Decantalo Wine Blog

Bacchus Awards 2015: A look at the winning wines

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Good news for lovers of Spanish wines, as a few hours ago, the Spanish Tasters Union (UEC) announced the list of winning wines at the Bacchus 2015 Awards, a great Spanish tradition in the world of wine, and certainly one of the prizes of reference worldwide.

For four days, from 19 to 23 March, an important representation of the best tasters in the world, among which were several Masters of Wine, were commissioned to taste and evaluate the 2,000 samples received from more than 20 countries.

premios-bacchus-2015

The Bacchus 2015 Awards did not conclude with anything less than 496 award-winning wines: only four received the Great Gold Bacchus award, while 178 wines have been awarded the Golden Bacchus award, and another 314 received the Silver Bacchus award.

Among these winners, we did not want to miss the opportunity to highlight some of our favourite wines praised by Bacchus in 2015. Do not miss them!

Pétalos del Bierzo 2013. Great news for one of the most highly rated Spanish wines by both critics and consumers. A golden Bacchus  was awarded to this Petalos del Bierzo 2013, reflecting, vintage after vintage, all the freshness and elegance of the Mencia variety .

Juvé & Camps Reserva de la Familia Brut Nature Gran Reserva 2010. A golden Bacchus for possibly the favourite Spanish Cava Gran Reserva. This is demonstrated by the fact that this year, the cava has been considered as Best Cava from Spain 2014 according to the OCU. Fine, elegant and balanced, at a very competitive price.

Coto de Hayas Garnacha Centenaria 2013. We travel to the Campo de Borja to highlight the Bacchus Silver award given to this great varietal Grenache from Bodegas Aragonesas. A wine of high aromatic intensity, very varietal, large and bulky.

Hacienda López de Haro Gran Reserva 2008. The first vintage of this Gran Reserva from Bodegas López de Hacienda Harose received a well-deserved Silver Bacchus award. This is a complex, elegant and silky blend of Tempranillo and Graciano, definitely a wine to take into account.

Finca Espolla 2010. We travelto the Emporda to highlight the Golden Bachus awarded to Castillo de Perelada Finca Espolla 2010. A wine with personality. Mineral and mature. Fresh and balsamic. Juicy and spicy. It will not leave you indifferent.

If you want a full list of the award-winning wines of Bacchus 2015, click the following link: Premios Bacchus 2015

Written on Events, News, Sin categoría, Special Occasions, Wine tasting | Tagged , |

Bodegas Torres, the world’s most admired wine brand in 2015

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Wonderful news for Bodegas Torres, which has received the honour of being the “the world’s most admired wine brand in 2015″ according to the British publication, Drinks International.

Penedes wineries have been victorious in a year of tough competition among the world’s most respected wineries. Notably, especially the excellent  Vega Sicilia, which rose to second place in the rankings, progressing no less than eight positions compared to the previous year.

torres-most-admired

Production within this ranking has certainly not been easy, given the different variables to control and the number of wineries.

For this reason, Drinks International benefited from the cooperation of a special jury of more than 200 sommeliers, Masters of Wine, wine makers and journalists worldwide.

For decision making process, different criteria were taken into account, such as consistent quality vintage after vintage, that the wine reflects its region or country of origin, that the winery is capable of satisfying the needs and demands of its target market, and appeals to a wide demographic.

In this sense, the jury recognised the quality and diversity of products, coupled with the overall vision and family tradition linked to Bodegas Torres. No doubt incredible news for one of the most emblematic wineries.

Are you still not familiar with the wines of Bodegas Torres? Here are some recommendations:

Celeste Roble 2013. Bodegas Celeste is the trade name of Torres in the Ribera del Duero. A clear allusion to the sky, it is certainly easy to enjoy wines from this winery, at an altitude of 900 metres, it is the highest winery in the appellation. This is a direct and easy to drink wine, with a fantastic value.

Torres Waltraud 2013Miguel A. Torres, CEO and president of Bodegas Torres, decided to make wine in honour of his wife Waltraud, a German national. In this case, what better than using the Riesling grape variety? Torres Waltraud is a broad, smooth and well balanced white wine. It was voted best white wine of the year 2015 by the Consumers’ Association of Spain.

