Posts Tagged ‘Tempranillo’
By Nikki Lincoln
Here is the second part of my post on November wines. Part one can be found here.
Cline 2012 Ancient Vines Zinfandel
This wine was a sample sent over a few months ago. I had wanted to hold onto it for a little while but I had been craving a good Zinfandel and decided to open the Cline Ancient Vines sample. I’m glad I opened it when I did as it was light for a Zin and had nice pepper and smokiness to it. It was also very acidic which I particularly enjoyed. I definitely thought this was a great value for all of the complexity in the wine. I would love to pick up a few more bottles of this to have around when I don’t feel like opening something too pricey but still want a good quality wine.
I am a huge football fan, but after giving up beer several months ago, finding an alternative beverage for tailgates and other beer heavy events has been a bit of a challenge. Obviously wine has been a big go-to for me, but a lot of wines that I have I would rather save for an occasion when I can really sit and taste it and appreciate it. I decided to grab the Vinum White Elephant Table Wine because I had gotten it rather cheap from a wine club. The wine ended up really surprising me. It was an extremely well balanced blend of 59% Chenin Blanc, 26% Roussanne, and 15% Viognier. It was light and refreshing and perfect for a warm, outdoor setting such as a tailgate. I normally don’t take notes on the things I drink in a party/tailgate setting but I knew I had to tell you all about this one.
Price: $20 (but can be found for closer to $10)
Sheldon 2007 Deviant Velocity
I won the Deviant Velocity at an open house for Sheldon Wines, Krutz Family Vineyards, and Two Shepherds. I had been feeling under the weather and wasn’t up for doing any wine tasting which had made me pretty sad. I decided to throw a few dollars in to buy some raffle tickets to win a case of wine. I actually ended up winning and was able to take home a box of the wines that I hadn’t been able to try, including Sheldon’s Deviant Velocity 100% Petite Sirah. The wine was full of plum and blackberry flavors with some pepper as well. It was another wine that felt perfect for fall. When I went through my pictures, I also found it funny that my devious cat snuck into the background to give me one of her judgmental glares.
I always lose track of the different wine days. I really need to find a wine calendar or something because I always end up finding out about them at the last minute and I get really sad if I don’t have that particular variety. When I got an email from the TAPAS society that the next day was Tempranillo Day, I was really happy that I had a bottle of the Imagery High Valley Tempranillo. The wine had high acidity and a taste of tart blackberries and spice. I loved how light and complex it was for a Tempranillo. I saw a few older reviews from last year that said it needed more time. I think the extra year really helped this wine develop properly because it was tasting great when I had it last month. On another note, I ended up finding a few more bottles of Tempranillo after the fact…
Price: Unavailable directly
Last year, TAPAS (Tempranillo Advocates, Producers, & Amigos) organized the first annual International Tempranillo Day: A celebration of the Tempranillo grape.
This year, the date will be Thursday, November 8, 2012. Simple Hedonisms encourages everyone to open a bottle of Tempranillo, enjoy the fun, and share their experiences online with the hashtag #TempranilloDay .
Tempranillo, indigenous to Spain and used in Rioja and Ribera del Duero wines, is planted in 500,000 acres of the world’s vineyards, making it the fourth most planted wine grape, and that would be enough to celebrate.
Until recently, this noble grape’s entire acreage was almost all grown in Spain. Perhaps others were confused by the 60 or more regional synonyms for Tempranillo, which in itself
may be a record worth celebrating.
But things have changed: knowledge of this noble grape is rapidly spreading, creating excitement and a spirit of cooperation among adventurous vintners bringing this Old World variety to New World soils.
Tempranillo today is grown in many more countries including the United States, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Australia, France, Portugal, Turkey, Canada, China, Thailand, and more.
Live Twitter Tasting 5-6 pm
Spain. A country I had somehow never visited, a hole in my travel experiences I was keen to fill. I had attended several great Spanish tastings earlier this year sponsored by Vibrant Rioja and LaMancha Wines, and was looking forward to touring
numerous wine regions, and tasting through a wide range of wine styles and varietals.
The itinerary of this whirlwind 6 day tour can be found in Simple Hedonisms heads to Spain on a 6 Day Media Tour of Rioja, Priorat and Ribera del Duero; Simple Hedonisms will cover each day in a separate article.
About Grupo Freixenet (Or its not just Cava)
Freixenet is a large wine producer, the 9th largest in the world, with a total production capacity across its many brands of 230 million bottles, or 19.1 million cases of wine, per year. (In Europe they refer to production capacity in releases in bottles, not cases, like we do in the US.)
