This week we are discovering parts of Spain & Catalonia, to unleash some beautiful vinos. We start with a textbook Albarino, then get decadent with Artuke’s Temp, get a tannins charged Grenache blend in Catalunya and finish in Toro sipping on a ravishing Tempranillo. Arriba, abajo, al centro y adentro.
Bodegas Castro Martín ‘Sobre Lias’ Albariño
Rias Baixas, you beautiful Galician DO! Tucked in the northwestern part of Spain, this relatively young appellation produces thirst quenchers, crisp, moreish whites we would happily drink any day. Due to the region’s proximity to the Atlantic coast, you could almost taste a slight saltiness in the wines…
The philosophy at Castro Martín is simple: to make the best quality wine possible at the most competitive price! The team is constantly re-examining their work, improving it and including, where possible, new innovative winemaking techniques, whilst respecting the tradition of the region. They are flag-bearers for the Nomacorc Select Series synthetic closures and use an eco-bottle 10% lighter than many Bordeaux shape bottles found in the industry.
“A fine sandy colour with a touch of green. A green-gold cereal nose carries granitic sand’s talcy-minerality. The fruit is sliced apple, nashi flesh, chickpea meal, green rice stems, with nudges of celery dust, black basil and cucumber gin. To taste, the gorgeously rounded cereal and prickly pear fruit has an enlivening sweet-sour tug, thanks to a tangle of subtle green elements – tarragon, watermelon skin, mint, lime”BCM – Spanish Aquisition
This benchmark Albariño is labelled ‘Sobre Lias’, meaning it has been matured in stainless steel tank ‘on lees’; adding a beautiful complexity and palate weight to the wine. Definitively a more serious Albarino and perfect seafood companion.
(double gifs livin’ da vida loca)
Bodegas Eidosela ‘Charquino’ Albariño
Bodegas Eidosela was founded in 2003, as the brainchild of a small group of enterprising, like-minded local growers (61 in total) dedicated to producing their own, quality Rías Baixas wines. ‘Charquino’ is a textbook example of Albariño and highlights why it is the varietal VIP of this region. Dry, crisp, medium body with flavours of wild green apples, lemon pickles, peaches, root vegetables, powdered white pepper, slight nuttiness and dried herbs. An absolute killer for the price point.
*available next week – container delayed sniff sniff*
Bodegas Y Vinedos Artuke ‘Pies Negros’
We certainly can’t talk about Spain without selecting at least one wine from Rioja DOCa! Artuke is somewhat a unique winery within Rioja; run by two brothers producing a small amount of terroir-focused wines from around the town of Banos de Ebro (Northern Edge of Rioja).
‘Pies Negros’ is one hell of a smooth operator. Made predominantly of Tempranillo (with a dash of Graciano); it has endless depth, seductive layers of flavours and an incredible palate texture. It is a pure velvet hug. Dark fruits, fresh cherries, cherry pie, milk chocolate, vanilla pod, vanilla cream… the decadence never ends. Despite the intensity and characteristics of the flavours, the wine is vibrant and has a fresh lively acidity. As a Crianza style, the wine does not see much oak, and it only imparts to round the beautiful Temp tannins and create a supple mouthfeel.
As for the name; it refers to the tradition of foot stomping grapes to release some juice and allow wild yeasts to begin the fermentation.
Blai Ferre i Just ‘Billo’
PSA to all the “big red” wine lovers; there are other regions than Barossa that will satisfy your tannin craze!
Priorat can be one of them.
We are now in Catalunya, an autonomous community located in the North Eastern corner of Spain, including the fabulous city of Barcelona.
Blai Ferre is a young Priorat producer working at the renowned Celler Cecilio (Gratallops). He also makes a couple of wines as a side project to his main job.
Through his winemaking, he aims to promote the specific organoleptic characteristics found in the unique growing conditions of Priorat (llicorella schist), therefore his approach to winemaking is about restraint. In doing so, he favours an under extraction of the grapes and gentle handling of the juice. No acidification, wild yeasts, light sulphur addition, no filtration… A lot of care goes into the making of his wines and the result is superb.
We are very lucky to have these wines down under!
Billo is a blend of Garnatxa (Grenache), Syrah, Samsó (Carignan) and Cabernet Sauvignon with one of the most interesting profile ever tasted on a line-up; it is naturally bold, incredibly structured and has tannins for days.
“Fine, radiant floral red berry and brightly mineral, with a shot of cold dark tea, touch of angelica, branch, subtle glycerol and boysenberry. Mid-weight, round, gathered and releasing, finely laced with acid and spice threading out from radiating tannin fronds, gently earthen, polished, both lifted and lingering. GREAT.”Blai Ferre i Just
Matsu ‘El Recio’
We end our Spanish tour in and with Toro; a gem within the prolific Castilla y Leon winegrowing region, also located in the North Western part of Spain.
The wines are mostly made out of Tinta do Toro (aka Tempranillo – there are more than 45 synonyms for Tempranillo…). The wines from Matsu are farmed following biodynamic principles and offer corpulent wines yet demonstrating a lot of finesse at the same time. Chocolate, black fruits, coffee beans and vanilla aromas and flavours are subtly brought by the 14months ageing in French oak barrels. Great silky and round tannins marrying into an impressive palate weight and great fruit forward finish. Make Miguel Cascales Maestre proud and have this delicious wine with a massive Spanish food fest.
Hope you enjoyed this week’s cuatro wines. If you wish to order any email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us in-store.