Bold reds

Spanish Video Wine review: Bovale Bobal 2011

September 22, 2013

Bobal is one of Spain’s most prolific vines yet it remains virtually unknown, especially compared to the neighboring grape variety Monastrell, which has seen a recent surge in popularity. Both of these grapes are from eastern Spain, an area known for an extreme Mediterranean climate. Bobal is uniquely suited for this, with its naturally high acidity, and makes some seriously original and delicious Spanish wines. Much harder to find than either Monastrell or Garnacha wines here in the US market, is worth seeking out. The wine today is Bovale 2011, a Bobal wine from the Utiel Requena region. Check out my video review. FYI: the bottle was hanging around and I was sipping now and then throughout the day, and this wine kept getting better!

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Spanish Wine Review: Montecastro 2008

September 5, 2013
Montecastro 2008:  Bold yet balanced Spanish wine from the Ribera del Duero region

One of the best parts of judging the Zarcillos 2013 was talking with lots of young Ribera del Duero winemakers. For years I’ve been put off by many Ribera wines; with their aggressive oak and extraction, they became my least favorite Spanish wines. They can be exhausting to drink. Despite this, there is no denying the style’s commercial success, it appeals to many wine drinkers. Talking to some of the younger new guard, I was excited to see some trends changing, a more moderate approach to oak, a lighter winemaking hand. It’s exciting to see the result of that new approach in the Montecastro 2008. This popular wine was never my cup of tea and though it remains distinctly Ribera, the “new” Montecastro, has an elegance and balance that makes it much more drinkable.

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Spanish Wine Review: Las Retamas del Regajal 2009

July 30, 2013
Las Retamas del Regajal 2009:  Spanish wine from the Madrid region

We were in Bar Amor in the Malasaña district of Madrid for my birthday dinner. It had been a full day of great food and wine…honestly it was a bit of a blur. Bar Amor has a short, but good wine list, with a nice selection of Spanish wines and local Madrid bottles. The Retamas 2009 caught my eye right away as it was on my hit list. It’s the little sister to the well known Madrid wine El Regajal, one of the wines that changed Madrid’s reputation in the wine world. The Retamas del Regajal, a Tempranillo blend, is a big, fruity and attractive wine at an amazing price. It was the perfect match with our delicious presa ibérica dish, an intensely flavored cut of ibérico pork. The dish and the wine both stood out from the enjoyable birthday haze.

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Video Spanish Wine Review: Aragón Grenache

May 17, 2013
Spanish wine:  Evodia 2011 from Calatayud

Always on the lookout for a great Grenache! This Spanish wine is old-vine Garnacha made in the Calatayud area of Aragón for the US market. The Evodia 2011 has gotten rave reviews around the blogosphere and from critics, so wanted to give it a try!  

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Video Spanish Wine Review: Value Rioja

May 16, 2013
Spanish wine:  Obalo Joven 2011 from Rioja

Some thoughts on value Rioja…love the video format…short and sweet! The Spanish wine today was the Obalo Joven 2011.  Other great value Rioja recommendations here and here… Spanish wine review: Value Rioja from Mary O’Connor on Vimeo.  

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Spanish Wine Review: Faunus 2011

May 8, 2013
Spanish wine:  Faunus 2011 from the Montsant region

I tasted a few great Spanish wines by the glass from the self-serve Enomatic wine dispensers at one of Miami’s really authentic Spanish restaurants, Xixón. My favorite for both quality and value was another impressive entry from the Montsant region, the Faunus 2011, by Ediciones i-Limitadas. Another great value Spanish wine from the Montsant region. I love this region for its intense, earthy balanced reds. Though perhaps not as consistent and remarkable as neighboring Priorat’s more famous wines, they’re also a lot less expensive in general.

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Spanish Wine Review: Ferrer Bobet Vinyes 2010

April 3, 2013
Ferrer Bobet Vinyes Velles:  Spanish wine from the Priorat region

I love Ferrer Bobet wines because they totally embrace the terroir that has made the Priorat region famous but also have a slight modern and clean edge that makes them stand out from the pack. Priorat offers us such amazing wines, so full of intensity, earthiness, and personality, but often at a big price. I often other Spanish wines at substitutes for the budget conscious consumer, such as those from neighboring Montsant. But the Ferrer Bobet Vinyes Velles is really good value for a top flight Priorat, only about 30€ in Spain, under 50$ here in the US. I would recommend this wine to anyone who loves a California Cab in that price range.

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Spanish Wine Review: Almirez 2010

February 18, 2013
Almirez 2010:  Spanish red wine from the Toro region

This is a big juicy, bold Spanish red wine from the local variety of Tempranillo in the Toro region. Toro offers wines similar to the uber-trendy Ribera del Duero region but at much more affordable prices. The climate is even more extreme continental so in Toro wines you get even more intense, exuberant fruit, good acidity…big wines, but with good freshness and balance. The Almirez is one of the entry-level wines of an impressive Toro range from the famous Eguren family and offers great value at 15€ in Spain and about 20$ in the US.

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Spanish Red Wine Review: Camins del Priorat 2011

February 14, 2013
Camins del Priorat:  Spanish red wine from the Priorat region

Great intro to pricy Priorat at the hands of the master Alvaro Palacios, this Spanish red wine is easy to drink and easy on the wallet at about 18$ in the US and 15€ in Spain. The Priorat region offers wines full of character, with an intensity, boldness and a savory minerality that reflects the unique terroir. Unfortunately all this comes at a very premium price, especially in a good-value Spanish context. The upside of crisis times is that many top wineries have come out with cheaper wines that can give you some glimpses into this amazing stuff. Also check out neighboring Montsant for some great values….

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Spanish Red Wine Review: Étnic Negre 2008

January 30, 2013
Étnic Negre 2008:  Delicious Spanish wine from the Montsant area of Cataluña

This is a great value Spanish red wine from the Montsant area of Catalonia. Montsant offers similar wines to neighboring Priorat, which has become known for it’s bold, intense reds, at a much lower price point. Prefer to review wines I can also find in the US but I have to make a few exceptions and this is one to keep an eye out for. It’s the house wine of my new favorite restaurant in Madrid, Laredo, and it offers intense black fruit, minerality and length but also loads of charm and freshness. Very easy to drink and at 14 euros a bottle it’s a steal! Can’t find it yet stateside but here’s hoping…..

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