The little-known Xarel-lo grape is a mainstay of Cava, the sparkling wine from Catalonia in northeast Spain that offers a great alternative to Champagne, typically at a fraction of the price.

But some winemakers are also making fantastic still wines from Xarel-lo, which should be on your radar for summer drinking and beyond.

One of them is the gorgeous “Miranius” Xarel-lo from Celler Credo, a relatively small producer in Penedès, the Catalonian region near Barcelona that’s known for Cava and, increasingly, for still white wines like this one.

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Celler Credo 'Miranius' Xarel-lo 2020 from Penedes, Spain is a good wine you can actually find.

The U.S. importer, Rosenthal Wine Merchant, explains on its website that “the area’s high-altitude, well-ventilated limestone vineyards comprise a unique and assertive terroir, and the local grape varieties — particularly the acid-driven Xarel-lo — can voice these soils with great fluency when handled respectfully.”

In 2010, Celler Credo became the first certified biodynamic producer in Penedès, and the Xarel-lo grapes in the $20 Miranius come from its own vineyards and from other nearby biodynamic producers.

With alcohol listed at just 11.5 percent, it’s relatively light but has nice complexity. Ripe fruit tastes — apricot, yellow apple, touches of strawberry, lime, and honeysuckle — are interwoven with a flinty mineral note, saline, and a persistent creamy layer from lees aging. Fermentation and aging take place in stainless steel.

It’s a wonderful aperitif wine and will complement lighter foods, including grilled shrimp and tuna, herb roasted chicken, and spring vegetables tossed with your favorite pasta.

Celler Credo, which was founded in 1924 by Josep Mata, is focused primarily on the Xarel-lo variety, stating on its website that it’s “committed to making terroir white wines — without chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides — wines that speak plainly, recounting a sensory history that’s free of artifice.”

The 2020 Miranius Xarel-lo is a stunning example of that philosophy.

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