Coto de Gomariz The Flower and The Bee Souson

This is such a beautiful, utterly drinkable wine. It’s from Ribeiro, a region in northwest Spain in Galicia, and it is made from the Sousón grape variety, which is the same as Portugal’s Sousao/Vinhao. Available in the UK from Indigo Wine, and not too expensive (around £12.50 in independent wine merchants). Just the sort of [...]

A brilliant Rioja: Phincas

I was introduced to this wine by David Sampedro Gil, the winemaker behind DSG Vineyards, a relatively new project looking to make a range of wines from some of Spain’s great terroirs. I was really taken by it: it’s a serious effort, and one of the best young Riojas I have tried. UK agent is [...]

Ochoa 8A Mil Gracias Graciano

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 [...]

A lovely red wine from Galicia, Spain

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 [...]

Recaredo: world-class Cava?

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 [...]

Three lovely Palo Cortado sherries

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 [...]

A night out in Vilafranca with nice wine and beer

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 [...]

My first look at Priorat

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 [...]

Some nice food here in Catalunya

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 [...]

Some research work at Torres, Spain

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, [...]