Gran Coronas 2010. An intense blend of Tempranillo and Cabernet prepared in Penedes. Gran Coronas was established thanks to the innovation of  Miguel A.Torres, who planted the French variety Cabernet Sauvignon in the Penedès in the late 60s. Intense, sweet, voluminous and velvety.

Can’t wait to try them? You will very much enjoy them!

Written on News, Penedes, Sin categoría, Winemaking | Tagged , , |

Álvaro Palacios, named “Man of the Year 2015″ by Decanter magazine

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Over its 31 year history, the award of “Man of the Year” by the prestigious British magazine Decanter, has paid tribute to some of the most important figures in the wine world, including two of the biggest names on the Spanish wine scene: Jose Ignacio Domeq and Miguel Torres.

And to these two “great names”, we add a third, over the past few days, it has been made public that the winemaker Álvaro Palacios is to be named Man of the Year 2015 by Decanter.

alvaro_palacios

Álvaro Palacios. The Institue of Mastes of Wine

Palacios is undoubtedly one of those responsible not only for placing  Spain on the world map of good wines, but also for producing exceptional and unique wines, with gems like L’Ermita, already one of the best wines in Spain and in the world.

In addition, he has also championed the recovery of Priorat and Bierzo, two previously overlooked wine regions, which are currently among the most famous and highly valued wine regions in the world. Moreover, for some years, he was also involved in the relaunch of wines from Rioja Baja with bodega familiar. 

Palacios Remondo.

Following his appointment, Alvaro Palacios stated that not yet taken in such an honour. He also considered his recognition is largely due to historical circumstances in the country. This is a very special moment for our wine scene and a great honour for Spain, which certainly deserves this recognition by one of the most important wine magazines around the world.

Do you still not know the wines by Alvaro Palacios? At Decántalo, we propose three of his most representative wines  for every budget. Do not miss:

Les Terrasses Vinyes Velles 2012. A wine full of elegance and pure expression of the Priorat. For its preparation, Alvaro Palacios combines stainless steel, concrete and different woods, with the intention of extracting all the expression of the grape and its terroir. Mineral, balanced, balsamic and very fresh. A very good wine.

Pétalos del Bierzo 2012Álvaro Palacios landed in Bierzo in 1999, in collaboration with his nephew Ricardo, he started making quality wines from Mencia grapes. The result is excellent, and Petalos del Bierzo is the best example of the outstanding work of the winery. A wonderfully complex wine, with a superb value.

La Montesa 2012. We travel to the Rioja Baja to present this exciting blend of Garnacha, Tempranillo and Mazuela, prepared by the family winery Palacios Remondo under the technical direction of Alvaro Palacios. An easy and balanced wine.

You will love them!

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New Wines for the month of March on Decántalo

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We’re here to present our new arrivals for the month of March.

Don’t miss these new wines, many of which have new references and are the 2014 vintage. As always, available now on our web page. Enjoy!1Lo Món 2010. The new vintage of this great wine produced in the village of Gratallops (Priorat) by the Trossos del Priorat wine cellar. It is a spicy, creamy and powerful blend of Grenache, Carignan, Cabernet and  Syrah. A wine with character.

Flor de Vetus 2013. The new 2014 vintage of one of the long awaited Toro wines is now available. 100% Tinta de Toro, this wine is very mature and tasty. A pure expression of this variety at an amazing price.

AN/2 2013. We flew to the Balearic Islands to discover the new vintage of AN/2 from the Anima Negra winery. An intense and tasty wine that offers interesting features and noble rusticity. An authentic wine, with all the character of the island of Mallorca.

Minius 2013. We welcome to our website Minus 2013,  the new 100% Godello from the Adegas Valmiñor winery. A casual wine, very drinkable and very good value for money.

Godelia Tinto 2011. We travelled to the Bierzo to source one of our favourite Mencia wines. Sweetly spicy, very fruity, balanced, elegant, complex and tasty.We love it!2Guímaro 2014. We continue with another monavarietal Mencia, but in this case, from the Ribeira Sacra. The new 2014 vintage of Guímaro is excellent! A great example of depth and minerality at a bargain price. Not to be missed.

