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The 2004 Can Feixes Chardonnay is a serious candidate for the finest still white wine of Penedès. However, patience is required on the part of the taster to fully appreciate just how great the 2004 Can Feixes Chardonnay is and will be, given additional time in the bottle. However, even in its youth there can be little doubt as to the overall quality of this classy, age worthy Chardonnay that drinks well already, straight out of the bottle and without any time to breathe. In fact, the 2004 Can Feixes Chardonnay could easily be mistaken for a Chablis Grand Cru – the pinnacle of perfection from one of France's greatest white wine appellations. In all respects this Can Feixes offering constitutes noble Chardonnay: it is fine, deep, mineral laden and supremely reflective of its variety as well as its glorious mountain terroir. It offers in its aroma a wonderfully pure dollop of buttered apple and pear, which speaks of the deeply haunting essence of Chardonnay from these gravelly slopes. On the palate, the wine's pretty fruit wraps elegantly around a core of minerals and subtle spice and toasted oak, which add length and breadth to the wine's finish and mid palate. It always amazes us how some winemakers can use oak to enhance a Chardonnay, while others feel compelled to obliterate the same varietal by subscribing to the philosophy of more is always better. Happily, the brothers Huguet, Joan and Josep Maria, weigh in on the former side of the oak quotient and exercise prudence with the barrel. For optimal enjoyment, we suggest you give this complex, superbly made Chardonnay a moderate chill (40° F). Then allow it to breathe for ten or fifteen minutes in the glass before consumption, as if it were a red wine. Better still, lay this grand cru style Chardonnay down for another six months or a year and watch the wine simply explode in the glass with flavor. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2010.
The 2004 Can Feixes Chardonnay is a wine that has been crafted in the tradition of the finest white wines of Burgundy. Consequently, it is a match for many of the same full-flavored seafood and poultry dishes that shine in the presence of the finest Chablis and Chassagne-Montrachet. Yet, this barrel-fermented beauty can also complement weightier fare as it possesses the fruit as well as the backbone of some of the best New World Chardonnays. So, Atlantic salmon, stuffed with a flavorful Crabmeat Imperial; Grilled swordfish with fresh white morels in a basil lemon butter sauce; grilled grouper, served with a shitake smoked salmon duxelles or hollandaise sauce; and almond crusted chicken breasts, stuffed with prosciutto and topped with a melon salsa constitute just a few specialties to consider with the 2004 Can Feixes Chardonnay. Shrimp and Grits, a Charleston classic, offers another terrific pairing. And another interesting variation in the same vein is Shrimp and Grits tarts, which combine three foods for which Chardonnay has a real affinity: seafood, cheese, and ham. Lastly, almost any dish that contains Havarti cheese seems to shine with the wines from Can Feixes, so enjoy!
The historic Can Feixes (pronounced can fay shess) estate is situated on gravelly slopes in a high mountain amphitheater, astride the famous Montserrat pinnacle in northern Penedès. This is the Penedès vineyard farthest from the Mediterranean, which means the climate at this estate is continental and drier that of the surrounding vineyards. The high altitude and austere mountain terrain of this rugged area of Catalonia constitute the tiny viticultural home of the native Parellada varietal, which locally is known as Montonec ("grape of the mountain"). This estate is also the home of some of the finest, most intense Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet, and Tempranillo (locally referred to as Ull de Llebre) in all of Catalonia, thanks to the vineyard's premier location and unique terroir.
The Can Feixes estate dates back to 1400 with the arrival of Jaumes Feixes in the upper reaches of the Penedès. In addition, accurate historical records indicate that wine has been produced continuously at Can Feixes since at least 1690. Whether under the auspices of the Feixes family or the Huguets, the present owners since the end of the 19th century, Can Feixes has always been considered the region's Grand Cru.
Today, the vineyards at Can Feixes comprise nearly 300 acres planted primarily to Parellada, an indigenous white varietal, and small amounts of Macabeo and Chardonnay for producing first rate white wines. Tempranillo, Merlot, and Cabernet are responsible for the red wines. A small quantity of a special Gran Reserva Cava is also produced from traditional varietals. The estate's Chardonnay is considered by critics and popular acclaim to be one of the finest produced in all Spain. The Huguet brothers, Joan and Josep Maria handle all viticulture and enology respectively at their estate.
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