Vegan wine: what are vegan wines?

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We’ve realised that customers feel a bit confused whenever we talk about vegan wine: Vegan wine? But doesn’t wine come from grapes? And so, isn’t all wine vegan? Well no, not all wines are vegan wines, even though they do indeed all come from grapes.

vegan wine

We talk about vegan wine when we’re referring to the wine suitable for consumption by people who follow a vegan diet. I.e. a diet that excludes any trace of animal origin in the food. But the vegan culture goes beyond diet. It can be defined as a lifestyle that extends the rejection of products of animal origin to any habit of consumption.

Having clarified this, let’s talk about the wines. Because wine, being a product made from fermenting grapes, should be a product completely compatible with a vegan diet. And yes, it would be if it weren’t for the fact that at the end of the wine-making process the wine is clarified. This is a “cleaning” process by means of which any possible remaining impurities from the grapes or from the yeasts are eliminated before the wine can be bottled.

This clarification is often done with products of animal origin. Egg white is usually used. Or isinglass, from fish tails. Sometimes casein, a protein derived from milk, is also used. Or gelatin, almost always obtained from fish cartilage.
In order for a wine to qualify as vegan wine, it has to be bottled without clarification. Or if it is clarified, this needs to be done with clarifiers that are not of animal origin. Certain proteins from vegetable sources, such as potatoes or wheat, are usually used. Carrageenans, from marine algae, are sometimes used. It’s also common to use bentonite, a clay powder that is often used in white wines.

In Spain there is no specific legislation that defines the requirements that a wine must meet to be qualified as vegan wine. Some wineries try to certify their wines through independent bodies that certify that no ingredient derived from animals has been used during its preparation.

So now you know, not all wine is vegan wine. Although they all come from grapes ;)

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Wines from Galicia rated by Parker

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We started the week with new Parker scores for wines from Bierzo, and we end it with new wines from Galicia rated by Parker. In his new report Luis Gutierrez reviews the wines from the Galician denominations of Rías Baixas, Ribeiro, Ribeira Sacra and Monterrei, performing an in-depth analysis of health of Galician wine.

Of special note are a series of small producers looking to produce wines with a defined personality, focusing on quality, organic farming, authenticity, old vines, etc., in short, obtaining a wine that reflects the character of each plot.

vinos de Galicia puntuados por Parker

In contrast, Luis Gutiérrez criticizes the denominations of origin for the standardization of the wines and for focusing on large volume instead of on quality. In his report he points out how these small producers have to leave the denominations because the latter fail to provide a haven for the diversity of personalities of their wines.

In evaluating the Galician denominations, Luis Gutiérrez highlights the D.O. Ribeiro, an interesting context that has evolved considerably in the last 5 years.
An area that is traditionally one of great cooperatives, but which is seeing how the long-established names, Luis Anxo Rodríguez or Emilio Rojo, are being joined by new interesting projects like El Paraguas Atlántico, Augalevada or Cume do Avia.
He also highlights a classic winery like Viña Mein, which has hired Comando G as consultants to try to change their wines: beginning to grow organic and biodynamic vineyards, using as little yeast as possible, fermenting each plot separately, promoting the use of local varieties, and using old vines to produce some of their wines; all this in search of authenticity and personality.

From the D.O. Rías Baixas, Luis Gutiérrez highlights the great producers we’re used to seeing in his reports: AlbamarForges of the SalnésFulcrum and Zarate, all of them in the Salnés area; producers who are involved in new projects to make new wines every year, and whose progress he advises us to follow closely.
When it comes to evaluating the vintages, we encounter two very different years: 2016 suddenly became a complicated year, when the rains came at harvest time — something that marked the character of the wines of this vintage, depending on whether the grapes were picked before the rain with the grapes a little green and therefore with a touch of acidity, or if they were picked after the rains, which could lead to oversaturation and, therefore, to a loss of acidity. Something highly valued and necessary in the wines from Rías Baixas.

