Four fine Spanish wines from Valkyrie Selections
Welcome to another weekly wine installment from Pearl Wine Company. This week we jaunt to Spain, friends, and we travel with Valkyrie Selections. We love this distributor and we love their humorous candor. Check out their website, especially their about page. From that page: “We started Valkyrie Selections with one basic goal in mind: sell enough wine from our favorite producers to pay for all of the wine we want to drink from them. Mission accomplished! Today we represent over 30 growers, from benchmark appellations like Burgundy and Rioja to the unknown corners of Spain and France. We select wines based on a few simple premises; wines we love, producers we trust and values we can’t resist at every price point.”
One has to love such honesty. This week the wines cover the Spanish map: Catalonia, Galicia, Rioja and the Basque Country. What a lovely trip, and you get to go for free! As if this little bit wasn’t enough to get you in to try these wines, we must share that Valkyrie has been covered by all the important outlets: Wine Advocate, bon appétit, the New York Times… The last of this week’s wines, Roca Altxerri, has even been featured not once, but twice in bon appétit. No small feat! From their article “Six White Wines You’ll Be Sneaking to the Park This Spring”:
“Despite being a wine I can rarely pronounce correctly (“Cha-coli, Cha-coli… Chocolatey? Damn it…”), I really love Txakoli, and especially this one. The Camino Roca is like the potato chips of white wine: thin, salty, and totally irresistible. The nose has hints of grapefruit and white flower coming in on a crisp sea breeze that makes it impossible not to dive in. Incredibly light with high acidity and minerality, it is the best slightly effervescent lemonade that is not actually lemonade you’ve ever had. And just like a bowl of potato chips, it keeps you hanging around for more, and will be gone in 15 minutes flat.” – Marissa Ross
This great write up was followed up by another nod: “The One Wine You Can Drink All Summer Long“:
“If you’re like Bon Appétit’s wine columnist Marissa Ross, you hunt down hard-to-find bottles, constantly try new stuff, and open your palate to unexpected flavors. I’m not like Marissa Ross. When I walk into a wine store, especially in the summer—say on the way to a backyard barbecue—I want to get in and get out. This summer, my go-to wine is Txakoli (or Txakolina), a variety that’s much easier to drink than it is to pronounce (it’s “Cha-coli”). A staple in the Basque region of Spain, Txakoli is bright, zingy, and slightly effervescent without veering into sparkling wine territory. There’s even a rosé version, naturally. It’s kind of like Zima but, you know, for the sophisticated Euro set. Txakoli clocks in at a moderate alcohol level of about 10 percent, making it ideal for cocktail hour. That, and it goes really well with crispy tidbits and snacks. Look for it at your local wine store, where it will likely cost about $20, and then go back for it again and again and again.” – Adam Rapoport
That should do it. Get in here and try these wines this week, would you? Here’s what you’ll find:
DiT Celler, Cabirol Tinto Montsant, Catalonia, Spain :: $18 sale $15
Dani Sánchez (from Azul y Garanza in Navarra) founded DIT Celler—the first certified organic wines of Montsant—with Toni Coca and recently took over the project solo. The vineyards, Mas d’En Fornós and Guiamets, surround the mountains of the natural park Llaberia in Priorat. The local name for the soil type is “pinyolencs,” which contain small stones (they resemble olive pits—the meaning of pinyolenc) and are rich in calcium, giving acidity and freshness to the wines. The weather can get quite warm in summer time, but every summer afternoon a wind coming from the Mediterranean called “Marinada” cools down the temperature. Vivid ruby. Lively and sharply focused on the nose, intense red berry and floral pastille scents are complemented by peppery spices. The silky and appealingly sweet palate offers juicy raspberry and cherry flavors that deepen on the back half. Very good clarity and lift on the finish, with harmonious tannins and lingering floral character. Organic vines aging from 20-35 years on limestone soils at 400-600 meters. The wine spends five months in French and American oak barriques.
