Pittacum 2007, mencia from Bierzo – a shapshot

Jul 21, 12 Pittacum 2007, mencia from Bierzo – a shapshot

Posted by in Spain

I received a few wines from the Spanish winery Pittacum the other day to taste. The Pittacum project started in 1999 in the Bierzo region of Spain, with an emphasis on the mencia variety. The vineyards are comprised of old vines ranging in age from 50- 80 years old and are farmed as organically as possible. 65% of the winery was acquired by Terras Gaudas in 2002. The mencia grape gives deep and intense wines and the winemakers aim to show the personality of the wines. They vinify in stainless steel but age the wines in French and American oak barrels. I tried the Pittacum 2007 and although it has apparent oak on the palate, it’s well integrated into the wine, a lush and rich wine with a soft round mouthfeel. A deep wine with intense black fruit notes. Even though it has 14.5% alcohol, it’s not apparent on the nose or palate. A good wine to have with a hearty steak or perhaps a grilled chorizo sandwich. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Wines of Navarra, more than just rosado wine

Apr 02, 12 Wines of Navarra, more than just rosado wine

Posted by in Spain

I’m quite familiar with the wines of Navarra, they’re all about rosé wines, right? Yes and no. Turns out there’s a lot more to the region then their robustly coloured rosado wines. The Wines of Navarra were in town last week to promote the region and give, me at least, a taster of their wines. Turns out they have been producing wine for centuries, going back to the 10th century and their wines flourished throughout Spain for many years in part thanks, to their position on the Pilgrim’s Route to Santiago de Campostela, Navarra being identified with their rosado wines made from the garnacha grape. I do like the rosados of Navarra – full bodied and spicy, brightly coloured but dry, these are certainly not your wimpy, sweet California Blossom Hill style rose wines. That’s probably why I like them, wines that were made to quench your thirst as well as be served up with a rustic meal of jamon and cheese with a hunk of bread on the side. I found out though, that since the 1990’s Navarra has undergone a sea change in wine making, not abandoning the rosados but adding international grape varieties like chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and merlot. What was most interesting was that these grape varieties had existed in Navarra in the past due to the large French influence of Bordeaux winemakers in the 19th century but had been lost when phylloxera hit the region in the late 1800’s. They still of course grow the traditional viura, tempranillo and garnacha but now are able to blend in the international varieties if they so desire. I tasted a chardonnay/viura blend, full of tropical fruit but having a nice dry finish as well as discovering the latest addition to the region, sauvignon blanc. I spoke to the Consul General of the region, Jordi Vidal, and he told me that sauvingnon blanc is the next big thing in the region. He cited the milder climate of the region which produces good acidity...

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Latest podcast- Japanese koshu, Rioja and the wines of Navarra

Mar 26, 12 Latest podcast- Japanese koshu, Rioja and the wines of Navarra

Posted by in Asia, Podcast, Spain

This episode features one of Japan’s few female winemakers, Ayana Misawa, 5th generation winemaker for Grace winery (“Chuo Budoshu” in Japanese). I met Ayana at the annual Koshu of Japan tasting, held in London in late February 2012 and she sat down to tell me a bit more about the history of the koshu grape in Japan. In the UK market, Rioja is one of the most reliable and dependable wines around. However, the Spanish have woken up to the fact that they need to innovate and I met up with the winemaker for one of the centenary wineries of Rioja, Bodagas Bilbainas. Rioja has a number of wineries that are over one hundred years old but that hasn’t stopped them from looking at innovative or different ways of making their wine. Diego Pinella Navarro, head wine maker, is part of the new generation taking Rioja wines into the future. Lastly, I move up a bit further north to the wines of Navarra. Navarra is situated just north of Rioja but other then the rosés of the region, most people don’t know much about the wines. I chatted with the Consul General of the D.O.  Jordi Vidal when he was in London last week to find out more about what’s going on there, both with the traditional varieties they have always used as well as some newer ones. And, the regions wine making connections with France…. Any questions or comments, just leave me a note in the comment section. Find the podcast on iTunes: http://bit.ly/wHVS9g or Podomatic if you don’t have iTunes: http://bit.ly/GRuZAV Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Benjamin Romeo’s wines of Rioja

The wines of Rioja are very well known in the UK. Largely known for being rich, heavily oaked wines, the regions has recently been infused with new blood and these young winemakers are now making more modern and fresh wines.  Benjamin Romeo is one of those forward looking winemakers and his assistant winemaker, Allende Perez-Medrano (no relation) was in London recently to showcase his wines. I had a chat with her and we had a quick tasting of a wine Benjamin makes in honour of his father, the La Vina Andres Benjamin Romeo, 2002. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Chatting with Manuel Louzada, Numanthia winemaker

When the subject of Spanish wine comes up, the wines of Rioja are usually what springs to mind and although tempranillo is the red grape of Spain. There is a lot more to Spain then Rioja. I had the chance to speak to Spanish winemaker, Manuel Louzada of Numathia vineyards recently. Numanthia is in the Toro DOC region of Spain. The DOC is in the northwest of Spain and specializes in tinta de toro, an offshoot of tempranillo. Manuel however, takes a different approach to his wine and is hoping to create balanced, elegant, but not heavily oaked wines. Manuel and I sat down after lunch one day and had a chat about the Toro region, the tinta de toro grape and how he makes his wines. Oh, and we had a little tasting as well of his Numanthia and Termanthia wines…. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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