On the other hand, the 2017 vintage was a quiet one, being warmer and drier, which led to the harvest being brought forward to preserve the acidity and avoid the heat. A good vintage for Rías Baixas wines.

Luis Gutierrez highlights the D.O. Monterrei Quinta da Muradella winery and its wines from the warmest area of Galicia with a characteristic mineral background; wines that Gutiérrez values for their highly positive progress year after year.
And lastly, in Ribeira Sacra, the Envínate winery, a project originally from Tenerife, which is working with small plots of old vines. Or Fedellos do Couto, a small winery working on small plots on granite soils with a cool climate, and producing wines with a great personality.

Galicia, a land that is attempting to change its historical way of making wine, leaving aside the great production and seeking the personality and authenticity of each nook and cranny of its diverse territory.
By following this link you can find all the Galician wines rated by Parker. We hope you like them.

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New Parker ratings for Bierzo wines

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We ended last week with new news that came to us from the Parker Guide: a new report by Luis Gutiérrez that listed the new Bierzo wines rated by Parker.

In his report, Luis Gutierrez talks about two vintages: 2016 and 2017. In terms of the 2017 vintage, Luis explains that it was a complicated year, with hot and very dry weather. A year that made it necessary to bring the harvest forward to around August 20th. in an attempt to preserve the freshness that is so typical of Bierzo wines. However, he defines 2016 as a year that had the perfect weather for producing fresh wines. Resulting in very elegant wines, with wonderful aromas and textures. As excellent a vintage in El Bierzo as few can remember.

bierzo

In his report, Luis Gutierrez highlights the search for identity that the D.O. Bierzo is engaged upon, and how it is forging ahead towards that goal in leaps and bounds. As an example, the classifying of Bierzo wines into vinos regionales, vinos de pueblo, vinos de paraje and vinos de finca. In this post we talked about this classifying of the previous Parker scores for Bierzo and Galicia. The intention of this classifying is to attempt to emphasise increasingly the particular features of each plot.
The denomination also regulates the maximum amount of yeast to be used, as well as irrigation, which will only be accepted for the first two years after planting the vineyard.
In this search for authenticity, the Bierzo denomination is committing itself to traditional varieties such as Estaladiña or Merenzao, and adding new towns to the vinos de pueblo classification.

With all these measures, the Bierzo Designation of Origin aims to take the lead among Spanish wines in this change towards authenticity, typicity and territory. Yet this would not be possible without producers who are capable of leading this change. Luckily the Bierzo has individuals who are great maestros in interpreting the territory, among whom Luis Gutiérrez highlights Raúl Pérez or Ricardo Perez Palacios, in the towns of Valtuille and Corullón respectively; two people committed to their land and who know how to extract the best from each vineyard, making wines with a great personality that are a true reflection of the territory. You don’t want to miss trying the Raúl Pérez wines or the Ricardo Palacios wines, with their Pétalos del Bierzo or Corullón, the winery’s flagship wines.

Luis Gutierrez doesn’t miss the opportunity to highlight the way Verónica Ortega wines have evolved. From producing a single red, ROC Mencía, it has now gone on to produce four reds and a white. Of special note is Verónica Ortega Cal Blanco, a white wine made with grapes of the Godello variety from calcareous soils, something that is rather unusual in Bierzo. Also noteworthy is the red Cobrana made in the municipality of the same name, in the limits of the denomination, when the usual ones are the wines from the Valtuille area. A wine made with both white and red varieties, which gives it a unique personality.

So now you know, if you want to taste the wines from one of the most authentic areas in Spain in terms of winemaking, you shouldn’t lose sight of the Bierzo area; an area with enormous potential, containing small vineyards with a great personality, and with great winemakers convinced that their responsibility lies in getting the best out of their land. And so may it continue to be it for a long time. But hurry, we’re talking about small plots with very limited runs, so they’re wines that quickly sell out every year.

