Succés La Cuca de Llum – Organic and Natural
Mariona Vendrell and Albert Canela fell in love studying winemaking in Tarragona and started Succés Vinícola in 2011 at the tender age of 20. They exploded onto the scene with a still red wine made with Conca de Barberà’s favorite grape, Trepat, which was traditionally used in the region’s rosé Cava and first vinified tinto only a decade ago. Parellada, traditionally blended in Cava and grown best at Conca’s high altitudes, is also uncommon and exciting as still wine. Albert’s family has grown vines in the area for generations, and he uses his family’s connections to source Succés’ fruit from older, organically farmed vineyards owned by local abuelos.
The Conca de Barbera DO is in Southern Catalonia – about an hour and a half by car, west of Barcelona. Conca de Barberà is a Spanish Denominación de Origen (DO) for wines located in central Catalonia in the north of the province of Tarragona in the valleys of the rivers Francolí and Anguera. This is foothill country and the higher altitudes lead to cooler temperatures and later grape harvests.
Most of the vines are on dark lime-bearing soils, quite loose and poor in organic matter. The traditional grapes used are Macabeo and Parellada for white wines and cava, and Garnacha, Trepat and Tempranillo (known locally as Ull de Llebre) for red wines. However, the Regulatory Council of the DO has also authorized some foreign varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Chardonnay. White varieties represent about two-thirds of the vines planted.
There are only 3,700 acres of Trepat in Spain and most of it is in this little area centered around the town of Montblanc. It’s believed that the Phoenicians brought Trepat to this region. The grape itself is quite unique. It was only used to make rosé and sparkling wine until recently. The first known commercial attempt to make red wine wasn’t until about ten years ago.
As a red wine, Trepat tends to give wines that are medium-bodied but fruity and with tons of character. They taste like a beefier version of Pinot Noir, Schiava or Gamay. Trepat produces light-bodied, aromatic reds reminiscent of Jura reds.
20-50 year old vines planted at 1600 feet above sea level. Native yeast fermentation, farming practices beyond Organic (a true hands-off, almost Permaculture approach to wine grape growing). Thirty day skin contact, aged five months in tank on the fine lees, and bottled with minimal traces of SO2 . Unoaked, unfiltered, unadulterated.
The hipster wine geeks out there call this style of wine glou glou, or in English, a very quaffable, simple, easy-to-love glass of wine. Cuca de Llum Succes Trepat is fresh and delicate, with dusty tannins, and notes of dried flowers, fresh cherries, herbs, and minerals. Think unoaked Pinot Noir meets Barbera, but fresher.