Wine Reviews

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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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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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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Spanish Wine Review: Oloroso Bodegas Tradición 30yrs

July 19, 2013
Bodegas Tradicion Oloroso Sherry:  Great Spanish wine

My second Spanish wine while back in Madrid (and here I’ll stop counting) had to be a sherry…and a spectacular one it was! Bodegas Tradición never disappoints with its small line of complex, aged sherries and the 30yr Oloroso was no exception. Though dry, the multi-layer, complex nutty, roasted and cocoa notes in this amazing wine made it a perfect ending with my coffee after a very rich meal. I love that this oxidized wine stays fresh for months after opening and can be enjoyed in small pours. Though not inexpensive at around 40€ or 75$, it is really great value…what other 30 year old wine can be enjoyed for this price?

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Spanish Wine Review: Peña Caballera Garnacha 2011

July 16, 2013
Peña Caballera 2011:  Great Spanish wine from the Madrid region

I was back in Madrid and my first Spanish wine had to be from Madrid region and a Garnacha. It was a bit of a risk as I was having a perfect steak experience at the Vaca Nostra restaurant and elegant, lean Madrid Grenache might not be everyone’s first choice. But I couldn’t resist the Peña Caballera, a top bottling from Bodega Marañones, especially at such a great price. What a joy to be back where wine markups, even in expensive restaurants, are so reasonable! The Grenache turned out to be a great match for both the steak tartare and the very special 4 month dry aged Galician steak. Great balance, freshness, and a good tannic structure were the perfect, subtle framework for the meats. So happy to be drinking some great Garnacha back in Madrid!

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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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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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Video Spanish Wine Review: Fernando de Castilla Antique PX Sherry

May 13, 2013
Spanish wine:  Great Spanish sherry in Fernando de Castilla Antique PX

Very excited to start video posts on Spanish wines…this is my first one! Riveting stuff! Enjoy it and laugh at my awkwardness! It will get better! I already mentioned this wine, the Fernando de Castilla Antique Pedro Ximenez, in my recent article about the wines of Sherry. In that article I talked about how what […]

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