Friday, August 14, 2009

Spinning from Spain

Another step forward as I attended a tasting of 'new wave' Spanish wines. A fellow, Telmo Rodriguez, who uses almost extinct or very old bush vines in special sites, but applying modern winemaking to make wines that are innovative and international in outlook. It was a test of the nose and the palate again, and the good news is they both work, though the palate needs fine tuning.

On the the wines. A Rueda Blanc 'Basa' 2008 was a lean Marlborough Sauvignon look-alike, and in fact included 5% Sauvignon. Yet an Alicante ' Al Muvedere' 2007 was everything you expected from a hot-climate, dead-fruited, old-fashioned red. In the end, while there were some that showed terrific value, it was the high-end wines that did it for me. You get what you pay for. Particularly head-spinning was a Toro 'Pago La Jara' 2006, a toasty oaky Rioja 'Altos de Lanzaga' 2005 and a Ribera del Duero 'Matallana' 2004 - all Tempranillo based, all over the $100.00 mark, all thoroughly modern and international in style, spinning around the notion that Spanish wine is all old fashioned, traditional or rustic.

The tasting certainly put me spinning too - into the right direction - forward. I might start trying some of those 'old treasures' soon....

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