Castilla Leon

Spanish Wine Review: Finca Zerberos Pizarra 2007

December 11, 2013

The Finca Zerberos Pizarra 2007 makes me very, very happy. It’s mineral, crisp, fruity, yet has complexity and some real depth. It has bite, yet it manages to to be pretty at the same time, and very food friendly. It’s everything I long for in a red wine and don’t get enough of. Whoever thinks of Grenache as a simple, soft wines has to try the wines of Daniel Ramos, his unique line of old-vine Garnachas. These wines hail from the Cebreros area of Avila province, just across the border from the San Martín area of Madrid, where you can find similar styles of old-vine Grenache. The Garnachas from this area are full of personality and are great value. They reflect a particular and surprising terroir and they are some of my favorite Spanish wines.

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Spanish Wine Review: Montecastro 2008

September 5, 2013
Montecastro 2008:  Bold yet balanced Spanish wine from the Ribera del Duero region

One of the best parts of judging the Zarcillos 2013 was talking with lots of young Ribera del Duero winemakers. For years I’ve been put off by many Ribera wines; with their aggressive oak and extraction, they became my least favorite Spanish wines. They can be exhausting to drink. Despite this, there is no denying the style’s commercial success, it appeals to many wine drinkers. Talking to some of the younger new guard, I was excited to see some trends changing, a more moderate approach to oak, a lighter winemaking hand. It’s exciting to see the result of that new approach in the Montecastro 2008. This popular wine was never my cup of tea and though it remains distinctly Ribera, the “new” Montecastro, has an elegance and balance that makes it much more drinkable.

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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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Wine rating: Leione 2005

March 19, 2009

Leione is an interesting wine made from the grape variety Prieto Picudo.  Prieto Picudo is a local variety found in the Leon province of Spain, the same region that is home to the more high profile Mencía grape.  Mencía has become quite trendy and just stepping out its shadow is this very good quality grape.  […]

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