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Types of white wine

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Many of you ask us what the different types of white wine that can be found are. So we thought it would be a good idea to write this post as a source of reference when cataloguing the different types of white wine. The first thing we’ll do is look for some cataloguing parameters, and then go on to examine which wines fit into each of them. Ready? Here we go.

Tipos de vino blanco

To catalogue the different types of white wine, the first thing we need to do is to define four major cataloguing groups: arranging them according to ageing, body, climate and sensation of sweetness. There are four parameters that help us define and catalogue any white wine.

Types of white wines according to the type of ageing
Let’s start by looking at the kind of ageing that wine has had: known in Spanish as Crianza. We talk about a young white wine when the wine has spent very little time, or none at all, ageing. They are white wines from a particular year, designed to be consumed in the same year. The character of the wine is marked by its youth, finding mainly fruit and freshness in them, as for example in this magnificent Viña Zorzal Garnacha Blanca.
On the other hand, wines that have spent time in the barrel, whether fermented or fermented and aged, are wines that are somewhat more complex. Wines that change those fresher notes of youth for the tertiary notes arising from their time in wood. A magnificent example of a wine with a noticeable time spent in wood might be Viña Gravonia from Viña Tondonia.
We could separate into a third group those wines aged on their own lees, wines that are aged with the solid material that remains in a tank after fermentation, a material made up of the remains of grapes and dead yeasts. These lees give the wine volume, unctuousness and a certain complexity. An example: Avance Cuvee de O: a tasty Godello produced by Jorge Ordoñez in the D.O. Valdeorras.

Types of white wines according to body
If we look at the body of a white wine, we can distinguish between two major groups: light white wines and white wines with body.
We say that a white wine is light when we’re talking about a wine with an easy mouthfeel. Wines in general with little ageing, which stand out for their refreshing acidity and their fluidity. As an example of a light wine, this magnificent Txacolí: Gorka Izaguirre Txacolí,
In contrast, when we speak of a white wine with body, we’re referring to wines that give us a sensation of volume, density and vigour in the mouth. Normally, in addition to variety and climate, this body is provided by fermentation or by ageing in barrels with their own lees. These are more complex wines with a greater glyceric sensation. If you’d like to try a good white body, we recommend this Remírez de Ganuza Blanco, a huge white aged for 8 months with its own lees.

Types of white wines according to climate
A third parameter that allows us to catalogue a white wine is freshness. We say that a wine is fresh when it presents a balanced acidity that helps to give it a light mouthfeel. They are vibrant, light wines that are easy to drink, since this freshness helps to ensure that you don’t tire of drinking them. A clear example of a fresh wine is Leirana Albariño, rated in its 2012 vintage by the New York Times as the best wine from the D.O. Rías Baixas.
At the other extreme, we speak of warm wines when we’re referring to wines from grapes grown in warm climates. Climates that encourage the grape to ripen more. These are wines with a greater amount of alcohol and with great aromatic potential. We recommend this Llàgrimes de Tardor Blanc, a mature wine with body that is very varietal.

Dry or sweet white wines
A final parameter to take into account when cataloguing a white wine can be whether it’s a dry wine, or on the contrary, a rather sweet wine.
In terms of sweet wines as such, in Spain we have dessert wines. Wines with a residual sugar level of more than 30, 40 or 50 grams per litre.
Yet leaving these wines aside, without getting into the world of sweet wines, we sometimes perceive a certain sweetness in the mouth. A perception that is provided by some fruity or floral aromas in certain varieties. As an example we suggest Gramona Gessamí, a very aromatic wine with lots of ripe fruit on the nose, which will bring you some wonderful sweet memories.
On the opposite extreme we have dry white wines. Direct, profiled wines, where the memories become herbs, spices, minerals or wood. A good example is Zárate Albariño, an elegant Albariño aged on its lees for 3 months.

