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Jul 11

WBW #35: Spanish Value Wines

Wbwlogo_2Happy Wine Blogging Wednesday!

Don’t forget to send your permalink and a brief summary to spanish.wbw@gmail.com.
If you don’t have a blog, just email your review. You will get an auto-reply (or a personal reply) from the email account. As long as you get that reply, you’ll know we received it and it didn’t get lost in spam or Internet ether. If you don’t get that reply, email me, but check your spam folder too. It may be lost in there.

Kevin & I are
going to split the duties this weekend and hopefully get the round-up
posted early next week. We’re looking forward to reading everyone’s entries.
The roundup of all entries is now posted here.

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")
This
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.
Our rating:

Luna Beberide Mencia 2005, Bierzo DO, $8.99

The
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.
Our rating:

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:

It is
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
.

With
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
soon.
Our rating:

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava, NV, Torrelavit DO, $6.99 (50% macabeo, 35% parellada, 15% xarel-lo)
If
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.
Our rating:

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Posted by Michelle at 12:01 am in WBW | Permalink | Comments (4)

4 Responses to “WBW #35: Spanish Value Wines”

  1. Deb says:

    Michelle, the email that you have on today’s post does not work. So I tried spanish.wbw@gmail and it went through so you may want to change it in today’s post. Don’t want to miss anyone!
    Thanks for hosting! Looking forward to the summary!!!!
    Deb at debskeywestwineandgarden.blogspot.com

  2. Michelle says:

    Thanks Deb! All fixed! That’s what I get for writing posts very very late at night and then setting the timer for the posting.
    If anyone else had trouble, the correct email is spanish.wbw@gmail.com. Sorry about that!
    Cheers!

  3. Dr. Debs says:

    Great reviews, Michelle and Kevin. And thanks for the great theme. This is going to be a good event, if your reviews are any indication.

  4. David McDuff says:

    Thanks for hosting this month, Michelle and Kevin. It was a first time participation for me and I enjoyed the theme… and breaking the rules a bit. Looking forward to the digest.
    cheers,
    David

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