Many of Spain’s classic regions can be found inland, and they’re classic because they produce great wine and have for awhile. Nothing wrong with classic. It’s just, this week is more about the lesser knowns. Grapes we haven’t tasted or didn’t know existed. Maybe you’re set on drinking Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand till the day you die (and we can’t fault you), but for those of you looking to keep your palate interesting, come see what we’re pouring Wednesday night. And, if you like grilled or roasted meat, we’d go ahead and purchase some before the tasting. These wines are begging for blood.
#1 Bodegas Ateca Atteca Old Vine Garnacha:
First stop, Calatayud! This region south of Rioja has been overlooked and undervalued for years, but don’t let the number of bush vines deceive you! These vines work in unison with the slate souls to produce vines with age, and, as its turning out, delicious wines. This Garnacha is soft and juicy with notes of mint, orange peel, plum, cherry and a smoky finish.
#2 Ramirez de la Piscina Reserva
Okay, we lied. We’re pouring one wine from Rioja. But this Tempranillo is delicious. It spends three years in oak and bottle and is chock full of dark fruit, spice & sweet oak with soft tannins just dying for a juicy pork toast.
#3 Almirez Tinto de Toro
Looking for a Tempranillo with more muscle? Head to Toro! The local strain of Tempranillo, Tinto de Toro, didn’t gain much attention until relatively recently, but more and more it’s a hot spot for Spanish and French investors, alike. High altitudes here along red clay and sandy soils produce the perfect environment for these rich and powerful wines with plenty of aging potential. This one has dark, rich fruit, toasty oak, sweet white pepper notes and a savory, meatiness we love.
#4 Raul Perez Los Arrontes de Pendon
If nothing else has peaked your interest so far, come for this wine. Raul Perez is a brilliant winemaker known for many things: amongst them, his beard, getting Bierzo on drinkers’ radars, bring known as the “Master of Mencia” and aging his Albariño under water in a shark tank. It’s delicious, by the way. Come hear more about this magical being and taste his famed wine made from 100% Prieto Pecudo out of Tierra de Leon. Raul uses this unique grape to make an intense, aromatic and lively wine. A wine that is all at once sweet, tart, bitter and savory. Wowza.