Now that you know how to catalogue the different types of white wine, we’d like to suggest an exercise for the next time you have a white wine in front of you: is it a young or and aged white? Try to discover that fruit or lightness in young wines, or that complexity in wines that have been aged. Does it have lots of body or is it a rather light wine? Does it come from a cool climate or a warm climate? Look for that freshness or that maturity. Does it have sweet memories or is it more of a dry wine?
Little by little you’ll come to learn how to discover all these nuances, and you’ll see that it’ll be easy to start cataloguing the wines you taste.
Cheers!

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New vintages of Vega Sicília wine

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After a short wait, we can announce that we finally have the new vintages of the Vega Sicília wines for sale. Vega Sicília wine is one of those wines that pass beyond the frontier of wine as such and become an object of desire; a mythical brand, admired and recognized in any corner of the wine world. Just say Vega Sicília and there’s no need to say anything else.

Vega Sicilia

Vega Sicília is a winery located in the heart of the Ribera de Duero, but is also the most visible brand in a group made up of the Alión wineries, also in Ribera de Duero, Pintia, in Toro, and Benjamin Rothschild & Vega Sicilia, a project shared with the Benjamin Rothschild group in Rioja. A group of wineries with one common idea: to produce high quality wines while seeking excellence in each of the processes.

Starting with theVega Sicília wine in Ribera de Duero, we’ll begin by talking about one of its most representative wines: Vega Sicília Valbuena 5ºAño in its new 2014 vintage, a Gran Reserva aged for 42 months in oak, and which was rated a few days ago with no fewer than 96 Parker points. A fine, elegant wine; the gateway to the Vega Sicília universe. Vega Sicília Único, is also premiered in its 2009 vintage, the mythical wine from the winery that was recently rated with 98 Parker points. As the name suggests, it’s a unique wine. Balanced, amiable, lingering. A very special wine. And lastly, the winery’s top wine: Vega Sicília Único Reserva Especial Edición 2019, a wine made from a coupage of the 2006, 2007 and 2009 harvests rated with 95 Parker points. A blend of each vintage’s characteristics, in search of the essence of Vega Sicília.

Without moving from the D.O. Ribera de Duero, we make our next stop in the Vega Sicília Group at Alión. A small winery where they make a single wine of the same name, Alión. They now present their new Alión 2015 vintage, recently rated by Parker with 93 points. An excellent wine, aged for 14 months and then rested for 18 to 20 months in the bottle.

And from Alión we move on to Pintia, a winery in the D.O. Toro where the Vega Sicília group produces the wine of the same name, Pintia, which has just presented its new Pintia 2014 vintage, rated with 94 Parker points. An excellent, very elegant wine with delicate tannins.

Lastly we visit Rioja, where Vega Sicília shares a project together with the well-known international group Benjamin Rothschild in the Benjamin Rothschild & Vega Sicilia winery. Two unique wines, Macán and Macán Clásico, but what a pair of wines! Macán Clásico has presented its 2015 vintage, rated with 93 Parker points, and Macán the 2014, with 94 Parker points. Two wines that perfectly represent the Rioja savoir faire. Silky, velvety wines, with a great aging. Perfect for lovers of Rioja.

We hope you enjoy these new vintages of Vega Sicília wine. But hurry up, some of them are sure to sell out quickly, as you know.

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Wine pairing

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Whenever we talk about wine pairing we find ourselves embroiled in a certain controversy. Let’s say that it’s hard for us to agree on the perfect way to pair this or that dish. And the first thing we have to think about is that the wine pairing is not an exact science. This is not mathematics. There is no magic formula that always works in exactly the same way for everyone.

