Happy Wine Blogging Wednesday!
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Kevin & I are
going to split the duties this weekend and
hopefully get the round-up The roundup of all entries is now posted here.
posted early next week. We’re looking forward to reading everyone’s entries.
In November of 2006, Kevin & I took a seminar on Spanish wine from Doug Frost. It was a great seminar, where we learned about more grapes than I can begin to mention. What Doug made sure we took away from the seminar was simple: Don’t overlook value-priced Spanish wine. They slip under the radar as consumers gravitate towards California, towards the familiar.
After that seminar, we started spending a lot of time in the Spanish aisles of the local wine shops. We have a case of Tres Picos right now (it’s supposed to open up by the fall). During the holidays last year, we gave bottles of Vina Borgia to folks, because it was easy to drink. We have a case of Red Guitar (Navarra) right now too, because it’s a light summer red. We admit it – we’re hooked.
For this edition of WBW, we tried 4 different Spanish wines: 3 reds and a cava. Let’s start with the reds after the jump.
Blés Crianza, 2004, Valencia DO, $8.99 (pronounced "blaze")
wine was recommended to us, but it’s not one we’ll recommend to others.
There is a chance we had a bad bottle. Each glass had an odd smell, but
it didn’t smell corked. There was a chemical-ness to the smell, and
some muddiness. Maybe some white pepper for good measure. It tasted
like mud. Not the nice, pleasant earthiness often found in Bordeaux,
but mud and a little bit of vegetable. We let it open up for a while, but it didn’t improve.
Luna Beberide Mencia 2005, Bierzo DO, $8.99
nose is full of dark berries and a little vegetable. The attack is
tingly, full of cinnamon and plums. It’s smoky, with a little
chocolate. This isn’t a fancy wine – not much structure. While very
much worth the money, it isn’t our favorite.
Garnacha de Fuego, Old Vines 2006, Atteca, Calatayud DO, $8.99
This one came recommended from Mark Maher, of Cutting Edge Selections (a local distributor). He told us this:
very old vine (60 to 80 years old) Grenache from the Calatayud region. The old
vines only yielded 2 tons per hectare (a hectare is 2.2 tons per acre).
So, you have a wine retailing for $9 per bottle made from yields of less that
one ton per acre The wine is bursting with bright, concentrated Raspberry
flavors along with surprising structure. We just got in 350 cases and
they sold out in 2 days. My next shipment of 500 cases will be spoken for
well before it arrives.
that recommendation, we emailed around to find some, finally
discovering the elusive bottle at The Party Source. Mark was right.
There are a lot of bright raspberry notes. My initial reaction was that
it is a very dry wine. But as I relaxed with the wine, I noticed a lot
of cinnamon and chocolate. Inhaling over the wine, it’s almost fiery
and a little ticklish. Overall it’s a bold and fruit-forward wine with
a light finish. It’s imported, of course, by Jorgè Ordonez. There is a
slightly more expensive version of this wine and we may be trying it
Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava, NV, Torrelavit DO, $6.99 (50% macabeo, 35% parellada, 15% xarel-lo)
you’re not familiar, cava is a really affordable way to have some
bubbly. This is the low end of a cava I love that retails for $19.99. I
wasn’t disappointed in the $6.99 version. It’s pale blonde in color,
almost transluscent with medium bubbles. There is some oak and fruit in
the nose. This is a delicate cava, with slight oak, a little bit of
lemon, and some apples. By day 3, it was still fizzy and heavier on the
apples. The lemon in this cava gives it an overall cleansing effect –
very pleasing to the palate. It’s dry, but not too much. It’s
definitely worth at least $10 – for $7, I got a real bargain.
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