The Celler Espolla’s Solera Garnatxa is considered amongst the finest and most prominent of its tradition in Catalunya. Ripe, passerillé Garnatxa blanca and rosat grapes are harvested by hand and fermented with native yeasts in concrete tank. The fermentation is arrested via mutage, and the wine begins a lengthy, oxidative odyssey through a six-tier solera that was inaugerated in 1931. Dark amber, seamless and layered, it shows dried apricot and cherry, roasted hazelnut and sweet/smoky baking spices.
While the tradition of Vi Ranci and Rancio sec has survived on both sides of the French-Spanish Catalan border, the large majority of those now produced in Spain are fortified. Espodol Vi Ranci Sec is the rare unfortified expression: Old-vine Garnatxa blanca and Garnatxa rosat, hand-harvested and fermented under the rafters in epoxy-lined concrete tanks. After two years, a portion of the slowly oxidizing wine is transferred to large wooden foudres (where it remains for 3-4 years), and then into a six-tier solera of demi-muids that was originated in 1950.