I was quite surprised by the freshness of the 2012 Manuel Raventós Negra, despite the fact that the year was quite warm and the classical Raventós style is perhaps a little riper and fuller than the austere wines produced by others. This is a selection that changes with the year, and in 2012, it's a majority of Xarello with just a pinch of Macabeo. The wine is compact and fresh with some citrus notes intermixed with the strong sensation of the lees—smoky, yeasty and doughy. This bottle was disgorged in May 2019 and has been kept in bottle with the lees for a long time.
94 points, Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate (Issue # 244 - Aug 2019)
Vivid onion skin color. Pungent, mineral-accented poached pear, nectarine, ginger, brioche and honey aromas show outstanding clarity and pick up brown butter and green cardamom nuances with air. Broad and fleshy in the mouth, offering intense orchard/pit fruit flavors that turn spicier and more lively on the back half. Plays richness off of energy with a deft hand and finishes very long and nervy, leaving bitter pear skin and peach pit notes behind. (disgorged after 70 months on its lees and bottled without dosage)
93 points, Josh Raynolds, Vinous (Apr 2019)
A rich butterscotch color along with autolysis-based aromas of seashell, white mushroom, applesauce and brioche announce a smoothly layered palate. Salt notes are imparted to dried apricot and papaya flavors, while this mature vintage Xarello is controlled and tastes of salted nuts and flor on the finish. Drink through 2025.
92 points, Michael Schachner, Wine Enthusiast (Nov 2020)