Tag Archive: Spain


Hazana Vinas Viejas Riojas

Hazana’s Vinas Viejas Riojas 2013 from Bodegas Abanico in Spain is a delightfully simple little red wine. In the glass, this blend of Tempranillo and Graciano is a deep red, with slight rim variation. It’s meaty, red, raspberry juice, full of tobacco, red currants and dry cinnamon bark. The nice thing about this wine is that it tastes exactly like it smells.

Hazana’s Vinas Viejas is that it’s one of those Spanish wines that is tasty, but incredibly simple. If this wine were from France, it might be more complicated.

“Lelia” Garnacha 2013

This “Lelia” Garnacha 2013 from Carinena DO Spain at alcohol looks like Tempranillo in appearance, a deep inky black that does, but barely shows red against a white background. The aroma smells like red licorice, anise seed, red and black cherries, and Grandmother’s old house. It’s dried roses, raspberries, lavender, and brown sugar. This garnacha is a delicious interpretation of the varietal. It was much more enjoyable than the Altes Herencia Garnaxta. The beautiful thing about this Lelia is that it tastes precisely like it smells, and I believe that it would pair well with Quiche and lasagna.

Vina Gormaz Joven 2013

This delightful estate bottled Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero Spain comes from 30 year old vines, at an altitude of 900 meters. In the glass, there is light shining through the wine to create lovely patterns on a white table, however, there is a little rim variation, with slightly visible sediment. Vina Gormaz is a much lighter tempranillo than the Senda 66. It’s nose is rich, with luscious blueberries, tart raspberries, strawberries, and meaty briny spice, edged with cinnamon and charcuterie meat. Vina Gormaz’s Joven Tempranillo is almost a course unto itself, with fruity and meaty flavors and aromas. However, I do recommend pairing it with creamy chevre on crackers or salmon patee’.

I’m currently studying Spanish wines. Castano Monastrell 2013 comes from the Yecla DO in Spain. This wine is lighter than the Senda 66, but does look a little like cherry cider, with some visual rim variation.

Castano Monastrell carries aromas of amazingly bright red cherries, fresh and vinegar, a cherry reduction sauce with sage, cherry candy, violets, lavender, cola, and bright strawberries. The taste matches the aroma. It’s a delicious fruit bomb garnished with a wild herb finish.

This wine would pair well with vanilla ice cream, grilled meats and veggies. I had this wine with maple spice braised steak and potatoes. It was a perfect foil for the maple spice.

Senda 66

Senda 66 2013 is a delicious little tempranillo from La Mancha Spain. At 14% alcohol, it’s a little heavy, but it isn’t the syrupy giants you get from California these days. This wine’s nose is meaty with blackberry preserves, fruit leather, whiffs of spice over a great, furry velvet tannic structure. This wine is beauifully Spanish. I haven’t ever found meaty wines quite like the ones from Spain, Crianzas and Reservas. On the palate, it’s surprisingly lush, with a red apple flesh and skin finish.

This wine would pair beautifully with deli meats, semi-soft cheese and soft cheeses. Frankly, I’d love to enjoy this wine with chevre and buttery crackers.

Clio 2010

Clio 2010 is an outstandingly bright blend of 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 70% Mourvedre. This wine was made by the Gil Family and comes from Spain. It presents with a deep purple in the glass, and the aroma that bounds up to the nose is welcoming and bright, almost like a dog made of cherries and cranberries jumping up to greet you. This wine is full of stawberries, cranberry, red licorice, and loaded with spring powered Cherry Vanilla.

f1314887815864_1950004_17The beautiful blend from Pendes Spain blooms with minerality, citrus, lemon, white slate, wet green leaves, and has a buttery mouth feel without being oaky. This wine is frizzante, with brilliantly light grapefruit, almost like a spring rain misting over the leaves and soil.

The Pares Balta Blanc de Pacs is a blend of parellada, xarel-lo, and macabeo grapes, mainly native to Spain. The Pares Balta winery has been certified organic since 2004, and is family owned. This wine isn’t a block-buster, but it is a nice light white that would be lovely with pasta and butter, or a cream sauce that isn’t too heavy.

11-Pinos11 Pinos 2010 is a beautiful experience from the winery called Vega Tolosa, made from a little known grape variety called Bobal. 11 Pinos is 100% Bobal, from vines that are at least 80 years old from the DO of Manchuela in Spain.

This dark decadence is full of black currant, with instant cherry cordial, savory herbs, mouthwatering red fruit, and mellow cranberries. This wine is tight at first, but a juicy knock out. 11 Pinos is a tango between the acid and tannin, with tart plum flavors. It’s balanced by being a chilled fall morning just before the harvest celebration, a walk along the rows of fruit as the cool, fresh scents rise to greet the nose.

This was one of the first wine’s that I have ever experienced the elusive concept of “terroir.” It had a quality like nothing I can ever remember finding in wine, Spanish or otherwise, and I can only place it as being the terroir of the place.

Antano Crianza 2008

antano crianzThe Antano Crianza from 2008 is a excellent value blend. The blend is 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, and 5% Mazuelo. As a Crianza, it’s aged two years in oak casks before being released for consumption. Aging adds a depth and complexity that I find surprising for just two years. This Spanish beauty comes from the makers, Garcia and Carrion in the Rioja Region of Spain.

This deep youth presents as ruby in color with slight rim variation. It is fruit forward, with raspberries, red apple skin, jammy baked strawberries, tinted with spice box and bark. It’s big and juicy, and easy to drink with or without food. It’s velvety, opening to black and red currants in the glass, followed by tart unsweetened pie cherries. The Crianza is delightfully aromatic, with something nostalgic about the flavor and scents, finishing with deep plum juice tartness as it fades.

There were two other Antano wines that were brought to our store at the same time as this Crianza. The first was an unaged Tempranillo, which was more fruit forward, youthful, and though delightful, not at all complex. The other was a Reserva, which was aged for 3 years. I had not had the pleasure of tasting this one, though if the 2008 is any indicator, this 2007 Reserva is a pleaser on wheels.