We can summarize wine pairing as an attempt to seek a good combination between a dish and the wine that accompanies it. Some talk about establishing a marriage between food and wine.
But here lies the first dilemma: what does combine mean? What kind of marriage are we talking about? Does combining mean harmonizing? Does combining mean contrasting? Because there are marriages that harmonize, but there are also others that are pure contrast … Well, perhaps we should leave this topic and focus on wines.

maridajes

The first thing we have to think about when pairing our dishes is to establish a logical order. In the same way that we tend to eat something lighter than the main course as a starter, and then finish with the dessert, we should do something similar with wines. To understand what we mean, it wouldn’t make any sense to start with a full-bodied red wine and end up with a fresh and light white wine. The reason is obvious. It would be very hard for us to perceive the qualities of the second wine.
We should therefore start our meal with a light wine and finish off with something more full-bodied. As for dessert, we can talk about that later.
A generic order, from lighter wine to more full-bodied wine, based on aging, might be: young white or rosé wines, white or rosé wines with some barrel, young red wines, Crianzas, Reservas and Gran Reservas.
If we take climate into account, from wines from a cooler climate to wines from a warmer climate and therefore more mature.

Ok, we now have a clear logical order when it comes to what kind of wines to serve. And now, which wines should we select? This brings us fully into the pairing game. What is it that we want to do? To try and harmonize with the food? To complement? To contrast?
The first thing that most likely comes to mind is to harmonize the dish and the wine. A clear example: seafood such as oysters, prawns or shrimps are perfect with a dry white wine, perhaps with a salty touch such as Albariños or some other white wines from Galicia. We recommend something classic like Mar de Frades, or if you prefer to try something new Leirana Albariño, a wine from old vineyards that expresses all the character of this variety.
We can also try a good Fino or a Manzanilla, with that classic pungent and salty flavor that combines perfectly with seafood. Valdespino Fino Inocente or the classic Manzanilla La Güita can be good examples.

Fish can work very well with whites that are a bit more complex, with some barrel, or with sparkling wines that also have some aging. If the fish is cooked on the grill, we should look for a simpler white, and a young white will work well for us. If the dish is complicated with sauces or with other ingredients, we will have to look for something more complex. Here whites or sparkling wines aged in the barrel come into play. We recommend you try Ossian, a Verdejo that works for us due to its complexity, or Dido Blanc, a white from the Priorat with an excellent aging in fudres. If you prefer a sparkling wine, try Recaredo Terrers, an excellent Brut Nature that will work perfectly.
And can’t I pair a fish with a red wine? Yes, of course, if what you like are reds, you can also choose this option. Of course, look for a fresh wine, without too much body, structure or complexity. A Pinot Noir, a Grenache planted at an altitude or a Galician or Canary Island red with the influence of the Atlantic. Very light and fresh wines that won’t compete with the fish, such as this La Bruja de Rozas.
If you like, you can take another look this entry from some time ago in which we gave you some ideas for pairing sushi and wine.

If we’re talking about meats, the first thing is to differentiate between white meats and red meats. For white meat, a white or a rosé with a certain complexity can work for us. You can try it with Flor de Muga Rosado, an elegant and delicate wine which complements a white meat very well.
As the intensity of the meat rises, so should the intensity of the wine. For grilled red meat we can pair a Ribera de Duero barrel red wine very well, such as Aalto, or Muga Selección Especial Reserva if we prefer a Rioja wine. Two elegant but powerful wines that will tolerate the taste of the meat perfectly.
If we’re talking about more complex meat casseroles, with a certain amount of spices and reduced sauces, stews or game meat, we should be looking for a wine with elegance, but one that is complex and full-bodied. It has to be a wine with a personality capable of standing out in the presence of a dish that is already forceful. You could try a Priorat wine like Les Terrasses, or Victorino, a wine with all the power of Toro, but with great finesse. If you are one of those who dare to try new things, you could try to pair it with an Amontillado like Fernando de Castilla Antique Amontillado, one of those gems that can only be found in Jerez. It will definitely impress you.

