I like Graciano. It’s a red grape variety, grown principally in Rioja, where it is used as a blending component. It’s a high quality grape capable of making ageworthy wines, but it’s low yielding, and so not so popular with the large factory-like bodegas.
This example is from Navarra, and it’s deliciously fresh and lively, with [...]
I love this wine, which hails from the north west of Spain, in a small Galician region called Ribeiro. It’s made from some unfamiliar varieties, but Jancis, Julia and Jose’s book (Wine Grapes) has helped me out. First we have Sousón, which is the same as Vinhão or Sousão, a variety popular in the Douro [...]
Great discovery today, made at Les Caves de Pyrene’s sparkling tasting. Recaredo. World-class Cava, something that many wine nuts didn’t think was possible.
The secret to Recaredo’s wines? Biodynamic viticulture and long ageing on lees, on the cork. During this lees ageing they carry out Poignetage, a shaking of the bottle to spread out the lees. Riddling and [...]
Sherry gives me a lot of pleasure. Here are three Palo Cortados that I’ve had open for a while. I did a contemplative comparative tasting of them. All quite different, but all thoroughly lovely.
Paolo Cortado starts life as a fino, but then the flor dies. It’s fortified up to a higher strength (18%, typically) and [...]
This weekend Vilafranca comes alive with the Vijazz festival. It’s basically a street party combining jazz and wine. Over 30 Penedes wine producers are taking part, and there are two music stages, one in the main square and a slightly larger one in a more enclosed square in front of the large church.
Some good acts [...]
Had my first visit to Priorat yesterday. Remarkable how similar the soils are to the Douro, with schist, which here they call licorella.
The similarity is also helped by the fact that there are some steep slopes, with terracing needed. I was visiting with Torres, so I saw their two sites: one, a large new-ish vineyard at [...]
So, I have been eating quite well over the last couple of days.
Dinner on Tuesday evening was at Cal Ton in Vilafranca (www.restuarantcalton.com). Not flashy, but just very good. Started off with a really deliciously executed warm octopus salad, and then had salt cod done three ways.
A quick lunch yesterday at El Moli del Mallol in [...]
With Marimar Torres
I’ve been visiting Torres today, one of Spain’s strongest wine brands, making not only very good commercial wines, but also some fairly serious high end wines, too.
I spent some time with the boss, Miguel Torres, and also with Marimar Torres who is based in the USA and runs Marimar Estate, in Sonoma, [...]
Two impressive, potentially ageworthy Garnacha (Grenache) wines from Navarra. They’re quite difficult to assess right now because they are just so tannic and primary, but I think they will be special with a decade in the cellar.
They’re from Domaines Lupier, which is the project of Enrique Basarte and Elisa Úcar whose mission has been to [...]
Jesus Barquin of Equipo Navazos
I am being spoiled by Spain at the moment. Hot on the heels of yesterdays fabulous Vega Sicilia tasting, today was a chance to try through a wide range of the fabulous Equipo Navazos sherries with Jesús Barquín, one of the original partners in the venture.
Equipo Navazos started out as a [...]