I’m in Rioja, on a short trip with Vintae, a dynamic wine company looking to make authentic wines across several Spanish wine regions. They’re working with organics, marginal vineyards, forgotten vineyards and have a particular focus on Grenache. We’re staying in Logroño, so on the first night it was pretty much obligatory to go tapas [...]
This is a lovely wine. Lopez de Heredia is an ultratradtional winery in Rioja, with no concessions made to modernity. I really like their wines, which show lovely complexity, made in quite an oxidative style. This Reserva 2004 is still a baby, but shows brilliant potential. If you can find any of the whites, they [...]
Yesterday I visited one of the world’s most remarkable winery buildings. I had dinner at the Marqués de Riscal ‘City of Wine’. I’d heard about Riscal’s bold architecture, but it’s only when you get close and see the construction face to face that you realise how stunning it is. It pops out of the sleepy-looking [...]
Contino is an estate-based winery, which is unusual in Rioja. It’s based on a 62 hectare vineyard that is at the beginning of Rioja Alavesa, not far from Logroño. The vineyard is in a 100 hectare meander of the River Ebro, facing south, at 400 m altitude.
Jesús Madrazo, Contino
We visited with winemaker Jesús Madrazo, [...]
I have a soft spot for Torres. They’re a big company, but they make honest wines. The cheap stuff – the Vina Sol, Vina Esmerelda and the Sangre de Toro – are all really reliable and over-deliver. And they aren’t tricked up. And then Torres also do good expensive stuff, too.
So, continuing my theme of [...]
Some more highlights from Simplesmente Vinho to mention. There are a few more to come after this. A show full of interesting wines, for sure.
Marta Soares is an artist and a winemaker. She still lectures in art, but her main gig is wine. At Casal Figueira in Lisboa she makes wine from just one [...]
I’m in the lovely city of Porto, northern Portugal, for Simplesmente Vinho 2016. Held over this weekend at the Convento Monchique, an impressive run down Manueline building that is in the first stages of being restored, it’s a two-day festival of small, authentic wines combined with food, art and music.
60 producers are attending this [...]
Eulogio Pomares is the viticulturist and winemaker at Zarate in Rias Baixas, Spain, and he has also his own project, Grandes Vinos Desiguales.
He makes two wines, both from Albariño: a skin contact white, and this, his Crianza Oxidativa. The unusual conditions of 2011 meant that the grapes failed to accumulate sugar in the normal way. [...]
This is a beautiful lighter red wine from the Ribeira Sacra region of Spain. It’s from the Merenzao variety, which is the local name for Bastardo (Portugal) and Trousseau (France). The Fedellos do Couto project (which translates as the ‘four brats of Couto) is a collaboration between Jesús Olivares, Carlos Bareño, Pablo Soldavini and Luis Taboada, [...]
I would love Cava to become more popular and for producers to make a good return on their hard work. But too few Cavas have the easy drinkability and purity that would make them more enjoyable. There are some highlights though, and Juvé & Camps is one of them. This pink Cava is just lovely [...]