Let’s move on to the desserts. It’s time to finish off the meal, and we usually do so with some fruit if we need to refresh ourselves, or with something sweet, like some good cakes, or with an item which is the undisputed king of desserts: chocolate.
If the dessert is fruit-based, we suggest you pair it with a good sparkling wine to help cleanse the acidity of the fruit. If you opt for cakes, you can choose a good sweet wine, which matches perfectly with cream cakes or even those with fresh cream. You could opt for a sweet Lustau wine: East India Solera, a long and complex wine or Victoria Número 2, a sweet wine from the Sierra de Málaga. If you’re not too fond of sweet wines though, we suggest you try the Ximénez-Spinola Old Harvest, a sweet wine but one that is surprisingly dry at the same time.
And if your meal ends with a good dark chocolate, our recommendation would be to look for a complex wine. A good example might be Palo Cortado Peninsula, a fine yet powerful wine, with a very interesting pungent acidity.

We’ll finish off by providing you with a little trick: geographical pairing. If you want to play it safe, it makes all the sense in the world to combine a meal and a wine that come from the same area. In the past there was less freight transport available, and the products that were consumed were the products from the area. All those years of history can’t be wrong.

Anyway, all these are just suggestions. The most important thing is that you understand the different concepts and start trying them out. As we said at the beginning, there is no golden rule in wine pairing. You yourself will discover how you like to pair your dishes. You’ll see what works and what doesn’t work for you. The best thing is that you encourage yourself to start!

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New Parker rating for Bodegas Artadi

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We have a new report from Luis Gutiérrez, who on this occasion is visiting Bodegas Artadi, a winery located in Laguardia, in the heart of La Rioja. Luis Gutiérrez highlights the quality of the wines from this winery, as well as the exceptional nature of the 2016 vintage in Rioja.

artadi

Artadi is one of the most emblematic wineries in Rioja. A while ago we were surprised by the news that it had decided to leave the Rioja Denomination of Origin, arguing that they were seeking greater freedom of production and more precision when it came to cataloging their wines. Artadi defend their decision based on the view that “Rioja” is too extensive, attempting as it does to encompass wines from such a large area, with such disparate concepts of preparation and such a wide range of different qualities.
Artadi wine want to emphasize the territory and its particular features, while making its own personality, forged over many years, more relevant.

In addition to Rioja, Artadi also produces in Alicante and in Navarre; in Alicante under the name of El Sequé, from grapes of the Monastrell variety, and in Navarre under the name Artazu, mainly from grapes of the Grenache variety.

In his report, Luis Gutierrez highlights the great 2016 vintage in Rioja; an exceptional vintage, one of the best remembered.
Of special note in terms of the Parker scores awarded to Artadi wines are the 99 points for Artadi Viña el Pisón 2016. Also the 97 points and 95-96 points for the 2016 and 2017 vintages respectively for Artadi El Carretil, vintages that we hope to have for sale very soon. And the 94 points for the 2016 vintage of the Artadi Valdeginés.

Outside of Rioja, we should mention the 93 points obtained by the 2016 vintage of El Sequé, a wine produced by Artadi in Alicante, or the 94+ for the 2016 vintage of Santa Cruz de Artazu, produced in Navarra and for sale soon in Decántalo.

With these scores, Bodegas Artadi has reinforced its idea of seeking to highlight the particular nature of the territory in its wines. Wines with personality, with nuances. Wines that have not gone unnoticed by the Parker Guide, one of the world’s benchmarks in wine reviewing. We’ll have to keep a close eye on the way this winery’s wines evolve.

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The influence of different types of soil on wine: Slate

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We continue with the second chapter about the influence of types of soil on wine, having previously talked about the influence of granite. This time we focus on Slate soils.

pizarra

 

Slate soils have a metamorphic origin. I.e. they come mainly from clays that are sedimented (fine grains) and compacted due to the high temperatures suffered over time, thus forming thin sheets or layers. They tend to be dark in color, usually bluish, but there are also shades with reddish colors.

The general characteristic of these types of soil is that they are very poor in organic matter, do not retain water and do not cool down so easily during the night. On not having many nutrients, or water, the roots penetrate between the sheets to absorb what they need. The contact with inorganic matter is much greater, which is what leads to that famous mineral aroma.

