Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Spanish Superlatives

Thinking about the new Spanish wines I've been introduced to the last couple months and thought I'd share some conclusions. When I opened three months ago I thought my Spanish section would be fairly small. I liked what I had tried from Spain but naively thought I had seen most of the "good stuff" (Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Priorat, etc). The reeducation of Eric has been fast and very enjoyable as I've been shown wonderful wines from Bierzo, Jumilla, Mentrida, Campo de Borja, and others regions not previously "important". Lets look at a few.
First and foremost the elegant "Petalos" from the Descendents De J. Palacios, the actual winery name. Guess some years back the son of J. Palacios, Alvaro, went his separate way from a prestigeous Rioja wine family and struck out alone. I guess it wasn't a pleasant separation. Years later after traveling France and working in Bordeaux, including a stint at Petrus, Alvaro returned to Spain looking for the the perfect place to begin his own venture. After investigating almost every sq. mile looking for the perfect combination of grapes, climate, and land he settled in Bierzo, in the N.W. corner of Spain near the Atlantic coast. An old winemaking region, Bierzo suffered from antiquated techniques and low quality products. No longer as Alvaro has brought some Bordeaux techniques (French Oak, less wood ageing, lower yields)) to the region and its Mencia grape. His winery named after his father after a rapprochement, honors his family and here produces a truely fine wine. Elegant and polished it shows nice cherry and mineral aromas, smooth entry with berry and mineral flavors. beautiful mouth feel and a high toned, long, flavorful finish. I think you will enjoy this "unusual" wine as much as I. Lovely reason to spend $26.99.
Next the soon to be gone, "Tres Patas" from Mentrida, near Madrid. Not as much story but just as much wine the 75% Garnacha and 25% Syrah is a deep ruby mouthfull of surprises. I try to describe a big wine that is not in the least heavy and people look perplexed. Try this and see the concept--light and lively on the palate but with an incredible melange of flavors that are at once pure and clean with red berry and strawberry. Long, satisfying, complex finish. Bad news for this "steal" at $19.99 is I just bought the last 3 cases in the State. Come in or call cause 36 bottles won't last as I'm buying 6.

Don't forget Thurs at 6:30 we will have "open anything night:. Where we pay $20 per person and pool our resources to buy any wine or two in the store to taste. Cepparello anyone? Sandrone, Barolo? La Coulee de Serrant? Fay Cab.?

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