Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My Picks: Vintages Release ─ January 19 2013

When this week’s release catalog arrived in the mailbox, I confess that I was excited.  The theme?  Spanish Wines.  Regular readers know that I have a soft spot for the traditional wines of the Iberian Peninsula.  Carly Simon began singing in my head.  Anticipation…is keeping me waiting. 

Ah, but the subtitle tells the tale:  Span the style spectrum.  Turns out that this is code for a bunch of wines with “international” grape varieties.  It’s the usual suspects:  Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, even Syrah, none of which I associate with Spain in particular.  I’m guessing that Vintages has concluded that the only way to turn its customers onto Spanish wines is to give us the Spanish wines that are much like wines from anywhere else.  Boring.

But there are some Spanish wines that fall into the traditional category and 4 of them (2 whites, 2 reds) are listed below.  Thank goodness for small mercies.

Other than that, there just aren’t that many wines that fit My Picks.  Maybe it’s time for a trip to the SAQ
FATTORIA LA RIPA 2009, DOCG Chianti Classico (Tuscany); #651596; Price $19.95; 13.0% ABV
A blend of Sangiovese (90%) and Canaiolo (10%).  Aged in oak and then the bottle before release.  Look for typical aromas of cherry, spices, tobacco, and leather.  Made with organic grapes.  It’s perfect with Italian dishes with tomato-based sauces.

Off the Beaten Track

ALVAREZ DE TOLEDO GODELLO 2010, DO Bierzo (Spain); #308049; Price $13.95; 12.5% ABV
100% Godello.  Hand-harvested.  (Beppi Crosariol says that hand harvesting is meaningless.  I’m a big fan of Beppi but not of MOG…Material Other than Grapes, which tends to end up in the mix with mechanical harvesting).  Look for tree fruit and minerality.  Ideal as an aperitif.

CUATRO RAYAS VIÑEDOS CENTENARIOS VERDEJO 2011, DO Rueda (Spain); #312900; Price $15.95; 13.0% ABV
100% Verdejo, indigenous to the Rueda region in north-central Spain.  Fermented in stainless steel with indigenous yeasts.  Left to age on its lees for 4 months.  It’s known for its herbal and nutty aromas and flavours in addition to those of tree fruit.  Ideal with grilled white fish.

MARCHESI MAZZEI ZISOLA NERO D'AVOLA 2009, IGT Sicilia (Italy); #303925; Price $25.95; 13.5% ABV

100% Nero d'Avola, it’s indigenous to Sicily.  Handpicked.  Maceration for 14 days.  Aged 10 months in French oak barrels (one-third new) followed by one year of bottle aging.  This is one of those wines made from a lesser-known (and underrated) Italian grape variety.  It’s the Big Easy, ideal with typically spicy Sicilian food.

DON JACOBO RESERVA 2004, DOCa Rioja (Spain); #313270; Price $17.95; 13.5% ABV
A blend of Tempranillo (95%) with Garnacha and Mazuelo aka Carignan (10%).  Aged in oak for 14 months and then in bottle before release.  Typical Rioja, which means aromas of cherries, plums, vanilla, with minerality on the palate.  I’d try this with grilled lamb chops.
SOLAR DE SAEL CRIANZA MENCÍA 2007, DO Bierzo (Spain); #311902; Price $15.95; 14.5% ABV
100% Mencia, another varietal indigenous to the north-west quadrant of Spain, this time in Bierzo.  Mencia is in vogue at the moment…and deservedly so.  This one’s from old vines.  Aged 12 months in new French and American oak casks.  These are big wines, ideal with a roast beef.

Subscribing to this blog through RSS or email is easy! Just click on the subscribe link to the left ←

No comments:

Post a Comment