RANCIO CHERRY WINE IN DENMARK.
The coast of Lolland, an island of Denmark, seems to be an ideal place for cherry growing.
Winter is respectful there and spring comes early, which allows a generous season in which cherries ripen slowly, developing a great complexity of nuances.
In the west end of the island, we can find a castle. When you get there after having crossed half of the country by car with the feeling of going nowhere, this large house projects a feeling of being in a place with a glorious past. Bathed by the special light of northern latitudes, with a deep blue sky and nice green fields, the feeling of surprise leads to a strange familiarity.
For those who grew up with The Adventures of Tintin, the building instantly reminds of Marlinspike Hall or Moulinsart, the castle that Professor Calculus buys at the end of Red Rackham’s Treasure and that becomes his home, sharing it with Captain Haddock. The large country house of Frederiksdal is like the Danish version of Château de Cheverny in the Loire Valley (France), by which Hergé was inspired.
Harald Krabbe, the owner of Frederiksdal, inherited the country house and decided to get involved in order to avoid damage in the building and its land potential. A dreamer and willing person, Krabbe decided to make cherry wine with a northern cherry variety: the Danish Stevnsbær black cherry, which is often referred to as “the Nordic grape”.
It is a cherry that, once ripe, it keeps an extraordinary acidity, as would be expected given those latitudes, and it shows a surprising complexity and potential. The winemaking process is similar to the one used in our wine, although there are some differences in the harvesting and the grape juice production logistics. The wine produced in this winery has a quite high remaining amount of sugar in order to compensate the acidity.
Harald and his partners have been working for years on a line dedicated to rancio cherry wine, which he relates directly to Catalonia (although it is more prestigious in Madeira, Porto, Banyuls or Maury).
It is impressive to see how so many kilometres away from home this concept remains, although Spanishised with the word rancio. Honestly, we should take this into account.
The subtle but evident charm of rancio wine can be perfectly perceived, with its own features given by cherries, which display all their complexity and ripeness. All this thanks to a one-year rest in a group of glass demijohns full of cherry wine that, exposed to day and night (sol i serena), evolves with the sound of the wind and the Baltic Sea waves. The wine stays for another year in 450 liters Cognac barrels before being bottled.
Despite this early ageing, the final result evaluated from rancio wine perspective is quite good. In fact, with the rather exotic surprise involved by the fact of having a cherry wine in our region, I think it is a wine worthy of the best table talks. Find the reference here in case any reader, in a trip to northern Europe, finds a bottle of this wine and is encouraged to take it home with him/her.
Bernat Guixer – Roca Spirit. Celler de Can Roca