wine classified as very good according to the critic. But it was a costly year in economic and human terms due to the weather at the end of August last year, although it has finally been rewarded with good scores and sales during 2011.

Regarding the cavas, Albet i Noya also placed 3 cavas with more than 90 points, and they are; the Brut 21 with 90 points, the Brut 21 Barrica Gran Reserva 2006 with 91 points and the Brut Nature Gran Reserva 2007 with 92 points, which also confirms this cellar as one of the most outstanding in the guide.

We should also point out that this last edition has seen the tasting of more wines in the whole history of the guide, with a total of 9.800 wines.

Reserva Martí the only Catalan wine in the "1000 vins du monde"

An exceptional wine by Albet i Noya that has achieved 25 Gold medals already with the 8 vintages that have reached the market, has been the only Penedès and Catalan wine referred to in this well-known French guide, also mentioning it as one of the most outstanding and granting it a gold medal.

The guide "1000 vinos du monde" is elaborated and edited in tasting qualifications in the VINALIES competition including, not only those that obtained medals, but also those that they consider to have a remarkable quality and can therefore be in the top 1000 best wines in the world and, therefore, have obtained the best scores.

In the last edition of the Internacional Vinalies 2011 competition, the RESERVA MARTÍ 2006 received a Gold medal, which confirms the other 6 that this vintage has received in different competitions in Germany, Switzerland, Spain and also in DO Penedès itself where in this 2011 it was considered to be the best red wine with crianza by the Regulatory Council and the Tastavins Academy.

Nicolas Joly and J.M Albet meet again in Penedès

On the 7th of November there was a bio-dynamic viticulture day in Penedés that was run by the great maestro in this speciality, Nicolas Joly, and Josep Maria Albet attended, in the front row, to meet up with him again and share opinions.

A total of 60 viticulturists attended, the majority from Penedés, who were very interested in the explanations and talks given by Nicolas Joly, as an outstanding figure in this subject and a pioneer in this way of working the vines and elaborating wines. His vineyards in Loira, cultivated under this technique since 1980, produce the well-known wine called "Clos de la Coule du Serrat".

The order of the day was divided into 4 sessions, in which they spoke about the effect of bio-dynamics in rediscovering the vine as a living being and transmitter of the homeland values of the wines, and about the influence of the celestial bodies in the solar system in connection with the different conditions of the vine and the work to be carried out.

Albet i Noya has been applying this technique for three years now in the vineyard El Fanio, within the Can Milá de la Roca estate, cultivated since 2004 by the Albet i Noya brothers. In this vineyard the Cabernet Sauvignon, the Garnacha Blanca, the Vidal and especially the Xarel•lo are cultivated and worked according to the different practices of bio-dynamics, to try out these techniques from the scientific angle and to be able to understand and explain these techniques in the future to those who want to learn from up-to-date concepts.

The next day Josep Maria Albet went with Nicolas Joly to the Montserrat monastery as the French expert was very curious about visiting this place and the sacred mountain, considering to be an interesting energy point, one of the few in the world, which makes it especially important for the bio-dynamics that work with subtle energies.

Albet i Noya in New York City

Along with the Catalan Viniculture Association and 30 other Catalan cellars, Albet i Noya participated in the sessions in New York to promote a selection of the best wines from our country.

Amongst the events organised during this two-day Showroom we would highlight the Master Class given by the prestigious sommelier Josep Roca, co-owner of the Celler de Can Roca restaurant. In this session, exclusively aimed at American sommeliers, Josep Roca chose a total of 21 wines and cavas that are present in the American market to explain their virtues. Amongst the Albet i Noya wines La Milana 2006 was chosen for this event.

Also, in the Metropolitan Pavilion Gallery, the 31 participating cellars exhibited and offered tasting to the exclusively professional public; restaurant owners, sommeliers, hotel chains, shops and specialised press.

The Wine Session in New York was preceded by an important event on the 8th of November, the press dinner. This meeting was held in the Mercat restaurant, run by the Catalan Jaume Reixach. A total of 12 wines from unique and exceptional vintages were tasted, amongst which was one of our cellar’s most characteristic, the Xarel•lo Clàssic. These 12 wines were personally chosen by Josep Roca and were married with 12 dishes that were specially made for the occasion under the supervision of the El Celler de Can Roca chef.

Amongst the journalist present we would point out the presence of Jay Miller, from the Robert Parker Guide, and Antoni Bassas, the American correspondent for TV3.

Ecoracimos grants the highest distinction to Reserva Martí

The Reserva Martí has received the special award in the latest edition of the Cata-Concurso Internacional de Vinos Ecológicos Ecoracimos 2011, ( Competition for ecological wines) as well as a gold medal.

