ALBET I NOYA | The Art Of Mastering Organic Winemaking
In 1972, Josep Maria, 4th generation of the Albet family, began to introduce organic farming methods after officially acquiring the property his ancestors so lovingly cared for over the years. The winery released their first organic wine in 1979 and it’s overwhelming success led Albet i Noya to completely transition the winery. They quickly established themselves as Spain’s leading organic producer, certified by the Spanish organization CCPAE, (Consell Català de la Producció Agrària Ecològica) an organization appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Eighty hectares of the 145 hectare estate are planted to several different native and international red and white grape varietals. The vines benefit from western exposures as they are flooded by the midday sun. The high altitudes of the stepped terraces provide some relief from high temperatures. Clay and sand lie on a bed of calcareous stone, a permeable base with good moisture retention, a key factor considering the lower than average rainfalls. All grapes are harvested by hand at the peak of ripeness.
Albet i Noya achieves the perfect balance of tradition and innovation in the cellar. The original cellar was built in 1925 and continues to see the principle vinifications processes. A temperature-controlled barrel room, warehouse, and bottling line were built in 2004. An additional gravity-based cellar was added in 2010 to produce Albet i Noya’s top wines. Constant modernizations to each allow the winery to boast all the latest state-of-the-art equipment.
In addition to being certified organic, the still wines are fined without the use of egg white, rendering them a vegan-friendly option.
Organic wine is largely wine from organically grown grapes, but the regulations primarily limit the quantity of sulphur dioxide that can be used, approximately half the levels permitted in a conventional cellar. This means that the Can Vendrell cellar is required to maintain a level of hygiene far superior to that of a conventional cellar. Nonetheless, once more we can see that the key to making great wines lies in the quality of the raw materials: the grapes.
By working only with grapes in optimum sanitary conditions, Albet i Noya are able to work largely without using SO2. We use autochthonous yeasts from the Albet i Noya vineyards, selected from the Xarel·lo variety and we are working on the selection of other yeasts for the remaining varieties.
The fermenting vats have an inert gas system (a mix of nitrogen and CO2) to prevent potential alterations in the wine. Once again, the emphasis is on prevention rather than cure: as the wine cannot be chemically corrected, the hygiene of the cellar is key to avoiding disappointments. The cellar equipment is cleaned using high pressure hot water (up to 90°C) instead of chemical products.
OUR FAVOURITE WINE – RESERVA MARTÍ 2009
This wine from the oldest and most beautiful part of the estate is meant to represent the peak of winemaking abilities at Albet i Noya. Sourced from estate owned single-vineyards that are comprised of each individual grape used in the final blend. Vines nearly 40 years of age, tiny yields, certified organic farming, and non-interventionist winemaking create a truly special bottle. Drink immediately when decanted and over the next 15-20 years. The color is a dark red, almost sanguine. Aromas of fresh black fruits, with a mixture of oak, vanilla, and spice make up the bouquet. The palate shows pepper, blueberry, cinnamon and bramble that leads to a smooth-textured, lengthy finish with all components perfectly integrated. Pairs well with grilled meats, wild game, sharp cheeses, and chocolate.