Wine Talk March 2016


Spain is Where It’s At

There really is no country to surpass Spain at the moment with diversity and innovation in winemaking. It seems to have found a perfect mix of the traditional with the innovative to create some outstanding wines. Even areas that used to produce large quantities of bulk wine are making fresh, vibrant fruity wines.

I don’t normally write about our entry level wines but in this case I will make an exception. Our Castillo Ladera wines from La Mancha are outstanding value at £6.50. The white is a blend of a local Spanish grape Airen with 25% Sauvignon Blanc. Picked at night and made only with free run juice (no pressing) the result is a fresh, fruity dry wine which is very drinkable. The red is a blend of Tempranillo with 15% Syrah from 80 year old vines. Also fermented from free run juice the skins are left in contact longer than is typical to extract maximum flavour and colour. Just 5% is oak aged to add compexity giving a wonderfully fresh fruity red.

One of Spain’s hidden treasures is the white grape of Godello native to north west Spain. Our Lagar da Xestosa Godello is from Monterrei on the northern Portuguese border. It has a lovely soft texture with savoury, mineral flavours.

Another less well known variety is Monastrell (Mourvedre in France). Most widely planted in Jumilla in the south west, the wines tend to be quite chunky and tannic. However the Elena Pacheco’s Familia Pacheco Roble is a blend of Monastrell with Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. It has mature black fruits and a touch of oak to add complexity.

I could go on about many other Spanish wines that we have recently added, but I fear I may lose the reader. The best way to explore our fantastic Spanish range is to visit the shop and we can help you discover some wonderful wines.

David Wood