Jean Leon | Wine

Product and origin

By Sergi Castro, sommelier

Concepts such as “local product,” “km 0,” and “indigenous variety” are increasingly becoming part of our regular vocabulary, while these are also some of the most important gastronomic trends today. However, rather than just a temporary “trend” or fashion of the moment, we believe this is more a natural move toward a healthier, more sustainable, and more environmentally friendly lifestyle – a trend that it’s in keeping with the values of today’s society.

Concepts such as “local product,” “km 0,” and “indigenous variety” are increasingly becoming part of our regular vocabulary, while these are also some of the most important gastronomic trends today. However, rather than just a temporary “trend” or fashion of the moment, we believe this is more a natural move toward a healthier, more sustainable, and more environmentally friendly lifestyle – a trend that it’s in keeping with the values of today’s society.

The new Jean Leon Nativa collection aims to pay tribute to the Penedès landscape that Jean Leon found in 1962 when he arrived looking for the best location to set up his “Château Leon” after being advised by Professor Maynard Amerine of the University of California, Davis,

Xarel·lo, Macabeu, Parellada, Ull de Llebre, Malvasia de Sitges, Sumoll, Garnatxa… all stretched out under Jean Leon’s eyes upon his arrival in the Penedès. Maybe you’ll say that he rejected these varieties to plant Cabernet, Chardonnay, or Merlot. Well, even though the local varieties weren’t the ones he had in mind for the wines he wanted to make, he did value the local know-how, experience, and tradition of the region’s men and women when it came to forging ahead with his project.

For the past four years, the Jean Leon winery has been releasing a series of limited-edition wines as part of the “Experimentals” collection, the majority of which are made using these traditional varieties. These wines have above all expressed the purity and finer side of the varieties and are made in limited productions of 2,000 bottles that have sold out quickly in most cases.

A limited edition made entirely from Xarel·lo (which came out in two consecutive vintages, 2015 and 2016) was the wine that introduced this Experimentals collection, and now it’s this same variety also launching the new Nativa line.

Like its predecessor, the Nativa Xarel·lo again expresses the purest notes of the variety: very floral, white flowers from almond and peach trees, with subtle touches of fruit and fresh grass. The persistently lush nose gives way to a palate that’s clean and light, but that also has body thanks to the aging on lees, with a particularly pleasant lingering freshness.

A wine you can drink on its own, nicely chilled, as an aperitif, or paired with salads, fish, and shellfish or Asian dishes. A wine to enjoy on many occasions and that will make you think of spring, even though this spring may seem like a lost cause, and that will surely make us happy in summer, no matter how uncertain it might seem to us right now.

If that’s given you a real thirst for it, you can find it online in our Jean Leon store or the Petit Celler online store, which is offering special shipping conditions at this time.