Great value

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 Video Wine Review: Brezo Mencía 2010

September 11, 2013
Brezo Mencía 2010: earthy Spanish wine from the Bierzo region

I’ve had two cats named after my favorite grapes: Pinot Noir and Mencía…my cats are as full of character as these grapes! Mencía is a unique grape, full of personality, from the northwest of Spain, that at it’s best, has aromas of stone, earth and leaf. It’s not for the faint-hearted wine drinker, but rewards the adventurous. Some of my favorite Spanish wines are from Mencía but finding a good deal is increasingly hard as production can be tiny. The wine today is by star wine-maker Gregory Perez of Bodegas Mengoba the Bierzo region of Galicia. Mengoba Mencía has been one of my favorite Mencías for a long time and now we have the baby Mencía from Bodegas Mengoba: Brezo Mencía 2010. Check out my video review.

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Misunderstood Spanish wines: rosados and rosés

September 2, 2013
Spanish wines:  delicious and great value rosados perfect for daily life

Many people don’t drink rosados at all, others only drink them in the summer months. It’s a shame, because rosados are some of the most versatile and fun Spanish wines out there. I’m a equal opportunity rosé wine drinker and I think they are largely misunderstood and under-rated, but the ones from Spain are seriously great value. They are from lots of grape varieties and come in many styles and colors, but the best have a very satisfying freshness and dry fruitiness. They are one of the best wines to match with the foods of everyday life as they live at the intersection of white and red wines, sharing a few characteristics of each. Read on for my current top 5 Spanish rosados…ok one is Portuguese!

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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 Video: Garnacha Salvaje 2010

August 14, 2013
Garnacha Salvaje 2010:  unique old-vine Spanish wine from the Ribera del Queiles area

From the same people behind Matsu, some of my favorite Spanish wines from Toro, we have the Proyecto Garnachas de España. A very original and personal selection of Garnachas from several regions, all very good value and beautifully labelled. These people understand marketing because the website is beautiful, filled with neat videos about the old-vine Grenache vineyards of Spain. But it’s not just a nice story and pretty packaging…the wines are quite nice, unique and very good value. The wine I taste in my video today is the Garnacha Salvaje del Moncayo 2010. Check out this link for a long, but very cool video about the abandoned vines this wine came from and check out my review below.

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Spanish Wine Review: Raventós i Blanc de Nit Cava

August 12, 2013
Raventós i Blanc de Nit rosado cava:  Great Spanish sparkling wine

Spanish Cava is a bit on the outs here in the US and it’s a great shame. The recent cava appellation controversy has led to mixed messages and there has been a perception of reduced quality. Prosecco is everywhere, yet I would definitely question the quality of most of it. There is a lot of mediocre cava out there and it sucks that it is ruining the reputation of the rest. It’s a shame because it is such a great Spanish wine and there are so many good producers. Rosado, or rosé cava has been a trickier category…growing but very inconsistent. The best and the best value for years has been the Raventós i Blanc de Nit….so drinkable, yet super food friendly, great in every season. Not only my favorite rosado cava, one of my favorite everyday sparkling wines in general!

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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: La Montesa 2009

April 30, 2013
La Montesa 2009:  Spanish wine from the Rioja region

It’s been a while since I’ve had a mellow, perfectly drinkable Rioja and this La Montesa fit the bill nicely. Rioja is still the king of Spanish wine but there are so many faces and styles to the region that it can be really confusing to find a nice bottle at a good price. The traditional Rioja styles remain popular amongst wine geeks but the good ones cost a pretty penny. The bold, modern style comes at all price points, but they are not always as mellow and ready to drink…something to cherish in Rioja. There are lots somewhere in between, embracing both tradition and the modern…the hybrid is maybe the most user-friendly style. La Montesa, from one of the modern masters of Spanish wine, Alvaro Palacios, is one of these and makes for good drinking at a great price in the 2009 vintage.

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Spanish Wine Review: Zestos Garnacha 2011

April 17, 2013
Zestos Garnacha 2011:  Spanish wine from the Madrid region

Exciting Spanish wine day in Costco today…but more on that later! The one I had to open first was the Zestos Garnacha 2011 from the Madrid wine region, called Vinos de Madrid. This is an area often overlooked, even in Spain and there are some really exciting wines, wines with some really unique personality. Also Madrid is like home to me, so I always like to see it represent! To find a good Madrid wine in Costco, and at the ridiculously affordable price of 7 dollars, really made my day! This Zestos is amazing value, it’s such an attractive wine, and it gives a great glimpse of what Madrid producers are doing with their fantastic old vine Grenache vineyards.

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