The first reserve wine and coupage from the estate has received a score of 96.4 , which means a Ecoracimos gold and also the highest recognition given by the Cordoba County Council.

The tasting that was held in the Castle of the Gran Capitán en Montilla, was presided by a specialised jury made up of Spanish wine tasters and others from other Community countries like France, Portugal, Italy and Greece.

In the XII edition 5 cellars have been awarded with gold Medals and a total of 98 have competed coming from nearly all of the Peninsula, from Valencia 22%, Navarra 19%, Andalusia 12%, Catalonia 11%, Castilla y la Mancha 11%, La Rioja 8%, Balearic Islands 6%, Aragón 4%, Basque Country 2% and Extremadura 1%. There were also samples from French regions.

Reserva Martí'07 amongst the best wines in Spain

Last week the Peñin Guide 2012 Best Wines of Spain Show was held in the Madrid Congress Centre, a showroom organised by the Peñin Guide for professionals and amateurs, where the highest scoring wines, given by this prestigious guide through the critic José Peñin, are exhibited and tasted.

The Reserva Martí scored 93 points in the 2012 edition of this guide, it was one of the wines present, along with 5 other cellars, from Penedès. This fact denotes an important qualitative leap that our D.O. wines have recently taken, making them the most representative of Catalan Denomination of Origin in this show.

In full wine harvest

According to our cellar, on the 8th of September we had harvested 40% of the grapes that will enter in Albet i Noya ;Approximately 480.000kg of the 1.200.000 that will be collected in total.

The varieties that have already been collected and vinified in Can Vendrell are: Macabeo, Chardonnay,Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, MarinaRión, Vidal, Pinot Noir and Merlot.

Josep Maria Albet calculates that the collecting will probably finish at the end of September, due to the high temperatures expected at the end of the month, which will make the grape forward its ripening.

From what we have seen up till now we can say that we have had perfect ripening, a good acidity in the whites and very healthy grapes.
If the rain in the last few days has been good to refresh and calm the ripening, now we would like it not to rain any more and have a good finish to the harvest...and celebrate it with all the team like every year.

Have a good harvest!

Josep Maria Albet, new president of the D.O. Penedès

The co-owner and technical director of our cellar has become the new president of the Regulatory Council of the Penedès Denomination of Origin.

Amongst other aims, Josep Maria Albet, wants to build up Penedès with different promotional events for the Xarel·lo, for example its marriage with the Delta del Ebro oysters. A very strong campaign that would join the Delta del Ebro with Barcelona and would make these regions become well-known and favour the Costa Dorada restaurant sector, the whole sector that elaborates Xarel·lo in Penedès and the oyster producers of the Delta del Ebro, in a very positive way.

To this end much more of the budget and resources will go to promoting Penedès, in such a way that companies perceive a return on the investment made in the D.O.

Additionally, the subject of the sub-areas will also be one of the aims that Josep Maria would like to reach during his mandate. According to Albet, this is one aspect that enriches the Penedès exposition a lot, it will give it content, gaining in consumer quality perception. "These natural sub-areas that are already in Garraf, Costers del Ordal, Penedès Central, Cordillera Interior, + 500 (in reference to the areas over 500 meters high in the Pla de Manlleu (Aiguamúrcia) and the neighbouring municipalities of Querol and Joncosa el Montmell), can be new sub-areas, although we still have to study the land map well before taking decisions. We are talking about drawing up natural areas, not inventing them".

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Josep Maria Albet, new president of the D.O. Penedès

The co-owner and technical director of our cellar has been appointed the new president of the Regulatory Council of the D.O. Penedès.

Among other objectives, Josep Maria Albet wants to build up the reputation of the Penedès with various activities promoting the Xarel·lo variety, such as its pairing with oysters from the Ebro Delta. A powerful campaign that would unite the Ebro Delta with Barcelona and would publicize these regions would contribute very positively to the restaurants of the Costa Daurada, the whole sector producing xarel·lo-based wines in the Penedès and oyster producers from the Ebro Delta.

In this respect he also wants to allocate more resources to the promotion of the Penedès, so that companies notice a return on their investment in the D.O.'s activities.

Josep Maria would also like to establish a series of sub-zones during his tenure. He considers that this is something that would enrich the very idea of the Penedès, enhancing the perception of quality by consumers. "These naturally existing areas like the Garraf, the Ordal hills, the Coastal regions, Central Penedès, the Interior mountains and +500 (in reference to areas over 500 meters of Pla de Manlleu (Aiguamúrcia) and neighboring Querol and la Joncosa de Montmell) could make up new sub-zones, although we must study the soil maps before making decisions. It is about delimiting natural areas, not inventing them ourselves."