Cava, a Spanish sparkling wine, is what they are globally recognized for, and they produce 80% of all cava. However they have wineries all over the world, some quite small, producing a wide range of wine varietals and styles. Indeed just for cava alone, there are many more variants produced that we unfortunately don’t see as they are exported. (We will tease you with some later.)
A few people who weren’t familiar with the breadth of wines in the Freixenet portfolio, wondered if my 6 day experience was limited mostly to the $10 black bottle, widely sold in the US. I knew it wouldn’t be, and was excited for an opportunity to help educate and enlighten my readers about a group of estate wineries known as the Heredad Collection. Little did I know how much my eyes would be opened.
Day One – Madrid
After 14 hours of air transit time, I arrived in Madrid. I had a few hours to kill, resisted the urge to nap. (Something I would regret later when sleep would be a precious commodity.) But, I was glad to get to see a little of Madrid on foot.
My expectations for accommodations was modest have traveled through other regions, especially Italy, where even a Marriot in Milan can be a pair of hard twin beds pushed together.
This hotel, the Hotel Urban was gorgeous, comfortable, modern but very tasteful. The high class bar was set.
Dinner, The Pace is Set
At 845 we left for dinner, a jet lagged but enthusiastic group, most having also traveled all day. In addition to the writers noted, we were joined by 4 of Freixenet’s top sales managers, and Freixenet/Gloria Ferrer’s US newly appointed head of communications, Cindy Friedman.
The location was stunning, and first class, and a good preview of what we could expect the entire tour. The Restaurante el Teatro Real, located in the former Ballroom of Queen Isabel II, was a regal display, as we walked through 3 richly appointed foyers before reaching an expansive dining room.
The meal and wines were mouthwatering and perfectly paired. Unfortunately I
was too fatigued and a tad out of sorts coming down from an Ambien I used to sleep a few hours on the plane) to take detailed tasting notes and food pics. Fortunately, we visited most of the wines again later over the next 5 days.
As we commenced with an Albariño from the Rias Biaxas region , under the label Vionta, my eyes were immediately opened up to the experience I was about to embark on. I have been tasting quite a few Albarinos, especially domestic, and this was stunning. Bright, full of crisp stone fruit, great aromas, and wonderfully balanced mouth feel and weight.
Next we tasted Elyssian, a sparkling Pinot rose cava – an anomaly as cava is traditionally made from the white wine grapes of Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel·lo 3 unique Spanish grapes, not the traditional Pinot Noir & Chardonnay many sparklings and champagne are made from. It was the first night, and we were already far off the ‘black bottle’ path.
Dinner was 6 courses all paired with a wine, over 3 hours. each it seemed better than the last. Unlike how we eat in the US, each was appropriately sized. This became the norm for the entire trip.
Apologies to readers in my jetlag I didn’t capture more, however I promised to share articles in a summary post from other writer.
Without a doubt, the course that blew everyone away, and for most was never bested, was Iberian pork. The pig is fed a diet of acorns, a rich nut, and the impact on the meat was incredible. The cut was like a pork loin, sliced into strips, but the texture and flavor was unlike any pork dish I ever had, or any meat for that matter. Rich in texture, but not fatty, it melted in your mouth.
I will post larger album of pictures for each days events and activities. Day One can be found here.
The Next Five Days – Follow Adventure, Learn, Enjoy
We will break out each day’s experiences along with photos. Simple Hedonisms is all about helping it’s readers broaden their horizons, shatter myths, and expand your wine palate. In each article there will be one or more educational topics I think will be new information for many readers. I hope you will follow along, enjoy, and learn.
Without giving too much away in the first of these six articles, this was one of the best multiday wine experiences I have had. The hospitality , openness and welcome of the Spanish people was unparalleled. Americans and Europeans alike have much it could learn from this country.
The food and entertainment experiences remarkable. The wines were of exceptional quality and value, produced by passionate people, often eye opening and a treat each day to taste; something I can’t always say as a wine writer.
Additionally, my travel companions, both the Freixenet team, and the journalists, proved to be great companions. The environment, while fun, was one of working, paired with limited sleep (often self imposed) and a fast pace. Its was one where a married couple, well acquainted, could have easily bickered and irritated each other. Yet we worked together, supported each other, and learned from each others unique experiences. I consider myself fortunate to have met each and every one, something I wouldn’t say easily. I was one of the wine ‘geekier’ of the wine writers (although I can’t hold a candle to Charlie) and I hope I provided back value, and not annoyance, myself.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the adventure over the next two weeks as it unfolds here. Salud!