The third annual (San Francisco) Spanish Wine Cellar event was recently held at the Bently Reserve and showcased more than 100 wines from 33 wineries representing more than 20 wine regions. The goal of this important trade show is to introduce a wealth of new wines to the U.S. market. As is usually the case for me, there was too much good wine and too little time; but, as I usually do, I gladly made the sacrifice.
As the vast majority of the wineries are those seeking representation it is always nice to see a couple of bodegas of which I am familiar. Two in particular caught my attention and curiosity as they were showing a few new wines. Adega e Viñedos Paco & Lola D.O. Rias Baixas) presented their Paco & Lola Albariño but also showed a newer (and less expensive) Albariño called Lolo (2011) as well as one of their red wines from Navarra, Paco (2010). Also present was Bodegas José Pariente S.L. (D.O. Rueda) presenting their well-known Verdejo but also introducing a Sauvignon Blanc (2011) as well as a barrel-aged old vine Verdejo (2009).
As for the “new guys” three bodegas particularly impressed me. First, family-owned ViniGalicia S.L. showed (impressively) a wine from each of the three regions in which it produces wine: 2011 Terra Mundi Albariño (D.O. Rias Baixas), 2011 Verdes Castros Godello (D.O. Valdeorras), and 2010 Via Romana Mencia (D.O. Ribeira Sacra). It is also rumored that they produce a fantastic Orujo, but that will have to wait until I visit Juan in Galicia!
Next, Bodegas Puente de Rus has to be the Spanish value wine find of the year. Creating wines in the D.O. La Mancha, this bodega is experimenting with traditional and non-traditional Spanish varietals and the results are excellent. Monovarietal wines of Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah provide good company for traditional Tempranillo and the relatively unknown Airén.
Finally, Castell d’Age presented two D.O. Cava sparkling wines. The first a traditional Cava made from Xarel-lo, Macabeo, and Parellada. A sparkling 100% Chardonnay (very unusual for D.O. Cava) was extremely well-made and a treat. The winery also produces a 100% Xarel-lo still wine (not seen very often in the U.S.) which was absolutely delicious.
Spain continues to dominate the market for quality to value wines and these three only exemplify that fact. Should you (or anyone you know) happen to be looking for new wines to add to your portfolio, give these folks a call. But until then get out there and try something new!
Life is short. Drink Spanish wine!