17-09-2012

Global Local: Jordi Viader i Soler

Favorite Wines: Cabernet Franc and Xarel·lo/White Grenache

Jordi is one of those winemakers who has seen a lot in his years behind the barrels. Starting in 2004 he’s worked in multiple Catalan cellars, New Zealand, South Africa, and now currently, Napa Valley in California. Not a bad amount of globe to have seen which is how it seems to go with these modern winemakers who travel the hemispheres making grape juice rotten and delicious.

While I had the chance to taste the Chardonnay he made in South Africa, to me, the most interesting time he’s spent at one winery has been at La Vinyeta where he’s worked alongside owner Josep Serra i Pla for the last couple of vintages that have been rock solid and allowed La Vinyeta to heavily expand and be a well-known wine brand in Catalonia. But, it’s interesting to note that he also spent several years at the ill-fated Castell de Biart which would go a long way to explain why, despite that winery closing, I liked the wines that they made a good deal.

His favored approach to winemaking seems simple in that for aging he prefers second use of larger, 300L French oak barrels for whites and a mix of new and old for reds. I say “simple” because there are those in the wine world who insist on 225L new French barrels for everything which makes for wines with little character other than that of the trees. Balancing this is an art and if you’ve tasted the wines that Jordi has been part of, you’d readily see it. We can only hope that his current work at Chimney Rock will infuse a bit of Napa with a bit of Catalonia.