Spain remains ‘excellent value’

spain-flagSpain = Bargains

I have been loving my Spanish odyssey this winter. We’ve had wines to test, regions to explore, sales to run and blank faces* to ignore.

Yet more international websites continue to state the case we have been banging on about for over 2 years. Snooth has released an article every few weeks this winter/Spring on the values to be had in Spain and twice in 2011 (snooth) and 2012 (Wine enthusiast) Spanish regions were named ‘region of the year’. Here’s the latest on the mysteries and allure of Garnacha (Grenache in France, Cannonau in Italy).

Garnacha from Spain has emerged as one of today’s great values in red wine. Much of the fruit responsible for the proliferation of new bottlings has come from old vineyards that until recently were used to produce bulk wine, or to supply a family’s vinous needs. It is thrilling to have so many old vineyards saved and in producing quality wine these days, but what is even more exciting are the wines.

Can you get really good wine for $10? Wine that would appeal to wine geeks and novice alike?
Well the answer is yes. And no!
In general these wines are remarkable deals, though there is a divide between what wine geeks might like and what novices might like. Fortunately Garancha can produce both sets of characteristics, though rarely in the same wine. Garnacha is generally recognized for producing fragrant, red fruited wine that are fairly big in the mouth, if rarely chewy and dense. In a hot climate rich perfumes of candied strawberry are often framed with floral and slightly herbal accents, as was the case with many of these wines. But some of these examples, sourced from throughout Spain, were decidedly different. While most of the wines were pure Garnacha, a few were blends, which is not unusual for Grenache, and is particularly common in old vine vineyards.

The differences between the range of wines sampled below though did not arise from their blends, and to a large extent not even their terroir. Instead many of these wines are styled to meet a perceived demand in the market, and the truth is that at these price point style may not be the most important factor. These wines, as a group, are really good, and offer incredible value but even those that don’t represent the peak of quality manage to find impressively large audiences.

And like we said (unlike some other countries we could mention) Spain is seldom prone to being counterfeited, smuggled or dumped. So it’s more reliable & safer. Remember also, under Spanish wine laws producers age the wines for us to perfection in their cellars; under optimum conditions.

If you took advantage of our winter-long Spanish wine sale then I am sure, like me, you tried some fantastic new regions and were fully rewarded with new experiences and quality wines. eg:

Torres Coronas LabelTorres Coronas DOC 2008 Spain ¥150 Simply love this lighter oaked, yet well-aged, 2008 Tempranillo, though they do add just a dab of Cabernet Sauvignon for depth and complexity. Great with and after food, as the last traces of the meal fade away into a movie. Once again another great value wine from the increasingly well known ‘secret’ that Spain currently offers. 16 pts.
See more joys of Spain here and here and here.
Our favourites for the Spanish Winter are told in the 4 part series, ‘Taste Tests‘ started March 24th, here.
TWM
*The blank faces are those of the feckless masses who think wine is French. Despite an army of wine geeks telling them, nay beseeching them seeking to enlighten them with messages of the miraculous opportunities for a wealth of experiences and values that the wines of Argentina, Chile, Spain, Italy & Portugal have right now, they can’t and won’t see the light until it’s too late…when prices rise, when the word is generally accepted and quality retreats under an explosion of production, then and only then will they take the plunge; when it’s too late.

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