23-09-2016

Jean Leon – 3055 Merlot/Petit Verdot 2015

One of the wineries high on my list to visit in Catalonia is that of Jean Leon. Being that it’s in DO Penedès, it’s a touch out of the way for just casually stopping in, but at some point, I really need to as to me, it’s something a grand curiosity. For one thing, Jean Leon is home to what are currently the only Vi de Finca wines in Penedès. This is interesting on several fronts. For starters, there just aren’t that many Vi de Finca wines in Catalonia and yet, they’ve classified four of the eight at their estate: La Scala, Gigi, Le Havre, & Palau. Beyond that, none of them are native Catalan varieties which often makes for bleah, but what I’ve tasted with these wines has generally surprised me.

Nowadays, the winery is owned by mega-cellar, Torres but it was started by a fellow named Jean Leon, a Spaniard whose original name was Ceferino Carrión but which he changed after he immigrated to the US. He proceeded to hob knob with Hollywood’s legends in the 1950s and opened a restaurant called La Scala before coming back to Spain and starting this winery in the early 1960s. The story is touch more complex than that, but it will have to wait for another time.

Given that the estate is quite large at 70ha, they also produce some additional wines under the “3055” label which was the number of Jean Leon’s taxi when he first landed in the US and worked as a driver in NYC. And it’s this line which is where the wine below comes from. It’s a surprisingly versatile bottle and offers up good value for the price as well as the ability to age.

3055 Merlot/Petit Verdot 2015
Touch leafy, plum notes, black pepper, full in the mouth with rounder plum notes and a medium finish. Engaging and over well-integrated although could sit a bit longer even.

Merlot, Petit Verdot 14% 11€
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