Finca Malaveïna 2011. Time to travel to Catalonia and worship the new vintage of the great wines of the DO Empordà. A great example of creamy, toasty and elegant complexity .

Muga Rosado 2014. The new vintage 2014 of Muga Rosado has arrived. One of the most popular rose wines on the wine market. This is why stocks are exhausted! So if you fancy trying this wine, don’t hesitate and order a bottle now! 

Camins del Priorat 2014. The launch of the new vintage of Camins by Alvaro Palacios, is always remarkable. Much more so in 2014, a year which is expected to be historic in the Priorat. A fantastic wine.

Groc 2013. And we conclude by travelling to the Rueda (specifically Castilla y León), to present the new vintage of Groc, a co-joint project between Ossian Vinos and the distributor Cuvé 3000, a tall Verdejo, from extremely old grapes and yeasts. Imagine the result.

These are just some of our new wines of the month. We encourage you to try them, you will enjoy!

Written on Decantalo, Designations of Origin, New wines, Sin categoría | Tagged , , |

Wines from Villa and Finca: The identity of the Priorat is taken a step further

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For some weeks we have discussed the possibility that an important group of Alava wineries, led by Bodegas Artadi, are planning to leave the Rioja to create a new wine region, focused around the town of Laguardia and its surroundings, as in the words of the wineries themselves, “to belong to such a broad term as “Rioja” confuses consumers and dilutes the message.”

Certainly, the current classification of Rioja may not fully aligned with the times, the consumer looking more than ever for specific terroir and identity in their product. Bordeaux, for example, recognizes 58 specific names within a generic indication. The same happens in the Priorat, which despite being much smaller in area than the previous two, has recognised since 2010 wines from Villa and wines from Finca.

gratallopsVinyards in Gratallops (Priorat) © D.O.Q Priorat

It is the first time that Spain goes beyond generic names or, at most, giving legal recognition to municipalities which are members of the denomination.

There is a special mention for those recognised as “Wines from the country”, although in this case, vineyards belong to no superior entity, being considered as an appellation of origin itself.

D.O.Q Priorat has 11 different sub-regions in Vinos de Villa (vi de vila in Catalan). So that a wine can be labeled as such, if it meets certain conditions, such as a controlled origin of the grapes and the presence of a minimum of 60% Grenache and Carignan in the final blend of wine.

The rating of wines from Finca go a little further, yet still more restrictive. The yield per hectare is much lower than allowed in the denomination itself and winemaking with grapes from a single vinyard is required.

This decision by the Catalan DOQ has been an important step in strengthening linkages between a line of wines and their origin, on the basis that there are oenological, historical, social and economic differences between various subfields of the name.

Below we offer some of our favourites wines from Villa Finca:

La Carenyeta de Cal Pla 2012. A sweet wine of the town of Porrera prepared by Celler Cal Pla. A varietal Carignan from vineyards of very low performance. Very fruity and pleasant. Only 1,000 bottles are produced each year.

Manyetes 2010. A unique wine from Gratallops produced by one of the most iconic wineries in the appellation: Clos Mogador. Small contributions of Syrah and Grenache accompany Carignan to give us a very mineral and concentrated wine.

Torroja Vi de la Vila 2012. From the town of Torroja del Priorat, the winery Terroir al Límit presents this intense and enveloping blend of Grenache and Carignan prepared according to the guidelines of biodynamic viticulture. A magnificent example of the baptised “new Priorat”.

Clos Mogador 2012. The first wine from Finca in the DOQ Priorat wine is thrilling. It is a protagonist and leader together with other great wines such as L’Ermita or Clos Erasmus del renacimiento del Priorato in the early nineties. Immense. Wonderful.

Vall Llach Finca Mas de la Rosa 2012Celler Vall Llach produces the second and last Finca wine in DOQ Priorat. A great blend of Carignan to be enjoyed slowly with some contribution from Cabernet Sauvignon. Concentration and minerality in abundance.

