How often do you go googling for something rare and unheard of only to find several references with the exact same description cut and pasted from one site to the other? In the end, you have no clue as to who first posted on the subject as opposed to who conveniently stole content from the original article. Thus was my problem when researching a new grape I stumbled across, Sumoll. It had been recommended to me by a wine shop here in Barcelona called Vila Viniteca. If you google Sumoll, you will find it defined in both on English and Spanish websites as:
Grown in the area of Artés (Barcelona) and in the DO Conca de Barberá, although it is not covered in the regulations governing this denomination.
I was never able to find a Sumoll referred to as “white”, therefore I concluded that there might not be a reason to label it “black”, as described by some websites. Further research showed me that Sumoll has also been used in grape alchemy and is responsible for the following grapes (via Vinodeversity.com) in Australia.
An Australian-bred wine developed from a crossing of Cabernet Sauvignon and the Spanish variety Sumoll. Brown Brothers and Yalumba are pioneering this variety.
This new red wine variety was bred by Australia’s CSIRO. It is a hybrid of Cabernet Sauvignon and the Spanish variety Sumoll. The aim of the breeding program was to produce a high quality variety which would thrive in warm, dry areas. Tyrian ripens later than Cabernet Sauvignon and the juice has higher acid, thus allowing winemakers to make a stable wine in warmer conditions. The wines produced have a bright hue. The name Tyrian comes from tyrian purple, a bright purple dye used in the Ancient Mediterranean. McWilliams Wines have been producing McWilliams Regional Collection Riverina Tyrian since 1999.
The question still remains, however, what does it taste like? Here’s a link to my tasting note on the Sumoll Rosat from Catalunya I recently tasted. According to the salesman who recommended the wine, Sumoll used to be widely grown in the Penedes region until the DO classification came into effect forbidding it from being listed as a permitted varietal. She also mentioned that only two or three bodegas that she knew of were currently experimenting with its production.
Personally, after trying the wine, I was completely taken aback. If the wine I had is representative of its potential, I say, “GROW MORE”! The primary fruit was cherry with a strong overall minerality – kinda like sucking on the cherry pit long after you consumed the fruit. The salesman, had stated that “it’s not an obvious wine”. I totally agreed with this as the wine slowly morphed and changed as I worked my way though the bottle. While fruit driven, it was much more complex, retaining my attention for a long time.
This is the exact reason I continue to seek out new grapes to taste. You never really know what you are going to discover – sometimes winners and sometimes losers but always a new experience! Rest assured that the next time I stumble across a wine made from the grape Sumoll, I’ll take it home!
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