Monday, April 18, 2011

And before going on holiday...we add a few more medals

2 Gold medals, 4 Silver medals and 3 Bronze, awards gained in the last edition of the Estella Navarra Ecological Wine Competition.
In total 9 wines from our cellar were given awards:

Syrah Col·lecció-Gold

Chardonnay Col·lecció-Gold

Xarel·lo Clàssic-Silver

Petit Albet Cava-Silver

Lignum Blanc-Silver

Reserva Martí-Silver

Finca la Milana-Bronze

Tempranillo Clàssic-Bronze

Rosat Clàssic-Bronze

And from Germany, three more awards arrived from the Berliner Competition.
On this occasion the awards have been for three wines that are exclusively produced for exportation and that are very well accepted in the German market:

Vinya Laia Negre-Gold

Cava Espriu-Gold

San Domingo Carmín-Silver

And finally, the Giroví awards, in which 3 of the 4 wines we presented were given Bronze medals, the Chardonnay Col·lecció, the Milana and the Reserva Martí.

New Image for the Classic

The new 2010 Albet i Noya Clàssic, comes out with a new image for these three wines: Xarel·lo for whites, Pinot Noir for rosés and Tempranillo for reds.

This range now has a more colourful and modern label. The label for the "clàssic " has stopped being so traditional and has taken on more up-to-date, avant-garde lines.

Undoubtedly, the image stands out for its clarity in having substituted the cypresses with small feathers, for a "Gerard Medina" watercolour and its pastel but bright colours, colours that subliminally identify the product inside very well.

For the Xarel·lo Clàssic, the dominant colour is green with hints of yellows that aim to express a young white wine, fresh, aromatic, with hints of white almond tree flowers, green apple, tasting of comfits and apple, being the genuine expression of Xarel·lo when it is made into wine and consumed as a young wine and, if consumed in its second, third or even fourth year, it evolves towards more complex notes, acquiring volume in the mouth and expressing the minerals of the calcareous lands of Costers de Ordal, the area where Xarel·lo offers its maximum expression.

The pinkish cypresses of the Pinot Noir Merlot Clàssic identify a fruity rosé wine with hints on the nose of red fruits like currants, berries, strawberries or cherries, which are the body of this great 2010 rosé wine.

The Tempranillo label is very much related to the colour of this wine in the glass, Tempranillo has those dark reds, high tonality, (especially when it is young) nearly fuchsia and even in the glass makes a bit of a violet crown, denoting the fruitiness on the nose where we find the clear signs of berries and liquorice as well as cherry comfit and, in the mouth, the silkiness we find seems like the same texture as the paper the label is made of.

The change has been made following the line that the labels had in previous years so that the public can easily identify the wines, but we wanted to call their attention and make the labels more attractive for young people who are starting out in the world of wines, looking for wines that easily express themselves, visually as well as in the tasting sensations and with a good price-quality relationship.

Therefore, 2010 is expected to be excellent for these new classics too, classics with a total air of quality that bet on modernity and youth for its wines as well as its public.

Awarded by the Ministry of the Environment

This is now the second official recognition for our cellar that currently produces more than 1.200.000 bottles, exporting 85% of the production to 23 countries and selling the remaining 15% in Catalonia, our second country in sales volume.

Undoubtedly, the 33 years experience in the ecological wine and cava sector and the philosophy implanted by Josep Maria Albet from 1978, continue permeating in our company: " we are very self-demanding and also with our viticulturists as, apart from the fact that the grape must be ecological, it is essential that it is of the highest quality, the only way to make great wines and paying the best prices in the whole Penedès."

With this award the Ministry distinguishes all the sectors that take part in the food chain and that spread the excellent work being carried out by professionals and entities that participate in the process in some way.

Apart from Albet i Noya, in this edition, only one other Catalan company will receive an Award for Agrarian Production, and that is Embutidos Salgot de Vic, which started a year ago producing ecological pork meats from pigs raised on its own farm.
The award ceremony and where it will be held have still to be announced.

Biochar, a new treatment for our vineyards

Albet i Noya continues its in depth research into high level ecological viniculture and it now treats its vines with a preparation based on charcoal coming from wood and all types of organic materials, thanks to a process called "pyrolysis", with which they themselves later make into a compost with manure from ecological cows and therefore avoid antibiotic residues that greatly reduce manure’s microbial activity.

