2008 Ancestral Malvasia de Sitges
Enric Bartra and Rafael Sala are the winemakers for Vega de Ribes, the small, family-owned winery behind the Ancestral label. They use an ancient technqiue to create the sparkling wines in the range, slowing the initial fermentation by cooling the fermenting juice (in Ancestral's case, fermenting in chestnut barrels) and bottling it while it's dormant. They then heat the wine back up so that it finishes fermenting in bottle. This means no dosage, but a wonderful bottle of bubbles. It is said that Malvasia was brought over to Spain from Greece back in the 1400s, but these days the varietal is quite rare. After finding a few small plantings, the folks at Vega de Ribes have worked diligently to bring back the grape, garnering them a Slow Food award for their preservation efforts. This wine went into bottle at 102 grams per little and finished at a bout 68 grams per liter, making it the sweetest in the Ancestral range. But its crisp acidity and lively bead temper the sweetness. Try it with your favorite tapas.