Hello, Wine Sippers.
If you’ve chatted with me about wines that I’m convinced are an excellent value, I’ve probably extolled to you the virtues of Spain. The thing about Spain is the wines are really reasonably priced for the quality you get. The other thing about Spain is that in your own tasting history, unless you’ve gotten over there, the Spanish wines you’ve tasted are probably coming from: Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Rioja, Rias Biaxas, Rioja and Rioja. Don’t get me wrong; Tempranillo is a tasty grape, and there are a number of delicious wines to be had from Rioja. Still, we thought it would be nice to taste wines from some of Spain’s lesser-known (lesser-known here, anyway) appellations. So this month’s tasting brings you Garnachas and Monastrells, Moscatels and Verdejos, all from places with which you might be less familiar. The tasting will take place this Sunday the 27th at 3:30 pm, with our friend Keith Lauck of Synergy Fine Wines. It’s $25 and will offer six snacks paired with these delicious selections:
2010 Shaya Old Vine Verdejo, Rueda $18.00
Bright, green-tinged straw. Intense green apple, pear skin and lime aromas are complicated by white pepper and herbs. Taut and refreshingly bitter, with attractive herbal and mineral accents to the ripe citrus and orchard fruit flavors. Finishes clean and long, with an echoing peppery note. 91 points, Steven Tanzer
2011 Txakoli Txomin Etxaniz, Txakoli de Guetaria $27.00
Produced from 75% Hondarrabi Zuri and 25% Hondarrabi Beltza grapes, varietals native to the Basque area where this wine is produced. The nose of the wine is explosive, reminiscent of Sardinian Vermentino – herbal and floral at once, even a bit tropical. The palate carries this impression through and amplifies it, supported by vibrant acidity. The body is medium but the complexity and length of the flavors create a big, memorable experience. Harvested from vineyards located on high hillsides that fall away dramatically to the Atlantic Ocean.
2010 Tres Picos Garnacha, Campo de Borja
Glass-staining purple. Lively, faintly medicinal aromas of cherry, blueberry and licorice, plus hints of smoky herbs and flowers. Juicy and expansive, offering sweet, deeply pitched bitter cherry and dark berry flavors supported by a taut spine of acidity and fine-grained tannins. Finishes with powerful spicy thrust and suggestions of candied flowers and woodsmoke. This could pass for a northern Rhone wine, and a really good one at that. 91 points, Steven Tanzer
2009 Tarima Hill Monastrell, Alicante $18.00
Vivid ruby. Sexy black raspberry and oak spices on the nose, with notes of fresh rose and anise adding complexity. Sweet, sappy and expansive, offering lively dark berry preserve flavors and a velour-like texture. Graceful and balanced but also packs a punch. Finishes smooth, spicy and quite long.
2009 Mas de Can Blau (Mazuelo/Grenache/Syrah), Montsant
It contains the same blend as the Can Blau cuvee and was aged for 18 months in French oak. The oak is ramped up here as is the enticing nose of mineral, incense, spice box, balsamic, black and blue fruits. It has greater depth and volume, and is a plush, layered, opulent package. Give this promising effort 2-3 years to fill out and drink it through 2024. –Jay Miller, Wine Advocate
2008 Jorge Ordoñez & Co. Seleccion Especial Moscatel, Malaga
(375 ml) $21.00
Fragrant tropical and floral aromas inform the nose of this smooth-textured, viscous, sweet white. Savory, round, and lengthy, it can be enjoyed as an aperitif or with fruit desserts.