Your Iberian Travelogue

Dear Feastlings,

Those of you who’ve been attending our monthly wine tastings for any significant length of time know that we periodically host a wine tasting designed to create trust.  We call these tastings the “Trust Your Importer” series, the idea being that most of us can’t possibly have tasted and familiarized ourselves with the massive selection of wines available to us all at any given moment.  There are thousands, or scores of thousands.  So how do you know, when you’re next in the market for an exotic bottle, whether the bottle yo’ure inspecting is a worthwhile investment?  The short answer is: you don’t. The long answer, however, is that while you may not be familiar with the wine in said bottle, you might be able to turn it around and look at the back label, where you’ll discover who imports this treasure (or this tragedy.)  So at 3:30 this Sunday, August 27, Brooke Smith of Winesellers will be with us, and he’ll be representing a specialty of theirs: Iberian wine.  Four Portuguese treats and two Spanish ones will grace your glass, and we’ll make some snacks that go with them.  The tasting is $30 plus tax and tip, and reservations are not only a must, but can only be had by calling us at 326-9363, since web and email reservations won’t do the trick.  We hope you’ll join us, as the wines range from simple and fresh and tasty to outright jawdroppingly good.  We look forward to having you here with us.

Trust Your Importer: Winesellers

2015 Senda Verde Albariño, Rias Baixas                                                                                                                    $14.00

The grapes are sourced from the vineyards situated in the Salnés Valley and the Orosal area, within the D.O. Rías Baixas appellation. Vines are arranged in the “emparrado” and “espaldera” (trellis) systems. The soils are largely granite, with some chalk and clay – even the posts for supporting the grapevines are made from granite instead of wood.  Bright and aromatically complex on the nose, with notes of ripe apricot, apple and wild flowers. On the palate, fresh and crisp with a persistent lush texture on the palate. The finish is fruity and with mineral nuances.

2015 Faisão Vinho Verde Rosé, Vinho Verde DOC                                                                                                     $9.00

The Vinho Verde Region is the largest Portuguese wine region located in the northwest of Portugal in an area traditionally known as “Entre Douro e Minho.” It is bordered to the north by the Minho, which separates Portugal from Spain’s Galicia, to the west by the Atlantic Ocean and to the south by the mountainous area separating it from the Douro region. The Dão’s climate, coupled with the granitic and loamy soils, creates a terrain perfect for making fine, elegant fresh wines with good acid.  Wonderfully fresh and fruit-forward with strawberry on the nose and dried berry and crushed plum flavors, and a refreshing clean finish.

2014 Faisão Red, Dão DOC                                                                                                                                              $9.00

The Dão’s climate, coupled with the granitic soils, creates a terrain perfect for making fine, elegant wines with good acid. Faisão comes from Quinta da Beirã, Beirã Estate where the vineyards range 2,300ft to 6,500ft above sea level. The vineyards are planted in very small patches, as they are scattered at various altitudes amidst the pine forests.  Concentrated aromas of dark cherry, roasted plum and dried raspberry; fruity, smooth, well-structured and harmonious.

2014 Quinta de la Rosa Estate Red, Douro                                                                                                                    $20.00

Mainly from the Lamelas vineyard planted by Tim Bergqvist more than 20 years ago.  On the nose, wild herbal, shrub-like flavors of the Douro are evident. The ripeness of the La Rosa 2014 is almost perfect, giving good aromatic complexity but maintaining all the freshness and elegance that the excessive summer heat sometimes gives to Douro wines. Quite full bodied with lively tannins highlighting the flavors and giving the wine life. Long and versatile, it is a wine for almost all food and all occasions.

2011 Quinta de la Rosa “La Rosa” Reserva, Douro                                                                                                     $41.00

A blend of Touriga Nacional with some Touriga Franca and Tinta Roriz, from the older dry stone terraced vineyards at La Rosa.  A profound, almost opaque color, this 2011 wine has enormous intensity and aromatic complexity with layer upon layer of flavors. Starting with red fruit, moving to black and finishing with wild forest fruit with a touch of spice. On the palate there is a vigor and liveliness to the wine and, as the aromas suggest, intense complexity and completeness. This is a great reserve wine from Quinta de la Rosa, concentrated and structured but at the same time elegant and balanced. Its equilibrium enables the wine to show well young but at the same time it has an enormous potential for ageing.

2015 Feixa Negra, Priorat                                                                                                                                                 $17.00

The name Feixa Negra is inspired by the winery’s stunning vineyard terraces reinforced with stone walls, which are quite common in the region of Priorat. In Catalan these walls are called “Feixa” and it’s here where they grow their premium grapes in the unique terroir compromised of rich black slate stone soil.  A fifty-fifty blend of Garnacha and Cariñena, the Feixa Negra offers an aroma of red fruits, with toasted notes and hint of raisin. Full-bodied and concentrated on the palate,  with reminiscent flavors of dark cocoa. Very long and well-balanced finish.

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