Wine Musings

Grenache Shines in Spain and France

February 4, 2009

I’ve been writing about Grenache in its various forms over the past month…for me some of the most exciting wines in Spain have Grenache in the mix.  Whether it is is an intense, mineral Priorat based in a Grenache blend or a soft, sweet fruit, old-vine Grenache from Aragon….the variety is endless!  I wanted to […]

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Spain’s Top Five Wines or The Parkerization of Spain

February 3, 2009

When I arrived in Spain over 6 years ago, Robert Parker and his team were just starting to pay attention to the wines in a big way.  Since then I have seen awareness of him take off in the wine sector…frequently these days, winery professionals talk about the ratings they’ve received from the Wine Advocate.  […]

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Ronda: New Frontiers in Spanish Wine

January 9, 2009

There’s lots of talk about some of Spain’s up and coming wine regions….Bierzo, La Mancha, Toro, Jumilla are all the new buzz words.  But really they are old news…all of them have a long track record and good name recognition within Spain and outside Spain.  Now there are a new group of regions appearing on […]

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Rioja Vino de Autor in Two Vintages: San Vicente 2003 and 2004

March 4, 2008

Rioja Vino de Autor in Two Vintages:  San Vicente 2003 and 2004 Vintage Variation in Spain is not as extreme as it is in more northern climates, but it obviously still has a very real impact.  I was fortunate to try one of my favourite Vinos de Autor in two very different vintages.  San Vicente […]

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Rioja Wine Styles Part 3: The Gran Reserva vs a Super-Reserva

March 1, 2008

The Gran Reserva is almost exclusively a classic style in Rioja….most of these wines have over 30 months in oak, many as much as 48 months!   National wine law in Spain has changed…the minimum oak aging for a gran reserva is 18 months, though the total time before release remains 5 years.  But many of […]

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Rioja Wine Styles Part 2: The Reservas

February 28, 2008

Now we move on to the Reservas, both in the 18 euro price range.  Once again I picked a true classic bodega, La Rioja Alta and a fully modern one; Palacios Remondo.  At the crianza level there is usually enough fruit in both classic and modern to satisfy the majority of palates, but at the […]

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Rioja Wine Styles Part 1: The Crianzas

February 28, 2008

The next pair of wines in my Rioja class was two crianzas, one in a classic style and one in a modern style, both in the 10-12 euro range.  The Rioja style issue is a favourite theme for me to bring out in my tastings.  Many typical wine-drinkers are unaware of the stylistic differences that […]

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A mummified Rioja from 1955

February 26, 2008

I’ve been doing a course with a great group…looking more in depth at Spanish red wines.  Our first week was Rioja and we made some interesting discoveries.  It was a great opportunity to further explore the fascinating topic of classic and modern Rioja styles. The most unique and fascinating wine was probably the 1955 Paternina Reserva…a wine […]

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Wine Storage Conditions Really Matter…or two contrasting 1980 vintage ports

December 12, 2007

Yes, wine storage conditions matter even for port!  Following is a very sad story of how critical this issue is.  Recently we got a chance to try two 1980 vintage ports together that had been stored in very different conditions.  The difference between the two wines was a revelation to me! We had been given […]

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The Changing Face of Spanish White Wine

December 7, 2007

In my classes, I always stress the huge gap that exists between Spanish red wines and white wines. For several years, I’ve been able to use a fun example to illustrate that point.  The most expensive red wine in Spain is Pingus from Ribera del Duero, which has a theoretical price of 600 euros, but […]

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