Food, wine, travel, music
A recent tasting in Cork of Spanish wines accentuated the good value to quality ratio we are getting again from Spain. A sherry tasting was a reminder that its pairing with many foods and snacks, as well as the obvious tapas, is well worth an adventure. There is good value to be had in regular white and red wines. Below are a few of my highlights.
Basa 2012. Always a satisfying white wine from the Rueda region, this is full on Verdejo, Sauvignon Blanc and Viura. A decent mouthful for €15.50
Lindes de Remelluri 2009. From DOC Rioja this has bright Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano and Viura grapes for a beautifully balanced wine for drinking now. From Granja Ntra, Señora de Remelluri. €21.95
Herencia del Padri 2010 from DOCa Priorat has Carignena, Garnacha, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah blended beautifully. From the Bernard Magrez stable where wines are made for drinking now. Delicious! €20.95
Emilio Moro 2010. From the DO Ribero del Duero this is a great wine with a big finish. €23.50. Can be drunk now, but I’m keeping mine for a few years as expect it to get even better.
Barry & Fitzwilliam Ltd always have big names and plenty of decent sherry.
Tio Pepe’s unfiltered sherry was my discovery this tasting. ‘Freshly made’ and known as Tio Pepe en Rama, it’s wonderful way to appreciate this drink at its best. It will be available in this unfiltered state for just a few months as it keeps less well than the regular version, so try it while you can. Jacques restaurant in Cork is serving it at the moment. Try the importers for a bottle to take home.
Mary Pawle Wines
Based in Kenmare Co Kerry, it’s hard to believe that Mary has kept going since 1997 importing just organic wines. That takes courage. But there are plenty of us who appreciate her dedication and interest in finding terrific wines, which stand up to scrutiny, organic or not. This year’s offerings are particularly good value.
Lignum Blanc 2012. From DO Penedes, Albet y Noya is a range Mary Pawle has championed since she started, and they have grown with her. This wine, made from a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, is beautifully balanced and has a fresh finish. €16.00
Viento Aliseo Blanco 2013. From DO La Mancha a pure Viognier is quite light for a Viognier, fruity, quite dry with a fresh finish. One for summer salads. €13.20
Smith & Whelan Wines Ltd
Albarino de Fefinanes 2012
I have a particularly soft spot for these wine from the Rias Baixas region of the north west of Spain, as I discovered them in the little village of Cambados and recommended that they be brought into this country by David Smith and Sacha Whelan who have since won numerous awards for it at Spanish tastings. Winemaker/owner Juan Gil makes wines of elegance which don’t have the harsh fruitiness of some Albarinos which tire easily. Instead these improve in the glass, and even with age. If you can get your hands on the 111 Ano label (not released before it is three years old), you will be well rewarded with a rich, complex wine. This one is a little lighter, but superb with a hint of complexity indicating that the wine is left on the lees for a while. Excellent with fish and summer salads, but with enough weight to serve with Asian food and (getting ahead) with Christmas dinner too. €21.00
Txomin Etxaniz 2012 From DO Getariako Txaklina, this wine is made from Hondarribi Zuri grapes native to the Basque country where this wine is produced (which explains the unusual spellings – lots of the use of the letter x ). Fruity (some apple) and bright, it will be delicious as an aperitif when the sun comes out. Made at Txomin Etxaniz €18.00
Tascampanas 2012 from DO Rueda is a delicious Verdejo with lots of rich, warm fruit and freshness, and very good value at €15.00
Louro Do Bolo 2012 from DO Valdeorras is a pure Godello and a good one to try to learn what it tastes like. Usually in blends, it has more flavour than I expected, a little oak and quite a mouthful of medium depth of fruit. It has been compared to a white Burgundy and I can see where that’s coming from. Worth keeping a bottle for a year to see if it depends in flavor, but perfectly good for now. From Rafael Palacios, a man with a pedigree. €22.00
Treinta Mil Maravedies 2012 from DO Madrid is a blend of Garnacha and Syrah and is unfiltered. This is a deliciously elegant wine made from grapes grown at a high altitude providing finesse that is well worth this price. From Bodega Maranones €19.50