A native variety of Galicia, home of Albarino, even though this is from Bierzo, North West of Spain right on the ''Camino de Santiago'' the path followed by pilgrims for centuries. This is already one of the new darlings of top restaurants and sommeliers worldwide, a wine that offers outstanding value and versatility. Pale green in colour with a bouquet of lime and pine nuts, on the palate it offers beautiful freshness, minerality, racy acidity with focus and purity. Perfect on its own even better with food, especially shellfish, if you haven't tried it yet, you really should because at the price, this is unequal.
ES LO QUE HAY – It´s what there is / It is what it is / That´s how it goes. A common Spanish expression but one I like to reserve for the few old high altitude Garnacha vineyards that survive in Aragon . What you taste in the bottle is a true expression of what there is in the vineyard. It´s as simple as that. It has an impenetrable purple colour with a bouquet of pronounced aromas of crushed violets and zarzaparrilla. Intense yet refined with lifted, perfumed fruit and wild mountain herbs. Full bodied, with rounded tannins, crisp acidity and a long mineral finish. High altitude ancient vineyards at 1000 to 1100 metres above sea level with ´pizarra´ slate and quartzite soils. Completely dry grown and unirrigated this is an inhospitable continental climate with extreme changes of temperature were mountain herbs, almonds, cherry trees and Garnacha form a breath-taking patchwork. Low annual rainfall of 200-300mm and the remarkable soils produce fine and elegant Garnacha which is punctuated by intense black fruit flavours with complex mineral, smoke and ‘garrigue’ notes. This is a pure unoaked Garnacha which is fermented in open top fermenters then aged on fine lees for 20 months before release. It is what it is ES LO QUE HAY!
A blend of Garnacha and Cabernet Sauvignon with aromas of roasted meat, saffron and game, full bodied with a beautiful silky texture, excellent middle palate and beautiful finish. An amazing wine, incredible value for a 9 year old Gran Reserva aged 3 years in oak and wonderfully matured, which really is the equivalent of many $40 plus wines. As Spanish wine expert John Radford wrote in Decanter, the tiny enclave of Campo de Borja is "the source of some of the best value wines from Spain, if not the world". It's true. Where else could you find such a grand, mellow, complex, eight year old, oak aged red at this price?
This wine is made from 30 year old vines producing tiny grapes of exquisite quality which contribute concentrated fruit flavors and deep, rich color to the wine.
This wine is bright, lively on the nose with fresh berry fruit a signature note of violet and a slight hint of spice as the wine is aged 4 months in 50% French Oak and 50% American Oak. On the palate soft, medium bodied with good acidity and smooth rounded tannins.
Gold yellow colour with bright greens, clean and bright. Intense in the nose, it is a very fragrant wine, fruity and floral, fresh and sophisticated. Brings to memory peach and apricot notes. Strong in the mouth is a delightful surprise for the palate, clean, silky, Marcelo has a light touch of minerals from Northern Spain and a very well balanced acidity. Fantastic structure and a lovely finish that keeps you wanting more.
A top producer in Rias Baixas in Galicia where the historic Albarino has grown for centuries. This is the old fashioned Albarino, fermented and aged in lees from the varieties of Caino Branco and Loureira which are revived native historic varieties that have been revived over the last 30 years. The result is a full body, concentrated with depth, structure and minerality. Able to age however is beautiful now and perfect with fish, shell fish and white meats as it is consumed in its region.
Harvested from beautiful, old vines which are between 25 to 70 years old, Dosterras Blanc 2017 contains the elegance and structure reflective of this incredible place.
Aged for 6 months in oak barrels, this delicious wine is highly complex with notes of white butter cookies, toasted brioche, fresh citrus and a touch of aged sherry. The palate is elegant, with great acidity and perfectly balanced with a long and refreshing finish.
Made from a special blend of Roussanne, Marsanne, White Grenache and Pedro Ximénez (which is usually used in the production of Sherry), this wine is very expressive, aromatic yet refined.
As this wine’s maker says “There are very small things that can inspire bigger ones: a hand full of soil, the leaves of the vines, a bunch of grapes. What we aim to do at Dosterras is to transform these marvellous things that are already present in nature into something special in the winery. We want to mix curiosity with admiration and make drinking wine a revealing unforgettable experience.”
When it comes to old carignan vines, these people know what they are doing. This is a highly concentrated, complex and rich wine that exhibits black fruit, crème de cassis, Asian spice and a touch of pepper. The bouquet is a Garden of Eden, floral with a perfume of pine nuts and wild dark berries that intermingle with almost dusty, mineral elements. Drink now or over the next 10 years.
