A Cava tasting at Colet.


Seen from the road Caves Colet looks like a very large box of cava that fell off a truck, the sign is hanging wonky or there’s something wrong with Montserrat in the background. On closer inspection you find it’s a neat bunkerlike concrete building with a perforated metal screen acting as a wind and sun break that doubles as an imposing advertising space. It’s one of the most imaginative new buildings in Penedès and combines industrial funcionality with ground zero cunning building style. The same style you’ll sense in the bottle labeling, contents and man who makes the wine and fills them, Sergi Colet. Cavas Colet is a teeny father & son affair in signature wine and cava-making. If you’d squeeze Sergi you would get a solid Catalan gentleman but underneath the surface is the fearless ambition to do his own thing against as many odds as possible. Simply put he is olympian in his endeavours. Start with his old vine Xarel.lo, delicatly aged and softened to produce a white wine that accelerates in enjoyment as it cools, very rare indeed in terms of style or variety, our dear man on a mission is virtually giving it away. Sergi has produced one new hit a year for the last three years and his brewing skills are well recognised outside of Penedès, in places like Finland for instance. The lad is well able to clock up 120.000kms in a year going where no one else will go.
Cavas Colet also produce an aged Cabernet Sauvignon and three Cavas, A native blend brut, “Tradicional”, “Grand Cuvée”, and “Assemblage”
Tasting of traditional, new age and designer cavas

The following three Colet Cavas and 4 comparative bottles were the subject of a recent tasting at Colet’s in the company of a mildly sedated and slightly bruised corp. exec. adventure group:
Colet “Tradicional”, (traditional varieties) by Sergi
Cavas Nadal, “Salvatge” (traditional varieties) of Migel Aviñyo and Xavi Nadal
Colet, “Gran Cuvee”. Pinot Noir/Chardonnay (blanc de noir) by Sergi
Loxarel 2000” a Pinot Noir/Chardonnay (blanc de noir) “from Josep Mitjans
Colet “Assemblatge”
Querqus “Reserva de Barrica” Macabeu, from the hand of Agustí Torelló Mata,
Parés Baltà “Cuvee de Carol”, Barrel aged Chardonnay. Magda

If any of you are subject to a diet of budget Cava, get your hand on one of these and your life will take a great leap foward, you may even reduce your consumption, quality takes a lot of drinking. All of the cavas tasted left no one in doubt about the body, clarity, persistence and quality. Opinions differed on appearance and a wide variety of personal preference. The driest Traditional went from Bad guy to hero as the super select vintage of Nadal slowly released its charm. There’s no mistaking the silky gold colour of Parés Baltà’s Cuvee de Carol, it moves around the glass like fine sauce, the wood gives it a professional Sitges tan and an aroma you catch before entering the glass, I’m quite convinced a magician with long wavey hair and a rather long smooth oak wand has been at this. In the midst of this competition, the blanc de noirs suffered as their colour was an undefined, grenadine they looked out of place between the clear straw and gold. The Pinot Noir was responsible and one friend compared the problem with the same coupage from Italy, the colour and flavour oxidise slightly too early. I know these wines, and on their own they have awed and refreshed me. “Querqus” astounded for its colour, depth and intensly original flavour, the result of its awesome creation, employing old vine Macabeu from three different subzones of Penedès. It’s a blind tasting but you always taste from the left to the right and that immediately turns the affair into a love /hate train of experience. Lots of ouch! I’m not sure about “that” until everyone had completely or almost finished all their glasses and agreed all was very well in Penedès…At which point all company present rose and dove out the door into the early evening and speed off to the airport in a convoy of snappy new 4x4s. An effort/appreciation kinda thing maybe. Their guides “Poco Loco Adventures” were dry and driving.

That road from Barcelona.
Anne King and Dick Edelstein have between them clocked up more kms than the entire readership of this paper in a lifetime. They’re the ones who rekindled my interest in cycling (I used to pass traffic in the middle lane of Balmes in ’89 on a parish priest's black Humber). They have repeatedly come out of the Centre of the city and arrived in Torrelles de Foix on the far side of Penedès for lunch, over which they would describe their journey with a Winnebeger and bikes diagonally across the States.
Styles of biking have changed radically since ’89 Garraf is begging for Mountain bikers all the way to the Park de Foix and Castellet / route round Penedès

Can Bicleta accommodation
The hospital at Bonesvalles
Antique restorer English/Catalan 18th Century comodes, French polishing
Can Rafols de las Caus, your first sight of Montserrat