This type of charcoal, also called BIOCHAR, is made with a continuous process machine that transforms any type of organic material into coal, meaning that the CO2 stored in wood is blocked in the soil for 300 years whereas, applying wood directly to the subsoil, the return cycle of CO2 to the atmosphere is just 10 years, therefore producing C02 storage that reduces the CO2 emission levels in crops and wine production, which, according to Josep Maria Albet::" With this new technique we can achieve emission levels of 0 and we believe that it could even generate rights to surplus CO2 that could even be sold to reduce emissions caused by other activities.”

It should be remembered that a gram of coal has a surface area of 300 m2 spread over fine layers full of micro capsules that, once composted with manure, store a large quantity of micro organisms that significantly increase the biological activity of the soil and therefore its fertility.

Historically, this coal was used by some Amazon tribes that made coal bunkers with the vegetable materials from the forests that they cleared to create cultivation areas in poor soil fertilised with this coal.

This has been the missing link to confirm the existence of large numbers of people who lived in tribes and on lands where they doubted whether the poor soil could provide them with alimentation.

Biofach Awards

Albet i Noya returns from Germany with three more awards under its arm.

On February 16th Josep Jové, our Export Director, collected the three silver medals that were awarded to the following wines: Finca la Milana 2006,Chardonnay Col·lecció 2009, and Can Milà de la Roca, a special wine elaborated for the German market.

The award ceremony was held during the Biofach Fair, which is held in Nuremberg every year.

Josep Maria Albet highlighted that the Fair is "a very important meeting point for ecological wines given that it is one of the first fairs on a European scale and even at world level and even though there are other sectors apart from wines."

Jay Miller visits Albet i Noya

Jay Miller, the Robert Parker Spanish wine critic, comes to Penedès.

Taking advantage of his stay in the region to taste wines and cavas in situ, Miller came to our cellars to get to know the estate better and the different wines and cavas that we make here.

Josep Maria Albet welcomed him and they visited the vineyards and extensively tasted the various products that can be found in the North American market and the experimental varieties that are only produced by Albet i Noya.

Miller’s visit was organised by Incavi (Catalan Wine Institute)), with the aim of getting to know Catalan wines and their denominations of origin in the territory itself. Pancho Campo, the State’s First Master of Wine was in charge of coordinating the visit and accompanying the famous writer of Wine Advocate.

Award ceremony for the best three restaurants in the 4th Gastronomic Season of the Ordal Peach.

The gastronomy journalist and singer, Pere Tapies, as a member of the jury, was in charge of explaining the tasting and selection process for the best marriages in this 4th Gastronomic Season of the Ordal Peach, which took place on Monday 20th December in the plenary room of the Subirats Town Hall, (St.Pau d'Ordal).

From the 21 restaurants from the D.O Penedès region that participated this year, those that made the best marriage with a dish based on the Ordal peach and our sweet wine "Dolç les Timbes", were, in first place: the restaurant Cal Xim from St.Pau d'Ordal, in second place Cal Recolons from St.Martí Sarroca and in third place, Gat Blau from Vilafranca.

The winners received a sculpture of the letter "V", made of forged iron, that corresponds to the “Republic of letters” collection by the sculptor Josep Massana. These three dimensional letters will be awarded every year in the next editions of the Peach Season until the words: vino y melocotón (wine and peach) are completed.

Pere Tàpies gave the First Prize to Santi Amigó, owner of Cal Xim. Josep Ribas, Director of D.O Penedès, gave the Second Prize to Remei Recolons, from the restaurant in Sant Martí and Josep Maria Albet, representing Albet i Noya and as promoters and sponsors of the event, gave the Third Prize to Olga Guasch, manager of Gat Blau.

The lottery was also held to give a prize to three couples who tasted the marriage between Ordal Peach and Dolç les Timbes, which consisted in spending a day in Penedès with a guided visit to Albet i Noya plus a lot of three wines, lunch in one of the winning restaurants and a cultural visit in Penedès. Two raffles tickets named the Restaurante Gat Blau and the third the Restaurante Ca l'Agustí from Sant Martí.

The Gastronomic Season of the Ordal Peach started in 2007, through the initiative of Albet i Noya, with the aim of creating a gastronomic offer in Penedès, adding value to these autochthonous, nearby and exceptional quality products like the Ordal peach and the Dolç les Timbes wine.

Pere Guilera, President of the Subirats Tourist Board, representatives from the Town Hall and Ordal Peach Producers who participated in promoting this initiative, also attended the awards ceremony.

The Peach Season proposal was highly rated by all who assisted; restaurant owners, producers, promoters and the authorities, as it is a way of creating synergies between different agents to provide added value to all the agents, not just one municipality, but the whole Penedès, so that the region becomes well-known for its autochthonous, quality products with their unique personality.

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