Pares Balta Mas Petit on My Organic Sunday

The grounds of Grade A Gardens in Johnston were a perfect spot to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon.  Five acres nestled in among town homes and roadways are where Jordan Clasen works his magic on neatly-tended rows of kale, fields of garlic, potatoes, tomatoes, turnips–you name it.

Jordan is quick with a smile as he talks about a week of digging post holes and stretching wire for his deer fence, and hand planting and weeding his organic crops.  The long hours show on his wiry frame and his passion for organically-grown, community-distributed foods lights up his eyes.

Jordan, at right, explains some farming details

After arriving back home, my patio wine had to be organic!  The Pares Balta Mas Petit was just the thing.

Pares Balta was established more than 200 years ago, and has remained in the same family ever since.  It was handed down from fathers to sons until today; the wives of two of the grandsons are the winemakers.  Both are trained enologists and they have continued focusing on creating quality wines while employing organic practices.  The Pares Balta vineyards were certified organic in 2004 and continue to produce top quality fruit without the use of herbicides, pesticides or artificial fertilizers.

Their resulting wines are full of fruit intensity and a taste of the earth from which they have come.

The Mas Petit is a blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon and 16% Garnacha from the Spanish Penedes region.

The wine presents a deep, dark garnet color.  The nose is full of spice and smoke, along with blackberry, black olive, dried herbs and vanilla.

The palate is medium-bodied and soft with black raspberry flavors along with pepper spice, more black olive and a touch of oak.  Lots of berries and spice are on the finish with a final wrap of dusty tannins.

Fermenting varieties individually in stainless steel tanks preserves the bright fruit and pleasant acidity while aging for seven months in French oak adds complexity, some spice and a taste of vanilla.

My patio was hot and muggy, but the Mas Petit’s medium body and acidity made this red wine very enjoyable even in the heat. The black olive notes and the acidity also made it a good combination with salty, oil-cured olives and ciabatta.

It was a fitting end to a day filled with locally-produced, organic goods.

Grade A Gardens supplies many DesMoines restaurants and CSA’s with their organic produce.  They can be found at the Downtown DesMoines Farmers Market as well.  Both Jordan and his father were Hy-Vee employees, by the way, with Jordan getting his start in the produce section!

Check out our many locally-sourced options in the Ankeny Hy-Vee produce section.

About the author: Sue Navratil

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