In Spain we have several areas where slate soils can be found. One of the most famous is the Priorat, where it makes up the majority and is called Licorella. This is a region where the Mediterranean climate has a major influence, and the heat and lack of water exacerbate the two weaknesses of the soil. The result is that this area produces wines with a great deal of body, depth and mineral sensation, due to the mixture of these two factors: soil and climate. Here the great exponents have been those from the now famous revolution that took place years ago. Developers from other areas showed that the variety that this territory spawns be tamed and turned into world-class wines. Clos MogadorClos MartinetClos Erasmus and Dofí. Nowadays other magnificent representatives have also joined these, such as Mas DoixEster Nin or Vall Llach.

The Valdeorras area is also greatly influenced by slate. Here the well-known Godello grape is nourished by all the benefits of slate, as in the distant though famous Rhine region of Germany and its excellent Rieslings. Some of the most representative examples from the territory are Rafael Palacios and Telmo Rodríguez. They are extracting the maximum amount of juice and producing great wines like As Sortes and Branco de Santa Cruz.

El Bierzo has an important part on slate soil, and a particular sub-area is being renamed with the efforts of Ricardo Pérez Palacios and his uncle Álvaro PalaciosCorullón and its different settings are putting Bierzo on the world’s winemaking map. Las LamasMoncerbal and of course, La Faraona, are making a niche for themselves among the world’s great fine wines. With a different character in each vintage, they are fragrant, mineral and complex.

Another area where we can find slate is:
Cebreros: The newly created Cebreros D.O.P. grows Grenache and Albillos on this type of soil. Soto and Manrique is producing very good wines that are suitable for all budgets. The great fine wine of the area is El Reventón by Daniel Landi. Here slate and Grenache blend together perfectly to offer us the most earthy and juiciest part of their wines.
Ribeira Sacra: in the Cañon del Sil area, with the Algueira winery as one of the sub-area’s excellent exponents.
Emporda: the sea breeze tempers the Mediterranean climate and the slate soil to be found in some parts of the Emporda sub-area. Comabruna de Espelt, made with the Cariñena variety is a good example.

So, for lovers of somewhat more structured and earthy wines, slate is one of the best soils. Enjoy them!

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Top 10 essential wines for every day

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We’re starting off the new year with the famous January belt-tightening, and we can’t be expected to face up to it cheerfully without wine on the table. We’ve decided to prepare a selection of the best red wines at unbeatable prices, so that you never go short at home or on the table.

10-vinos-enero

Parotet Vermell: Celler del Roure produces wines that are full of fruit and Mediterranean energy. Prepared with Garnacha tinta, mando and monastrell, and aged for a few months in earthen jars to preserve all the freshness of the fruit.

Viña Zorzal Garnacha: The breath of fresh air these young wines bring to the old Grenache vines of Navarra, in the lower area of the Ribera Baja de Ebro. This wine reflects all the goodness of the variety, fresh red fruit perfect for accompanying all kinds of food.

Abel Mendoza Jarrarte Joven Maceración Carbónica: The selection has to include this great wine as a representative of the most faithful style of carbonic maceration. Every year Maite and Abel produce one of the most typical wines of the Rioja Alta area. Loads of fruit and firm tannins that make it irresistible on any table.

Rayos Uva: Olivier Riviere, the “Gabaxo” from La Rioja, presents a wine with a perfect balance between fruit and light aging. This wine is designed to please the most demanding palates at any time of the day.

Les Argiles d’Orto Vins Negre: Joan Asens is one of the greatest connoisseurs of the Montsant area and an Orto Vins winemaker. He presents us with this wine, which is essential for understanding the area where fruit and floral notes come together to provide us with a vibrant wine.

Pruno: This is a wine for those who love to drink wines with aromas and tertiary flavors of aging. Spicy with a fruity base note and a medium-high body, it is indispensable in any meal.

