Saturday, February 5, 2011

Spanish Wines Part II

Let's get real: Spanish wines are made by people who leave their trademark on them.

Wine as a whole is very subjective, but a few things should be considered: Inexpensive wines generally have their limits, and quality generally will be reflected in price.

Exploring fair to good ((Sometimes very good) wines can be inexpensive.
Exploring different wines can be fun.

Spanish wines are maybe the most fun (For Me) Geographically to explore.

Exploring wines as one would explore a beach or a city could just be a kind of compass in these adventures, a souvenir, memorabilia that pin-points people, places, times and things.

Okay, not so much interested in my musings, but I think it is important that how we get somewhere is as important as getting there. So, sampling wines along the way, though not always great wines, still leaves us with something enriching.

I've heard it said that California makes some of the world's greatest wines, but also some of the sweetest most disgusting wines in the world; hopefully, taking our spin around Spain will not leave us with that ill attitude.

New Hampshire shoppers should be able to find the six wines I'm going to briefly comment on, or a more recent vintage. I must restate that vintage does make a difference. However, there are some wineries that make great efforts to be consistent. Consistency can be ferreted-out  with a little research, but when you're a casual wine drinker and just brave enough to try something different,  when the price is so nominal as to be inconsequential, then a "have-at-it" attitude will make for a fun exploration; wine-tasting parties have this kind of mindset, but not all of us can or want to make a party of it; I, for one, will have a glass of Red wine and get sleepy.

So, with this long preface (You are getting sleepy) let's get to the wines.

is  from the region of Moncayo, South of Navarra (Region we visited in a previous post)  in Northern Spain. Exploration wine at this price is okay for me, but I was glad it wasn't more. This was a unique wine for me, if not particularly pleasant; with an over-whelming spearmint flavor (True to its nose), I am not a fan. Though overall, not a bad wine, with floral flavors and a medium body, this wine was especially good with dark chocolate.  
It is important to note that this is a young wine and as it cellars a while may improve. So, I've bought more than one bottle and will try again next year.

Traveling East we come to the region of Costers Del Segre, just North of Priorat (Region we visited in a previous post); here we find Castell del Remei Gotim Bru 2006 Red Wine, $10.19, 85 points a typically tart wine, but not a typical Spanish wine. Having blended Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Garnacha, Castell del Remei Gotim Bru has constructed a complex and interesting wine worth the $10.19 I paid for it.

Heading South, once again we come to Priorat (I'm beginning to know my way around). Nita 2007 Red Wine, $22.94, 90 points, uses 45% Grenache, 35% Carignane, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Syrah and combines them into a wonderful expression of the region; glassy rose-pedal color, with a faint blackberry aroma, light to medium body with a full-bodied flavor of fruit that is consistent, pleasantly tart with both a spicy palate and finish. Pair-able with many different tomato-based Mediterranean cuisine, or stand alone.

Celler de Capcanes Mas Donis Barrica 2007 Red Wine, $9.34, 87 points maybe the best value of the six wines. With layers of fruit and nuanced flavors of herbs and spices carefully and discreetly woven into the blend of 85% Garnacha and 15% Syrah. The region of Montsant is just South of (In the Shadow of) Priorat.

Hecula 2005 Monastrell, $10.19, 87 points, is from the region Yecla, still further South of Montsant along the East coast. 100% Monastrell (Mataro) from unirrigated vines, having  produced an interesting wine of unpredictable flavor, nice aroma lost in darkly hidden color and magic. Well, so much for the "science" of wine-tasting!

Wrongo Dongo (Bodegas Juan Gil Jumilla) 2008 Monastrell, $7.64, 85 points, another 100% Monastrell wine, but this time from Jumilla, which is nearby and just West of the Yecla region. With big plum flavors and a big aroma of dark berries this a clean Red Table Wine; paired well with Lamb and Feta cheese. 

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