February 7, 2024

Jean Leon Nativa Xarel-lo

Who makes it?

Jean Leon Nativa is a range of native Spanish wines. Jean Leon, as a man, was very much a local character and winemaker in Penedès. However, after his death, it was up to the Torres family to continue his work. Jean was responsible for quite a few ‘firsts’ in his time. He made the first barrel-fermented Chardonnay, he introduced some of the first Cabernet Sauvignons in Spain and he used his friends in Hollywood to introduce the wines to the world.

Xarel-lo is one of Spain’s native grapes and this one is already certified Organic ahead of 2025. Come 2025, all wines produced in Penedès will be certified Organic.

How do they make it?

To enhance the fruitiness of Xarel-lo, this Jean Leon Nativa has been cool fermented fermented and aged in stainless steel tank. It is 100% Xarel-lo. To add some complexity, it has spent 2 months on its fine lees. This also adds extra texture.

What does it taste like?

This wine has plenty of the hallmarks of Xarel-lo. It has a herbal lemon verbena lilt along with some nettle nestled in with the tangy grapefruit aromas. It leaves you in no doubt that it is a dry white wine although it is fuller in body. The other indicator that this is Xarel-lo is a silkiness. And a nutty bitterness on the finish. The two months on lees has added a creamy note to the nose as well as to the mouth feel. 

This is a good wine to get to know this grape. It is well made and it is rather beguiling. 

What to drink it with?

Take a leaf from the local Catalan’s book here. Enjoy this particular Jean Leon Native wine with seafood, including fish and chips, or with Mediterranean grilled vegetables.


Enjoy with grilled haloumi, or with fresh cheese such as feta or chevre or with white bloomy cheese such as Camembert. 

Quickie review « This is a crisp, savoury dry white from Penedes and a great way to get to know the region. »

Country of Origin:  Penedès, Spain
Tasting Date: 
October 2023
Price:  UK £ tba | €15.5 
Drink: now –3+ years 
Needs food: no
Source: tasting

Visit jeanleon for more.


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