Week in Wine 3/7/2020
Last week was a week filled with Spanish wine and food! Fresh off a trip to VinExpo in NYC and a quick stop at Little Spain in Hudson Yards, Spain continuously blows my mind with what they create from vine, to farm to table.
ROSE is on it's way and while the 2019 vintage is being shipped I would like everyone to pay attention to the 2018's, the well made 2018's. I say that because many 2018 Rose from reputable producers is drinking great right now. Such is the case with the Finca Torremilanos Montecastrillo Rosado from Ribera del Duero Spain. This is 100% biodynamically-grown Tempranillo from the estate’s younger vines, fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel. Well structured with enough body to please and convert a red wine drinker. Dry but with enough fruit to tame down anything with a little heat. For dinner, I've been a little heavy-handed with the red pepper flakes and the heat was nicely brought down with the fruit in this Rose. Once the wine disappeared the heat was on the rise again. I would love to see how this wine plays with spicy pork carnitas. Not that the rating is important to me since the wine performed above expectations, but I just noticed that Wine Spectator magazine rated it 90 Points.
“This rosé shows the color and structure of a light red, delivering cherry, leafy, ginger and earthy flavors, backed by firm acidity and light, firm tannins. Old-school and made for food. Drink now through 2023.”
Enjoy it while supplies last for only $12
Tempranillo is to Spain like Cab Sauv is to California. As with any grape, the region or rather the terroir along with a skilled grower and winemaker will dictate how that wine will taste once you pour it into your glass.
Bodegas y Viñedos Maires is the maker of this 2017 Ademán Carabizal , a red wine from Toro based on the best tinta de toro, the local name for Tempranillo. This is classified as a Roble since it's only aged for 4 months in French oak barrel. Wildberry aromas, hints of baking spices with roasted notes. Fresh and broad on the palate, with a perfect balance between wood and fruit. Great everyday drinker with substance. An ideal accompaniment to red meats, aged cheeses, and cured meats. It is also an excellent partner with pasta dishes and meatier whitefish. Yes, you can pair red wine with whitefish. I've done it before with tremendous results.
Take advantage of the Ademan for $16.
Grenache comes in a veriety of forms. There's the red, the white, red becomes rose in some cases and now the grey. Yup, Grenache Gris is a thing. Coincidentally I tried two of them last week from the same region. The Comunica won.
So what is Grenahce Gris? Grenache Gris is a pinkish-grey mutation of the red Grenache grape and is grown to a limited extent in the south of France and in this case, Montsant, Spain. Little research has been conducted into the history of Grenache Gris and the variety remains in relative obscurity. It tends to appear in the vineyard only among other Grenache bush vines and is often indiscriminately blended into other wines.
The Celler Comunica, “Gris Granit” 2018 D.O. Montsant is 100% Grenache Gris organically farmed from 10 to 50-year-old vines. Direct pressing and fermentation between 75 and 12 days in stainless steel tanks on the natural yeast. The wine remains in the tank for 4 months on the fine lees, then in polyethylene eggs for 8 months prior to bottling.
As you can see it's got the look of a Rose, but it's not. Light and a little tart with some beautiful floral notes. Reminded me of a drier style of Lambrusco from Italy or an actual Rose Lambrusco. Last night I enjoyed this with goat cheese coated with toasted red pepper flake over a mixed greens salad and it worked well.
From the winemakers:
“After years of thinking about a Garnacha Gris wine, we decided to graft some of our old vine red plots to Garnacha Gris
and get down to it...doing it this way, we get to keep all the old vine character via the well-established old roots of the red
grape plants and we get good quality grapes in a short time from what is essentially a very young vine. Comunica
"Gris Granit" is the result of this Garnatxa Roja (Gris) variety in a completely granitic soil—it's an expressive juice, light,
and nervous, with the electric acidity of granite punctuating the end of that greeting.”
Enjoy it for $25
Next week is looking like a lot of French wines to review and consider. A new Pouilly Fusse, Aligote is on the rise and Carol found this cute Rhone-style blend with cats in space suits...Stay tuned.