La Pamelita and a lady on a mission!
4th November 2014
Cataluña’s Lloban winery combines tradition and innovation…
I haven’t met Pamela Geddes (yet) but I feel I know her. It seems to me that there are certain winemakers who have a signature wine, much like a chef will have his/her signature dish. One becomes familiar with the style of the ‘signature’ and therefore, by some sort of mystical symbiosis, with that of the author.
I first ‘met’ Pamela Geddes, a Scottish bio-physicist, no less, through her first Spanish signature wine – a red sparkling Monastrell, made under the auspices of Bodegas Castaño, DO Yecla.
However, another opportunity opened up for Pamela – the chance to start her own winery in the cooler climate of Cataluña, home of Cava. Bodegas Lobban was born, and Pamela’s signature took a slight turn, though remaining true to the ideal. Instead of Monastrell, another of the DO Penedés permitted varieties, Syrah/Shiraz, was used for her new red fizz.
Followers of wine trends may now, quite correctly, be following the Shiraz link to the Antipodes – in fact to Australia. It was the Aussies who first made red sparkling wine with their darling variety, Shiraz, and, after ten years in the whisky trade, Pamela had moved to Australia where she became enamoured with this distinctive wine style. Red sparkling wine had arrived in Australia – but could it prove equally successful in the rather conservative Spain (in wine terms, at least)?
Well, judging by the medals and plaudits garnered by Pamela’s, La Pamelita Sparkling Shiraz, the answer is a resounding ‘Yes’!
Pamela kindly sent me samples of this wine and two others from her small portfolio of wines from Cataluña. I’m impressed – and I’m sure you will be too. If you can find them! (www.lapamelita.com for distributors/stockists).
La Pamelita manages to combine a certain Shiraz black pepper and dark brambly fruit robustness with the elegance that befits wines made in this, the home of Spanish sparkling wines. It’s a winning style as it enables the wine to be drunk with food as well as for fun!
It’s enjoyed 36 months en rima (in bottle with lees after its second fermentation) which qualifies it as a Gran Reserva in Cava terms, adds depth to the flavour of the wine, an understated creaminess, and a complexity that is hard to find in many sparklers. Try it with BBQ meats as well as casseroles.
Another fizz, but this time a rosado made with Garnacha, is La Rosita Brut. I loved this wine! There’s a little (5%) Shiraz in the blend (which is fair as the La Pamelita has 5% Garnacha too!) and its had 24 months en rima. Though a mouthful of flavour, for sure, this wine is graceful too.
It’s a celebratory sparkling wine with a very pretty colour but enough body and depth of flavour to make it an ideal partner for paella as well as being lovely with fish of the same colour and white fish with sauces, and salads too. Aromas of loganberry and a very slight citrus element accompany those of the classic sparkling wine characteristic, bready/sweet pastry panaderia-esque notes. It’s definitely not just a wine for girls – rufty-tufty Aussie men would love it too!
Contact Colin: firstname.lastname@example.org as well as via Twitter @colinonwine
Written by Colin Harkness
Glass of Bubbly
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