Bodegas Godeval, Valdeorras Godello, Galicia, Spain :: $17 sale $15
Godeval was founded in 1986 and was the first winery to export Godello to the United States. In the 70’s, a program named RE.VI.VAL (Restructuring of the Vineyards of Valdeorras) was led by Horacio Fernandez Presa, who is also the founder and president of Godeval. During this time, vineyards of the indigenous and almost extinct Godello variety were rescued and replanted. These vineyards would eventually become the 17 hectares of estate plots for Bodegas Godeval. The winery is located in the stunning 12th century monastery of San Miguel of Xagoaza which was renovated and restored in 1988.
From selected grapes from estate plots of Godeval – a mix of younger planting and the older vines with an average of 25 years old at an altitude of 500 meters. Pure slate soils.
Grapes are harvested by hand with fermentation using indigenous yeasts in stainless steel. No malolactic fermentation. Aging in stainless steel for 6 months.
Fresh aromas of citrus and bright herbal notes that continue on the palate with green apple and pit fruit flavors that round out the mineral acidity. Extremely versatile at the table – delightful on its own but proves complimentary to a wide array of food, from salads to seafood and beyond.
Telmo Rodriguez, Rioja LZ, Rioja, Spain :: $20 sale $17
Telmo has been working organically and biodynamically for a long time. This release represents his first step toward official certification which allows the mention on the back label. It is distinguished from the “regular” LZ in that it comes entirely from plots that he owns. From vineyards in Lanciego that are planted to clay and calcerous slopes. The Tempranillo, Graciano and Garnacha grapes were hand-harvested, fermented with native yeasts in cement tanks and stainless steel and ages for four to six months in cement tanks.
The straightforward and minimalist winemaking allows the pure fruit, mineral and spice characteristics of the wine to shine through. Telmo Rodriguez is widely recognized as one of Spain’s most talented and prolific winemakers. He is leading a revival that focuses on planting indigenous varietals and rediscovering forgotten regions of superior terroir. Telmo studied viticulture and oenology at the University of Bordeaux and was the winemaker at Remelluri, his family winery in Rioja, before setting out on his own in 1990. He spends most of his time and efforts in the vineyards—he farms biodynamically, he trellises his vines using the traditional bush method and only uses massale selections to replant. Telmo and his partner in the company, Pablo Eguzkiza, spent a year observing vineyards at Vega Sicilia before starting to look for their own vineyards in Ribera del Duero, and take inspiration from both Vega Sicilia’s blend of tradition and singularity, and power and balance. All of Telmo’s wines from the Toro region are picked by hand, fermented in neutral cement casks and aged in foudres and new and seasoned French barriques for about a year. A detail-oriented and passionate winemaker Telmo puts as much attention into his everyday wines as he does his rare and limited wine.
Camino Roca Altxerri, Getariako Txakolina Txakoli, Basque Country, Spain :: $18 sale $16
Roca Altxerri is named for the Altxerri Cave, located in Basque country, which is home to the oldest stone paintings in Europe, dating back almost 40,000 years. After searching long and hard, we found Bodegas Zudugarai to partner with. Their two hectares are planted on seaside hills facing the sun to keep the vines dry and are hand harvested.
Located around the small fishing towns of Getaria and Zarautz, on the coast of the Bay of Biscay in Northern Spain, the Getariako Txakolina DO was established in 1990, but the history of vine growing is a long one dating back to the Middle Ages. The pergola trained vines here are quite old (many 80+ years) with the roots reaching 10 meters below the surface. The area was not affected by Phylloxera due to the high rainfall which allowed water accumulation around roots, protecting them from the outbreak.
For this Saturday’s tasting, we invite you to enjoy Ninkasi Brewing of Eugene, Oregon. The lineup: Hop Cooler Citrus IPA, Pacific Rim Northwest Pale, Dawn of the Red Amber and Helles Belles Lager. This innovative brewery doesn’t just make good beer, they’ve been picked by Outside Magazine as a best place to work. Won the distinction in 2015. Come in to taste what all the fuss is about!
We start sippin’ and tastin’ at 4pm. Hope you can make it! Tag your pics #pickitupatpearl so we can CHEERS!
Discover why 5280 Magazine Readers and Editors voted Pearl Wine Company Denver’s BEST BOTTLE SHOP. PWC takes pride in being Denver’s best wine shop–a craft liquor specialty store. Conveniently located on South Pearl Street in Denver’s Platt Park neighborhood.