What’s stopping you from trying them?

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Spain beats Italy and France as the largest exporter of wine in the world

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Good news for the Spanish wine industry! And according to the latest news, Spain has become the largest exporter of wine in the world, ahead of even France and  Italy, which has been the leader in exports in recent years.

Between September 2013 and September 2014, Spain sold  a total of 2,168 million litres of wine (+ 19.9%), compared to 2.035 million litres in Italy (-1.7%). France remains the third largest exporter in terms of volume, but it stands as world leader in terms of value.

faustinoBodegas Faustino, the greatest exporter in the world for Grandes Reservas from Rioja

It is precisely this aspect that blurs the news, since the average price of a litre of Spanish wine is still too low, at only € 1.16 per litre. Spain is definitely an export model based on the sale of wine in bulk, it is necessary to give attention to the good work of the Spanish wineries with the highest exports.

These are some of the wines from top exporting wineries in Spain:

Faustino I Gran Reserva 2001Bodegas Faustino is nothing more and nothing less than the leading export winery in Rioja Gran Reserva wine. This Faustino I represents all the typical and classic wines of the region. An example of good marketing strategy along with a wine of great quality

Segura Viudas Aria Brut Nature. A friendly, fresh and balanced cava, very easy to drink, and available in many countries around the world. Segura Viudas Cavas belongs to the Freixenet Group, the leading exporter of Spanish wines.

Tío Pepe. One of the most famous and praised wines in the world, belonging to González Byass, the eighth largest wine group in Spain in terms of exports. Tio Pepe offers everything expected of a Jerez fino. Freshness, sharp acidity and salinity.

Sangre de Toro 2013. The flagship of Bodegas Torres winery in Spain, the 6th winery in terms of foreign exports. A blend of Grenache and Carignan from Catalonia, direct and friendly. A classic.

Marqués de Riscal Reserva 2010. We return to the Rioja to present a great champion of wineries: Marqués de Riscal, the 12th in Spain in terms of world exports. A guarantee of quality vintage after vintage!

Quality does not always reflect price … Do not miss these great wines!

Written on Designations of Origin, Sin categoría, Spain wine regions, Wine news, Wineries | Tagged , , |

Winning wines in the 2015 Grenaches du Monde Competition

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On Monday 9th May, the award-winning wines were made public at one of the wine competitions that, despite its short history, it has reached the international spotlight with force in recent years: Grenaches du Monde 2015.

This is a competition which, above all, pays homeage to the Garnacha, one of the most cultivated grape varieties in the world, present in many countries. Also, it comes at a time where knowledge of this variety is expanding. It is an opportunity to discover possibilities, the richness and diversity of wines made from Garnacha.

grenaches-du-monde-2015

 

The results obtained by Spanish Garnachas have been excellent, dominating the wine list, more than 70 medals were awarded, 4 more than France. Regarding different regions, Catalan and Aragonese Garnachas have been the most widely awarded.

This latest Grenaches du Monde 2015 competition closes with a total of 32 gold medals, 30 silver medals and 8 bronze medals for Spanish wines.

These are some of our favourite award-winning wines.Do not miss them!

Vía Edetana Negre 2012. Gold for this sweet red wine made by Bodegas Edetària under the protection of the DO Terra Alta. An interesting blend of Garnacha Fina and Garnacha Peluda  with a touch of Carignan. Sweet, spicy and intense.

Rebels de Batea Blanc 2013. No change of region, but grape variety, since this Rebels de Batea Blanc 2013 by Bodegas Torres received a Gold in the Garnacha Blanca category. A very interesting white wine, it is a faithful reflection of the variety and terroir of Terra Alta.

Borsao Selección 2013. We traveled to the Campo de Borja to highlight the Silver won by a wine with an excellent RRP. A well thought out and easy to drink wine. Ideal for carefree moments at this excellent price!

Honoro Vera 2013. Silver for another great value Spanish wine. A fleshy, sweet and fresh wine from DO Calatayud. We love it.

