The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation, NSLC, has a promotion called ‘Get To Know Spanish Wines’, and they are featuring some spectacular Spanish Wines. I have had so much fun trying new wines from this wonderful region. Spain has almost 3 million acres of vines making it the most widely planted wine region, but the 3rd largest producer behind France and Italy. And although you would find about 400 grape varieties in Spain, you would have to travel to Spain to try most of them. 80% of its exports are from about 20 grapes.
One of the famous exports is Monastrell, and the grape variety shines in the Castillo De Jumillo. Blended with 10% Tempranillo, which is probably the most popular grape variety in Spain for red wines. I enjoyed this 2013, which was actually picked in October of 2012. Remember the year on the bottle is the year the wine was bottled. Crianza red wines are aged for 2 years with at least 6 months in oak, this particular wine and this particular wine was in oak for a year. Very smooth, very food friendly and a great price point at under $20.
Had to share this one for my white wine loving friends. This lovely Campo Flores Blanco is crisp and light and it’s organic. Made from the Macabeo grape, which is also known as Viura, and it’s a great price point at $16.29 a bottle. On the nose, I detected grapefruit and asparagus, similar to Sauvignon Blanc, but nothing about the wine on the palate suggest Sauvignon Blanc. This is not as acidic, it is much smoother on the palate, with some lovely peach notes, and both Amber (from the NSLC) and I were saying how wonderful it would be with food.
Here’s another wine Amber and I did a tasting on, a 2010 Old Vine Garnacha (Spanish for Grenache) which is another great wine at around $20. Spanish wines are such exceptional value and here’s another prime example of that. Old vines tend to produce a little more intense flavor in the wines, and both of us agreed this one is also very well balanced with some spice accompanying the rich fruit.
And now for my wine of the week
The 2013 Faustino Rioja Crianza from 2013. Under $20 and a delicious wine, and 100% Tempranillo. Aged in American oak for 14 months, don’t be concerned if you detect wood on the nose when you first open the bottle. That will dissipate in no time at all, and the bright fruit will shine through. This is also a food friendly wine as Tempranillo tends to be. I personally thought it was a great wine at a great price and it was fun trying a bunch of new Spanish wines recently.
I am writing this blog a day early this week, as I will be up bright and early Saturday morning to go work in a vineyard for the day. Yes, as I am nearing the end of my quest to become a Sommelier, today I head to Blomidon Winery in the Anapolis Valley to work with the talented winemaker Simon Rafuse.
Till next week, Cheers