Spain's the Word
Free tasting | Saturday, August 25, 2018 | 4-6PM
Some new Spanish wines just hit our shelves and we’re so excited to open them up with you. Jancis Robsinson describes Spanish wine in a nutshell as ‘Land of American oak, increasing ambition, sherry, and low-yielding bush vines.’ Here are a few fun facts as paraphrased from Queen Jancis, for all you wine geeks out there.
· One of Spain’s viticultural blessings is the average altitude of vineyards (over 600 m/2000 ft)
· Cool evening temperatures result in prolonged growing season and full, ripe berries
· Tempranillo produces some of Spain’s most revered red wines, while Grenache is the most planted red grape variety
· Spain loves using American oak for aging, with an increasing interest in using French oak and cement vats
2015 Do Ferreiro Albariño, Rias Baixas (Galicia, Spain) | Do Ferreiro is all organic and was founded in 1973 by Gerado Méndez. Avoiding the use of pesticides and non-organic fertilizers on five hectares of property, this Albariño hails from 50-year-old vines in the Meaño in Salnes Valley and is grown at 150-250 meters above sea level. The Salnes Valley is close to the ocean and protected by mountains giving this area of the Rías Baixas the reputation for being one of the best vine growing areas in the region. Rías Baixas (pronounced: Ree-ahs By-shas) is named after the estuaries that funnel into the lower parts of Galicia in the northwest of Spain. This Albariño is clean and pure like natural spring water that has been religiously turned into beautiful white wine. It’s elegant and crystalline and it’s the best Albariño that I’ve tried out there. Searching for the holy grail of Albariño? You’ve found it!
2017 Gaba do Xil Godello, Valdeorras (Galicia, Spain) | WinemakerTelmo Rodriguez is known for creating wines from native grape varieties that speak through the unique terroir of Galicia. His Gaba do Xil Godello is a mineral-driven white from Valdeorras (“Valley of Gold”) in eastern Galicia, an area once famed for gold-mining. This unctuous white wine is named for the river ‘Sil’ (Xil is its ancient Celtic name) and the Godello grapes come from tough vines grown in rocky, shallow soils. These harsh soils have low fertility and low water retention, and the Godello vines work really hard to produce fruit. It’s quite common that if the vine struggles to produce berries, the wine will be even better in the long run. This Godello is testimony to that! It sings with notes of baked yellow apples and a full-bodied, silky texture. All that hard work did a Godello goooood.
2016 Cauzon Tempranillo, Granada (Andalucía, Spain) | Ramón Saavedra's spent 15 years working as a chef until he decided to return to his native homeland in the Granada province of Andalucía. Ramón took over his family’s 4-hectare vineyard, situated on alluvial soil and sand deposits at the base of Sierra Nevada which towers over 1000 meters in altitude. Lots of sun and high altitude breathe life and structure into his fruit-forward Tempranillo. It’s a light-bodied Tempranillo, with the color of slight ruby with violet hints, with no addition of sulfur or any kind of chemicals or preservative, resulting in a memorable and unique expression of the Tempranillo grape.
2015 Antoine Touton & Fredi Torres, Montsant Le Selección (Catalonia, Spain) I Described poetically as ‘the lighter side of the moon,’ with notes of lavender and lip-smacking acidity, this Montsant is a blend of 85% Grenache, 12% Carignan, and 3% of mixed whites. Former DJ and born in Switzerland, Fredi Torres studied viticulture and wine making throughout the world before purchasing 8.5 hectares of land in Priorat. He also farms on 5 hectares of grapevines in the neighboring appellation of Montsant, which he has partnered on with his friend Antonie Touton. Fredi and Antonie use biodynamic principles and the only thing added to the wines is a little sulfur at bottling. They’re a pretty rad duo and we’re so stoked to try this again on Saturday. It’s a delicious red wine that helps ease the transition from summer into a busy September.
2016 Bodegas Ponce, Clos Lojen, Manchuela (Castilla-La Mancha, Spain) | Juan Antonio Ponce began his winery in 2005, at the age of 23. He takes a biodynamic and natural approach in the vineyard and cellar, using low levels of sulfur dioxide and minimal intervention. He makes 3500 cases a year in a rented facility, with virtually no mechanization. His Bobal vines are planted on calcareous clay and are around 75 years old. This Bobal is characteristically rustic with a concentrated, dense, blackberry nose and mineral notes. Aging in French oak casks for 7 months of bottling gives this striking Bobal the Yeah in ‘Oooooh yeah’ (cue: Ferris Bueller).