Furvus 2011. We finish this short list of featured wines by traveling to the DO Montsant to highlight the Silver obtained by Furvus 2011. A formidable blend of Grenache and Merlot with  intense, elegant and very persistent flavours.

Click on the following link to see the rest of the winning wines in Grenaches du Monde 2015.

Written on Decantalo, Designations of Origin, News, Spain wine regions, Wine news | Tagged , , , |

The History of Scotch Whisky

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The exact origins of the first “wee dram” of Scotch whisky have unfortunately been lost over the years, however, there are records of the ancient Celts referring to a potent amber liquid as “uisge beatha”, which means “aqua vitae” or “the water of life”.

The earliest written records referring to Scotch whisky production occurred in the Exchequer Rolls, written by one of the earliest governmental departments, which oversaw the royal finances. A 1494 entry reads “Eight bolls of malt to Friar John Cor, by order of the King, wherewith to make aqua vitae.” It has been estimated that that 8 bolls of malt would have produced around 1500 bottles of whisky, insinuating that a fairly large distillery was operating successfully by this time.

From the reign of the Celts up until the present day, Scotch has by and large been viewed as a panacea, an omnipotent and divine nectar, capable of curing anything from the common cold to swine flu. A Scot’s relationship with whisky truly can begin soon after birth, with some mothers opting for a drop of whisky to sooth the gums of their teething children!

BARRILESColours and Barrels at the Ardbeg Distillery (Islay, Scotland). Winterriot (CC BY 2.0)

There are two basic types of Scotch whisky, from which different blends are produced. Single malt whisky refers to a single distillery Scotch whisky produced only with water and malted barley using batch distillation in pot stills. However, whereas single grain Scotch whisky also refers to a whisky which has been distilled at a single distillery using water and malted barley, other whole cereal grains may have been added during the process.

Nutritionists in Norway recently revealed that, if consumed in regular amounts, whisky can in fact provide health benefits by helping remove blood clots in veins and arteries and substantially reducing the risk of stroke!

Here we highlight a few of our favourites:

Talisker 10 years- A classic Island whisky from the Isle of Skye. Consistently well received, this was an Editor’s Choice at Whisky Magazine. On the palate, it gives hints of spices and fresh, tangy, peaty notes.

Laphroaig 10 years- Produced on the island of Islay off the west coast of Scotland, Laphroaig 10 years must be one of Scotland’s most characterful whiskies. The flavour is intensely smoky and rich in peat and iodine.

The Macallan Amber- An amber coloured whisky by Macallan, part of the popular 1824 series. This malt is matured in sherry casks and the palate shows fresh green apples together with cinnamon. Subtle oak lingers throughout the journey. An example of what Macallan can do with good quality oak.

Aberlour A‘Bunadh- A single malt from the Aberlour Distillery. It is released in limited batches blended from barrels ranging from 5 to 25 years old, each batch carries a unique number. This whisky is exclusively aged in Spanish Oloroso sherry butts and therefore has interesting aromas of roasted nuts, old leather, black pepper, old oak and dried fruit.

To benefit from maximum taste and flavour, we recommend drinking Scotch whisky either neat, adding a few drops of water, or using whisky stones. Putting ice directly into your whisky will only reduce its temperature, freezing its aroma and smell and dulling the taste.

Sláinte!

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New Wines on Decántalo for the month of February!

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We begin cold February, by taking the opportunity to propose a selection of new wines that have become part of our broad portfolio of Spanish wines.

Do not miss this news, which is especially filled with new references, as always available from now on on our website. Enjoy!novedades1

Borsao Tres Picos 2013. The new 2013 vintage  of a major grenache from DO Campo de Borja. This vintage comes with the blessing of the guru Robert Parker, Tres Picos qualifies as the best  value wine of 2014.

Navazos-Niepoort 2012.  We welcome to our website a very special white wine, made from the union of the Navazos team and Dirk Niepoort. 100% Palomino aged for five months under a veil of flowers, marketed unfortified. A risky wine, special and different, very interesting.

