Thursday, January 22, 2009

SPANISH WINE, gateway to the old world, bridge to elsewhere (anywhere else) in Europe?


Pop Quiz 1 - After you first got into wine, after you learned your cab from your pinot noir and chardonnay from your sauvignon blanc, which country's wine's did you check out next?

Pop Quiz 2 - You are a wine geek. You love nearly anything 'naturally' made, especially if it is French. A.) Explain your Francophile tendencies. B.) Extra credit. You enjoy good sherry and Rioja from Lopez de Heredia. What do you know about Spain's other wines? And how does your preference for honest, low alcohol, high acid French wines inform your exploration into other types of wine, mainly those from Spain?

6 comments:

guilhaume said...

spain is the most exciting place right now!! we know there is great terroir in almost all regions,long winemaking history.....it's just that most wineries have been going for a very international style in the past 10 years or so....now we have to wait for them to re-discover the real taste of spanish wine and we (frenchs) can start seeing the spaniards as serious,very serious competition!!!

saignee said...

Most of the wines I have tried from Spain have been too round and fat. Now I know I haven't been methodical in my search, and I realize that good producers have to exist, or the reputation wouldn't be there. So the question is, who is doing it right in Spain? Don't answer yet, I will post a mea culpa on my blog and ask for suggestions.

Steve L. said...

What are you smokin' GG??? Ha ha ha. Actually, in answer to question no. 1, France. There may be great terroir in Spain but if there's more than a single handful of reliable producers of well made natural wines they have sure eluded me. With regard to France there is a wealth of information available about intriguing wines, but that's less true for Spain. I could be wrong about this, but since Spain is south of France, wouldn't most wines made there be really, um, southern, with all that that entails (super ripeness, etc.)?

guilhaume said...

steve,
you know exactly what i'm smoking,and how much i smoke of it.Just come by to see the guys next friday or after and try the tajinaste and bermejos wine,from the canarie island and tell me how you achieve such freshness,being almost in africa....
as far as i remember,united states are not located south of france and they still make overipe plonk.please steve explain to me why!

Joe Manekin said...

Corey - that's what is in the market right now. There is an opportunity to bring more exciting producers making better Spanish wine to the market, and a few people are doing just that. Check out wines imported by De Maison, Jose Pastor and Bibulous. You're not guaranteed to get a wine you like, but at least you are qualifying what's out there. It's a mantra that can't be overstated, check the back label for the importer. And know your importers.

G - good comments. Other than De Maison, Jose Pastor, and a few others, there are no importers I know of seeking out tasty, natural tasting non manipulated wines from Spain. No Jose Dresnero, if you will.

Steve - Yeah, the lattitude argument does not ring true. Guillhaume is right. Look at Musar, the '99 is so fresh, great acid, and they're pretty far south. What you grow, when you pick, and what you do to the must is every bit as important as where you're growing.

Steve L. said...

Hey there, I said "most," not "all," and I am open to being proven entirely wrong. Is there more than a handful of people making great natural wines in Spain? Who are they? If I roll the dice I come up disappointed. The Pescina wine did make me go "hey now!" (I thought it tasted French), but by and large Spanish wines that I find around here are lousy, er, sorry, not to my taste. (The winemakers there will have to do something because sales of high priced oakbombs appear to be falling off a cliff--see the Jan. 2009 Extra on the vinvinowine.com site.)