Ca N'Estruc in Catalonia is an interesting example of the limits of appellation classifications. I was looking for a supplier of Xarel-lo and possibly other interesting white wines in Penedes (the wine region closest to Barcelona) and I found the wines of Ca N'Estruc to be the most interesting and expressive out of all the wineries where I tasted. But...Ca N'Estruc is technically not in Penedes as its vineyards are located about a mile north of the northern limit of the appellation. Since I'm in search of good wines, however, that doesn't make much difference to me and so from my perspective, Ca N'Estuc is my Penedes supplier.
The estate also has a very long history as it is still owned by the descendants of the original founder (who had the last name of Estruch) who first farmed on the property in 1574. Although primarily focused on viticulture and wine making at this point, throughout the estate's history it was a significant producer of grains, fruit, olives and olive oil, and livestock in the area which would be sold at the local market of Esparreguera, the nearby town.
The estate also has a spectacular setting for vineyards with a perfect south facing orientation and the dramatic mountain of Montserrat to the north which creates a great microclimate for sheltering the vineyards. The mountain protects the vineyards from cold winds from the north and moderates the overall temperatures throughout the growing season. The result is very fresh tasting and expressive wines that also benefit from the high minerality in the soils from limestone and gravel.
The mountain of Montserrat north of the estate
An older vineyard of bush vines
Myself with Francisco, the current proprietor of the estate
Ca N'Estruc Blanc 2019 (OC, NF)
This is an interesting and refreshing blend of 53% Xarel-lo, 23% Muscat, 10% Garnatxa Blanca, 8% Macabeu, and 6% Chardonnay. Aromas include white flowers, honeysuckle, white grapefruit, and kiwi. Flavors include honeydew melon, green apple, pear, and white grapefruit. There is a medium to full body, perfect balance, and acidity, and a full minerally finish with an interesting hint of bitterness.
Food pairings would include shrimp, crab, scallops, oysters, halibut, branzino, swordfish, calamari, clams, mussels, seafood pasta and salads, veal, pork, chicken, paella, risotto, Asian pork, chicken, seafood, and vegetable dishes, Thai and Vietnamese food, Mexican pork and chicken dishes, sauteed vegetables, green salads, and medium to creamy cheeses.
Xarel-lo 2019 (OC, NF)
Aromas include Meyer Lemon, citrus blossom, honeysuckle, white grapefruit, and narcissus. Flavors include ripe honeydew melon, white peaches, pears, and kiwi. There is a medium body, good balance and acidity, and a refreshing minerally finish.
Food pairings would include crab, shrimp, sole, clams, calamari, seafood soups, pasta, and salads, veal, pork, chicken, tapas, Asian pork, chicken, vegetable, and noodle dishes, creamy Mexican food, pork and chicken enchiladas and tamales, chile verde, creamy pasta dishes, vegetable casseroles, quiche, salads, and mild, medium, and creamy cheeses.
L'Equilibrista 2015 (OC, NF)
This Reserva is a blend of 55% Garnatxa, 30% Syrah, and 15% Samso (Carinenya). Aromas include a range of dark fruits including blackberries, boysenberries, blueberries, and dark cherries along with hints of strawberries and nectarines. Flavors include blackberries, blueberries, and dark cherries. There is an elegant medium body, perfect balance and acidity, and a long lingering finish.
Food pairings would include Filet Mignon, New York Steak, Rib Eye, Roast Beef, short ribs, beef stew, grilled or roasted veal, pork, and chicken, tuna, clams, mussels, paella, Asian and Mexican beef, pork, and chicken dishes, charcuterie, and rich cheeses.