Ultreia Saint Jacques: Having a Raúl Pérez wine on the table every day is possible, and besides, not just any wine. Ultreia Saint Jacques has been one of the most sought after Raúl wines, for its quality and price. So, Mencía lovers, now you know. Buy it!

Solà Fred Negre: Listed as the best QPR wine in the world in 2017 according to Decanter. A wine made by the Cooperativa del Masroig in Montsant and with the Cariñena variety. A wine that is fruity while at the same time spicy with firm tannins. perfect for enduring everyday meals.

Vizcarra Senda del Oro: The Vizcarra family bottles the essence of Ribera del Duero in this wine. a 100% fino red that they age for seven months to provide more structure to the wine. It’s become a classic in the area.

La Viña de Ayer Garnacha: this wine, produced in the subzone of Cebreros in the Gredos area, is a real gift. Old grenaches prepared and aged in cement. Balanced, juicy and fresh; properties that make it ideal for any time of the day.

With these 10 arguments we feel sure you won’t be short of wine at home.

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2018 Parker Ratings : Aragón, Gredos and Navarra

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At the end of 2018 Robert Parker published his final report on Aragón, Gredos and Navarra. Three areas where the Grenache variety is indigenous and is revealing the best of itself. This is demonstrated by the 100 points awarded to Rumbo al Norte from the Comando G winery in Gredos. The more refined style that wines made with this variety are acquiring leads to them being compared to the Pinot Noir from Mediterranean climates.

Gredos 1

 

Aragón

In the different DOs covered by this region, Luis Gutiérrez sees a significant change in the style of wines produced, from over-matured and structured wines to wines that are more balanced. The wineries that stand out are Bodegas Frontonio in Valdejalón, with an important leap in quality compared to the last report. El Escocés Volante in Calatayud and Cuevas de Arom in Campo de Borja.

Gredos

This region, which still remains part of different communities and DOs, could actually form a single Denomination. Among them is the recently released Cebreros. In this denomination Luis nominates Soto y Manrique, which the Cebreros cooperative has acquired to develop its different wines, such as Naranja y Azules Garnacha 2017 with 92 points. In the same Cebreros Viñedos del Jorco also stands out, with a renewed image and a new range focusing on the local wines.

The Bernabeleva winery also has very good scores, producing lighter and more precise wines year after year. Its plot-grown wines like Garnacha de Viña Bonita 2016, with 96 points, are a good indication of this.

The Marañones winery also finds itself a niche among the most outstanding wineries in the Gredos area. Its top wine Peña Caballera 2016 has obtained 96 points and its Albillo white Pies Descalzos 2017, 93 points.

But the big news from the Gredos area has been the 100 points obtained by Rumbo al Norte 2016 from Comando G. One of the most breathtaking vineyards in the peninsula, located on a Martian setting surrounded by granite rocks and resting on decomposed granite sand. Not falling short either are the other “Grand Crus” from the winery, such as Tumba del rey Moro with 97 points, or those that are bottled under the Daniel Landi Viticultor label, like Las Iruelas 2016, with 96 points. Their vino de pueblo La Bruja de Rozas 2016 also stands out, with 93.

Navarre

From this denomination, Luis Gutiérrez highlights three wineries in this report: Domaine de Lupier; the Artadi winery in the Artazu area and Viña Zorzal. In Artazu he has seen a change of style in the production, which has gone from a more over-mature style to a more defined style, as shown by the 94 points for Santa Cruz de Artazu.

Within Navarre, the greatest improvement has been found in Viña Zorzal, with its single-variety wines such as Viña Zorzal Graciano 2016, which has obtained 90, or the wine that has attracted his attention the most Viña Zorzal Malayeto 2016, with 94 points, which, as Luis says, is a wine to buy whole boxes of.

 

And so concludes Luis Gutiérrez’s last 2018 report for Wine Advocate. A bombshell that puts Spanish Grenaches at the pinnacle of the world’s great wines. Bravo!

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