Heredad Red 2011. We return again to the DO Campo de Borja, this time to present Heredad Red. A project born from the collaboration between the Carlos Valero winery and the winemaker Norrel Robertson MW. A very serious Garnacha, juicy, large and persistent.

La Bota de Palo Cortado 48 “Bota Punta”. Last month we got to know the Parker points for Jerez wines, amongst which we highlighted this special wine, rediscovered by Team Navazos. This wine is a good example of their work. Parker awarded it 98 points for being a superlative, unique wine.

Locations E3 2013. The new “year” of one of the most unorthodox Spanish wines, curious, yet pleasant. Locations E3 brings together in one bottle a selection of grapes from Priorat, Rioja, Jumilla, Ribera del Duero … This experiment, though oddly strange, works- and very well! A tribute to the good selection of grapes!novedades-2

Quinta Sardonia 2010. The new vintage of this charming wine. Fifth Sardonia 2010 is a red wine, a pure expression of terroir and great example of minerality. A complex blend dominated by Tempranillo, it is expressive, powerful and very, very smart.

Raúl Pérez Sketch 2013. January 2015 marked the visit of Robert Parker not only to Jerez, but also to other areas, such as Galicia. Among the Galician wines rated and added to our portfolio, we found this Sketch 2013. A wine signed by the winemaker Raul Perez, and awarded 93 Parkerpoints , and only 900 bottles were created. Do not miss this opportunity!

Les Crestes 2013. We travel to Priorat to debut the new vintage of Les Crestes, by the small family winery Celler Mas Doix. A traditional blend of Grenache and Carignan with Syrah notes, very mineral, sweet and lively. Wide expression of Priorat at a more than competitive price.

Arcán Albariño 2013. We welcome to our website Arcan 2013, one of the big winners of the passing of Parker through Galicia. A pure expression of Albariño and authenticity on all four sides. We were very pleasantly surprised.

Chivite Colección 125 Rosado 2012. If anyone thought that rosé wines did not know how to age, they were wrong. Introducing the  2012 vintage of Chivite 125 Rosado: A splendid rose wine made from 100% Tempranillo, balanced, elegant and rich in nuances.

These are just some of our new wines of the month. We encourage you to try them, you will like them!

Written on Decantalo, New wines, News, Parker | Tagged , , |

The top 25 Rioja Wines currently on the market, according to Decanter magazine.

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The well-known wine magazine, Decanter, has devoted much of its recent issue to Rioja wines in a special article entitled “The Many Faces of Rioja”.

An interesting and extensive article by the master of wine, Sarah Evans, a great fan of Spanish wines, which, as you can guess, highlights the diversity of characters and profiles of wines from Rioja.

riojaCertification note for DOCa Rioja. LB y Roberto Serna (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The British magazine article ends with a selection of the 25 best wines from Rioja currently on the market. Here are some of our favourites among those selected by Sarah Evans. As always, they are available on our website. Do not miss:

Marqués de Murrieta Capellanía 2009. Who said that Rioja only produces reds? Capellania 2009 is a superb Viura which can offer a lot,  after a prolonged aging of 22 months in oak barrels. A great white wine full of personality and nuances.

Marqués de Riscal Finca Torrea 2007.  An excellent modern Rioja produced by one of the most traditional wineries. This Finca Torrea 2007 promises power and an expression loaded with fruit, more than other components of the Riscal saga. A fantastic approach to the character of the new Rioja.

Viña Cubillo 2006. Here is a more traditional Rioja. This Viña Cubillo 2006 from the López de Heredia winery offers all the style and character of the Tondonia philosophy. A wine with vocation of aging which improves over the years.

Remírez de Ganuza Reserva 2007. One of the first great wines from Rioja. The reward for painstaking and careful work, and love for detail, from work in the vineyard to bottling. Deep, expressive and delicate. A great wine.

Palacios Remondo La Montesa 2011. From the hand of Alvaro Palacios comes this modern style Rioja with a superb value. A blend of Grenache and Tempranillo, it is very pleasant, energetic and warm.

Can’t wait to try them? Discover the best Riojas on Decantalo!

Written on Decantalo, Red wine, Rioja, Spain wine regions | Tagged , , |