Great value

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 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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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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LAN Crianza: Bright and Fruity Rioja at a Good Price

October 5, 2012

The retail mark ups on Spanish wines here in the US are so puzzling, some are so reasonable and others outrageous. Walking around a Total Wine store here in Florida yesterday, I was happy to see an old favorite at a very decent 13$ price point.

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