Time to stock up for the holidays – Olé Imports

This week we are introducing some amazing wines of great value. You often hear that some of the best value wines come from Spain… Well it is true on one hand and isn’t on the other.

Remember first: there are a lot of bulk wines on the market from Spain that are, well, just cheap. Cheap, bulk juice that does not embrace the soul and quality that Spain can produce. One has to pick carefully. We at Pearl believe it is fairly easy to find good wines that are higher priced, but finding good compelling wines which are also under $15…? Well, that is a trick. We work very hard hard to make an outcome feel less like luck and more like knowledge played a hand. Let’s just say we taste a lot of bad wine to get to our under-$15 selections!

Patrick Mata and Alberto Orte (Ole Imports)

Patrick Mata and Alberto Orte.

We are proud to introduce you to Spain’s better side. In 1999 two friends, Alberto Orte and Patrick Mata, started Olé Imports. They search the Spanish peninsula for wines which have four fundamental elements: terroir, quality fruit, exceptional winemaking and exceptional value. One of the best ways to search for new wines is to become comfortable with importers that have quality palettes. At PWC we rely on our partnerships with quality importers to help us find new wines. There are a few importers who we typically know will bring amazing juice even before we take a taste. Olé is one of those importers – any time you see Olé on the back of the bottle you know you are buying with confidence!

This week we will be pouring four wines from the Spanish peninsula, and all are delicious, showcase terroir and are great wines to have on hand for the holidays. And, don’t forget value: all of them are under $15!!!

Vinos Pinol ‘Ludovicus’, Terra Alta Spain – Garnacha :: $15 sale $14

Celler Piñol is a family-run cellar based in Batea (DO Terra Alta) devoted to making fine wines. Organically grown grapes from estate vine; high elevation; just 45 minutes south of Barcelona in the mountains of Tarragona overlooking the Mediterranean. Ludovicus pays tribute to the roman heritage of this region. The Romans planted vineyards in this area during the 3rd century. Terra Alta neighbors the acclaimed Priorat region. Garnacha is king and is the focus of the area – we love the terroir of the region and how garnacha develops in limestone soils of Terra Alta.

NV Casteller Cava, Catalonia Spain – Macabeu :: $14 sale $13

Casteller Cava is a “no brainer.” Sparkling wine and bubbly lovers in the U.S. have discovered what an incredible value Cava is, as it is made exactly the same way as Champagne, with a second fermentation in the bottle. This cava comes from the largest vineyard owner in the Penedés region, but, interestingly, this winemaker only uses the highest-quality grapes and sells 60 percent in bulk to neighboring producers. Fermented in the bottle and aged for 12 months on the lees before release, this wine is the best of both worlds. It consistently delivers premium flavors, and for the price of a regular bottle of Brut Non-vintage French Champagne you can take home three or four bottles of this gem. Casteller literally translates to “tower.” The name is a reference to a local Catalonian summer game where different clans compete to create the tallest human tower.

Gordo vines (Ole Imports)

“Gordo” vines.

A Portela, Valdeorras Spain – Mencia :: $18 Sale $15

Gordo is Patrick Mata’s affectionate name for his father, Jose Mata. For almost four generations, Patrick’s family produced wine in Malaga, Montilla, Sanlucar, Rioja and other Spanish regions. These wines were sold in many countries including the U.S. before and after prohibition. During the ’60s, the demand of Malaga wines suffered greatly which ultimately resulted in the Mata winery closing its doors in 1972. The wine pays tribute to the Mata winemaking heritage and specifically to Patrick’s father. The Gordo label is a replica of one of the family labels from the late 1800s. Today, after a few decades, Patrick and Alberto, through Compania de Vinos del Atlantico (CVA), are resurrecting their family heritage and producing wines in many regions throughout the Iberian peninsula including this rich-yet-elegant blend of Monastrell-Cabernet from the south east of Spain.

A Portela, Valdeorras Spain – Mencia :: $18 sale $15

A unique wine produced with the rare Mencía grape (pronounced Men-THEE-ah). Mencía only grows in northwest Spain. In this case, A Portela comes from Valdeorras, which is one of the most inland wine regions of Galicia. During Roman times, Valdeorras was known for its gold, hence its name, “the Valley of Gold.” The vines are tended in granite and slate soil. The high elevation of this precious small part of Galicia produces Mencía grapes that are different from other Galician wine regions, as flavors tend to be more uplifted, more floral, brighter and very pretty. A Portela is all unoaked to emphasize the purity and delicate flavors and aromas of this grape. It is produced from estate-owned grapes that are organically grown. A Portela signifies the doorstep to heaven. It is also the name of the high-elevation hill of 5 hectares (12 acres), located in the town of Larouco (province of Ourense), where the Mencía vines that make this profound mineral wine come from.

Wines will be featured through Tuesday, December 13th.

Saturday tasting (Ole Imports)

This Saturday we have a real pleaser: beer, sure, but with Sweet Cow ice cream. We’ll let that do the work – no description needed. We’ll be pairing some favorites and some classics with some of the best ice cream in Denver.

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.