Fresh whites

Taste the volcanoes in Canary wines: undiscovered Spanish wines

September 13, 2013
Spanish wines:  Taste the volcanic soils in Canary Island wines

Even in Spain, Canary Island wines are off the radar, except for a few Malvasía wines. Thanks to the marketing clout of Jose Pastor, who imports an impressive portfolio of Canary wines, I’ve seen more press here in the US than I’ve ever seen in Spain. Due to very limited quantities, finding these unique Spanish wines is challenging, but well worth the search. I recently went to a great tasting of the portfolio and I was surprised by the personality and character of the wines. They were also fresh and inviting to drink. It seems a bit cliche, but you really feel like you are tasting volcanic soils! I was very impressed and refreshed, and I’ll be seeking out more Canary wines on my next trip back to Spain.

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Spanish Wine Review: Arindo Verdejo 2011

August 25, 2013
Arindo Verdejo 2011:  Spanish wine from the Rueda region

There is nothing like a white Verdejo wine to bring me back to Spain. It’s this Spanish wine from the Rueda region, not the iconic red Rioja wines that most brings the memories flooding back. You don’t usually give Rueda a second thought, but it is the wine of everyday Spanish life. It is the wine you can always count to be refreshing, consistent, good-value, and everywhere. Rueda is your best wine friend in a country where wine selection can still be spotty. Single-varietal Verdejo Ruedas are usually a cut above, and the more mineral ones and some of the barrel fermented bottles show the potential of this grape variety. The Arindo 2011, from one of my favorite producers, Bodegas Shaya, is one of the good-value, easy-drinking Rueda wines….it took me right back to daily life in Madrid!

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Spanish Wine Review: Amizade Godello 2011

August 11, 2013
Amizade 2011 Godello:  Spanish wine from the Monterrei region

I always love to recommend another Spanish wine made with Godello …one of my favorite grape varieties! I had the Amizade 2011 with Asian fusion flavors at one of my favorite Madrid fast food spots, StreetXO, and it was a perfect match. This 2011 has very floral and citrus notes and it really handled the complex Asian combinations well. It’s a fairly simple wine but really crisp and attractive and just what you are looking for in this case. The price is really budget friendly at about

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Undiscovered Spanish Wines: Ribeira Sacra

May 14, 2013
Spanish wine:  Dominio do Bibei from Ribeira Sacra

Ribeira Sacra is one of Galicia’s least known wine appellations, yet it is producing some of Spain’s most interesting wines. This very small area has attracted some top wine makers and small, artisanal projects due to its unique and challenging landscape. The wines, produced from unique indigenous varieties, are light, yet intense and very original. They are mostly white, but the reds are even more surprising, especially in a Spanish, hot climate context. There are many great wines that represent this unique terroir, including the spectacular El Pecado, a most unique red made by innovator enologist Raul Perez. The wines that inspired this article are from Dominio do Bibei, a project from the wine superstar couple Sara Pérez and René Barbier.

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Spanish Wine Review: Shaya 2011

February 27, 2013
Shaya 2011:  Spanish white wine from the Rueda region

Rueda white wine is the standard house white throughout much of Spain and for this we give thanks! This Spanish wine saved me from wine hell so many times over the years in Madrid and I will be eternally grateful! It is often maligned by wine aficionados as simple, tiring and lacking distinct personality, but for an under 10 price point, expectations should be reasonable. A cheap Rueda may be simple, but it is also pleasant and pretty consistent. With care, you can even find some that offer a little complexity. Shaya is one of these wines. It is made from old vines and has the typical cut grass and tropical fruit aromas of the Verdejo grape along with some great freshness and length. All for 9€ in Spain and about 10$ here in the US!

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Spanish White Wine Review: Louro do Bolo 2011

January 24, 2013
Louro de Bolo 2011:  Great Spanish wine from the Godello grape

I rated the 2007 vintage of this Spanish wine in 2009, and almost 4 years later, this wine remains one of my favorite whites. Godello, the top notch grape behind this delicious wine, has come a long way, but is still under-appreciated in both Spain and abroad. I keep expecting it to take off…more people are talking about it as Pain’s next great white grape…. but it’s still on the runway! This wine shows both the complex and friendly sides of Godello: round, lemon, slightly tropical fruit, but with great acidity and just enough oak smoke for some complexity. Amazingly the price remains the same as in 2009!

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Wine Review: Tricó Albariño 2009

December 28, 2012
Tricó Albariño:  Spanish wine from the Galicia region

This wine blows all my sometimes unfair stereotypes of thin, unsatisfying Galician Albariño right out of the water. So many years of drinking lots of bad Albariño and the frustration of seeing bad wine being made from a very good grape have led me to be a state of resignation about the wine in general. I have had to accept it is Spain’s most beloved white grape….but I try to seek out the really special ones and often turn to alternative grapes from the area such as Godello. This wine fell into my lap as a gift from a Spanish visitor. What a lovely gift it turned out to be! Rich, more exotic, and fuller than most, it also offers the best assets of a great Albariño, piercing acidity and wonderful minerality!

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Wine rating: Louro do Bolo 2007

April 24, 2009

One Spanish white grape I’ve written quite a bit about is Godello, a high quality grape from Galicia in northwestern Spain.  My all-time favorite Godello is As Sortes by Rafael Palacios, a wine I’ve rated and written about a couple of times.  Rafael Palacios is very passionate about Godello and determined to make world class […]

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Wine rating: Groc 2007

April 22, 2009

One wine region I rave about but never write about is Rueda.  The region is a mainstay in my tastings because I think they are some of the most consistent and best value white wines in the world.  You can get a reliable bottle for between 5 and 8€ retail.  These are unoaked, fresh whites […]

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Wine Rating: Erebo 2007

February 5, 2009

I’m all about Godello…it is a great value alternative to the many under-performing Albariños that abound in Spain.  It is the other fine white grape from Galicia.  It is grown throughout Galicia and parts of Leon.  It is a semi-aromatic grape, usually offering intense fruit (apricot, melon, lime, pear), floral, and mineral notes…it has an […]

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