"Espectacle is a new project jointly owned by Rene and Isabelle Barbier, Fernando and Marta Zamora, and Christopher and Charlotte Cannan. The wine is sourced from a single vineyard of 100+-year-old Grenache vines located at La Figuera on the northern edge of the Montsant D.O. The vineyard is tended by Rene Barbier's Clos Mogador team and vinified in one special 4000-liter oak vat at Celler Laurona. Just over 400 cases are produced annually. The 2004 Espectacle del Montsant is deep crimson-colored with a sensational bouquet of mineral, espresso, lavender, violets, and black cherry. This leads to an opulent, nearly exotic wine with remarkable depth, complexity, and layers of sweet cherry-flavored fruit. It is as pure an expression of Grenache as exists anywhere on the planet and certainly the greatest example of Montsant ever produced." 99/100 Wine Advocate
If you wanted a superb example of excellent value for money when it comes to bubbles, this is it! This, believe it or not, will give many Champagnes at $60-$70 a run for their money! Made from a blend of Macabeo, Parellada and Chardonnay which are fermented separately before blending, and then bottled and aged on its lees for 2 years which is longer than most Champagnes nowadays. The palate is smooth, silky and beautifully textured, with outstanding depth, power and beautiful refined bubbles. If you are unfamiliar with Cava, we strongly recommend that you try some. You will be impressed!
At 13 years old you would think that it is time to drink and even though it is beautiful now, it will keep going for another 10 years. The same blend as the Reserva but aged longer and from the best parcels in the vineyard. Full bodied, almost animal like with lots of herbs, saffron and cured meats. Great length but mostly beautifully balanced with lovely texture. A wine that is magnificent now but will age for 10 years plus. Decanting is advisable.
2006 is another wonderful vintage in Rioja that at 14 years of age is still youthful and will keep improving for the next 10 years. Made from a blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo with aromas of aged ham, cocoa, roasted nuts and game. Extensive aging in American Oak leads to a very full bodied wine with great intensity and power yet with caressing soft velvety tannins and extremely long finish. Approachable now but will also cellar for a further 10 years.
Made from 65% Tempranillo, 25% Garnacha, 5% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo. Another vineyard from the stables of Lopez de Heredia, one of the greatest classical Rioja Alta where tradition has reigned unabated for centuries. The 2011 is a good vintage which is still relatively young, frankly these wines age forever. Full bodied, precise and delineated with aromas of aged ham, game and saffron, quintessential Rioja. Approachable now however will cellar for another 10 years.
Bodegas Pintia is owned by Vega Sicilia. Pintia is located further west along the Duero River inside the warmer D.O. of Toro. The estate owns 96 hectares of land. The first vintage released was the 2001. As for the 2007 Pintia, it is 100% Tinta de Toro aged for one year in new French and American oak. Opaque purple-coloured, it offers a complex perfume of grilled meats, pencil lead, spice box and blackberry. This leads to a full-bodied, ripe, layered wine with intense flavours serious complexity and phenomenal length, will cellar well for 10-15 years plus.
Yet again we find that Spain is delivering unmatched value for money wines, their different regions are like a boiler room of ideas, innovation and creativity. In the last few years this particular Bodegas has been creating wines that are rated internationally alongside and higher than the very top Bordeaux and Burgundy yet at a fraction of the price. Made from 100 year old ungrafted vines planted at high altitude and yielding less than 1.5 tonne of fruit per acre. The wine was aged in new French oak for 18 months and bottled without fining or filtration. This comes from the area of Toro which is one of the upcoming areas in Spain. It is without doubt a revelation when it comes to the production of modern Spanish wine. The wine is concentrated, lean and focused with impeccable pedigree and definition. The quality ratio of this wine is unsurpassed, easily on par with any second growth from Bordeaux at roughly half of the price. The reviews speak for themselves. Will cellar for 10 years plus.
An intense red shading to tawny at the rim. A range of different characteristics can be identified on the nose – black cherry fruit, balsamic, leather, tobacco and vanilla oak. Medium to full bodied with real finesse, concentrated red fruit flavours, mellow tannins and a smooth finish.
For Castillo Armado, they blended grapes from their oldest, low-yielding Tempranillo vineyards with those of their younger vines to create a marriage of rich dark fruit flavours with lashings of smooth vanilla and rich cocoa. 12 months in American oak barrels, followed by a further 24 months in the bottle, add a lusciously silken complexity to the blend, which is wonderful with warming stews and char-grilled steaks, not to mention fine Spanish tapas. Drink now or celler for another 2-3 years.
When it comes to top quality aged wine, very few countries in the world can do it like Spain and this is an excellent example of a Gran Reserva that is drinking beautifully now, medium to full bodied with spicy and floral notes, paprika, pimenton, excellent richness and lovely balance and from one of the greatest vintages ever! This is ideal with aged cheeses, beef and of course chorizo. Even though it is drinking very well now, it will also age very nicely for the next 3-4 years.
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