“Us Spaniards like to complicate things!” says Miguel Crunia of Fion Wines “First we ask you to drink Cava then we ask you to drink CORPINNAT instead.”
But what is CORPINNAT?
Miguel runs Fion Wines with his partner Vera, and they promote and sell minimal intervention wines. They recently ran a pop-up wine tasting at the Italian restaurant RadiCibus to introduce CORPINNAT wines to Edinburgh. The name translates, roughly, as “rocky heart” in Catalan and refers to an area of around 22,000 hectares in the Penedès region.
In 2012 a group called Classico Penedés moved away from ‘big Cava’. They pointed out that the giant brands of Codorniu, Henkell-Freixenet, and Garcia Carrion
were responsible for three-quarters of Cava's production and felt that smaller producers and provenance were being neglected. Cava DO can be traceable to several areas and is mass-produced. Classico Penedés committed to producing wines that are organic, aged for at least 15 months, and region-specific.
And then came another twist to this vinous David and Goliath story.
In 2019 a subgroup of Classico Penedés split off and set even further criteria. CORPINNAT was to be:
produced in the historic centre of Penedés
made from 100% organic grapes (Cava buy base wines)
harvested by hand and
vinified on each winery’s premises.
aged in the bottle for at least 18 months.
Cava is made from the indigenous varietals of Macabeo or Viura, Parellada, and Xarel-lo. Miguel tells us that these grapes were actually bought by France and used for Champagne when the Phylloxera disease destroyed the country’s vines in the late nineteenth century.
So what do CORPINNAT sparkling wines taste like?
Some are fresh and young but the more aged ‘Reserva’ displays brioche, cream, and yeasty depth. I particularly like the Recaredo Terres Brut Nature 2019 for being bone-dry. Euan from Ithe Plates is doing the catering and serves whipped goat's cheese on tostadas with apple jam and matchsticks. The Recaredo swipes the palate clean.
The best two wines are the aged Julia Bernet, 130 Brut Nature, 2017, and Gramona, Imperial, Brut, 2017. Both would give many a Champagne a very good run for their money. Euan wows us with Scallop Ceviche; Pancetta, fat-dipped Brioche, torched Corn; Smoked Duck Breast.
A finale of Canele made by Project Canele (see Insta) is a real treat especially as it is served with Pedro Ximenez.
If you like good food, good wine, and conviviality don’t miss the next Fion and Ithe Plate collab pop-up.