Nov 10-16, 2014
Even a brief glance into the history of wine will reveal the French as innovators in the vineyards and cellars both. Their most recognized wine growing regions are known the world over for quality and individuality and are imitated by every region suitable for growing grapes. Here are two affordable, small production, Spanish wines highly influenced by Bordeaux yet expressing their own regional personalities.
2010 Alemany i Corrio Pas Curtei DO Penedès
Price: $29/Bottle – SOLD OUT
Back in July we featured Irene Alemany and Laurent Corrio’s white Burgundy-inspired, old-vine Xarel·lo. But their white wines are a more recent development of their winemaking passion. Their true beginning was back in 1999 with red wines like the cuvée Pas Curtei, vinified in their garage winery in the Alt Penedès — the most inland and mountainous subzone of Penedès characterised by relatively low yield and high quality.
The 2010 vintage of Pas Curtei is a blend of 60% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20% Carinyena that’s aged for 14 months in a mixture of one, two, and three-year old French oak barrels. The resulting wine might be favorably compared with a top quality Saint-Émilion from the Right Bank of Bordeaux. There is plenty of big fruit up front with a deep structure and long finish. It’s still a relatively young wine that you can drink now or hold for several more years.
2005 García Burgos Vendimia Seleccionada DO Navarra
Price: $25/Bottle – SOLD OUT
From vineyards near Murchante, a small farming town in Navarra, comes the 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot blend of García Burgos Vendimia Seleccionada. Its richness, depth of color, and elegance is reminiscent of the Left Bank Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines of the Médoc. Even more specifically, Saint-Julien,where many of the finest wines show earthy and botanical aromas at maturity. Navarra is high elevation, dry, continental Spain, with moderating climatic influences from the Atlantic Ocean. Because the nights begin to get cooler during the month of August, the vineyards aren’t subjected to overheating during ripening, ensuring balance at harvest.
Representing the ninth generation of grape growers in his family, Javier García Burgos is spiritually connected with the vines. His Vendimia Seleccionada is aged for 15 months in 225-liter barrels from the oak forests in the Allier Department of France. With over seven years of bottle age this is a prime example of a mature wine that is at its peak drinking stage, still full of fruit and spice with a smooth finish because any of the hard tannic structure that it might have had in its youth has resolved.