There’s been a last minute change in the schedule for the Spanish wine class. I got an e-mail that says:
I am thrilled to inform you that we have just received the confirmation that Mr. Cesar Saldaña, CEO for the CRDO Sherry will join the program as a speaker. Mr. Saldaña will conduct the chapter about Sherry and he has
designed a fantastic tasting of very interesting Sherry wines. Cesar Saldaña is considered as one of the world experts on Sherry. He is an entertaining and knowledgeable speaker who will add a tremendous value to our course.
The CRDO is the Consejo Regulador of the Denominacion del Origen, the body that upholds and makes the laws of a Spanish wine region. Click for new program.
I just made it through this book in preparation for the Spanish wine educator’s class I will be taking next week.
The maps are pretty good; I kept my World Atlas of Wine closeby for comparison, but this book is much more up to date with many of the changes incurred by the 2003 Spanish wine laws included.
It travels by region, starting in the Atlantic Northwest and follows the country’s wine producing areas counterclockwise (kind of). Basic important information is clearly presented, such as permited yields, inclusion of varieties for DO approval, plus interesting history and info on local foods. Makes me want to have that ham made from the black footed pig and fried young manchengo cheese.
I have signed up for the Spanish Wine Educators Course to be given in New York at the Warwick Hotel on October 21 through October 23. Organized by the Spanish WIne Academy, the course will be given by Pancho Campo MW. I haven’t traveled to Spain’s wine regions. My only trip there was with a former boyfriend who had family in Seville and Gallicia. That was in the early ’90s before the wine thing took off in earnest. I remember I let the pig out at his grandmother’s farm. He later became ham.
The course will cover the country’s wine regions and end with a 50-question multiple choice test and a blind tasting of six wines where I’ll have to identify the grape and region and give a quality assessment. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll finally be able to memorize the Spanish aging requirements.
Red Crianza — six months in oak, two years before release.
White Crianza — six month in oak, one year before release.
Red Reserva — one year in oak, three years before release
White Reserva — six months in oak, two years before release
Red Gran Reserva — two years in oak, five years before release (with a min of 36 months in bottle)
White Gran Reserva — six months in oak, four years before release.
This stumps me every time.
[Map via Vino Vixenz]
I went to a Spanish wine tasting at Fiamma in New York on Monday and had a chance to taste some rare and some good wines.
The ones I liked the best were from Remirez de Ganuza in Rioja. I had not tasted them before and what I liked about them was the light to medium body. The wines had ripe fruit and intense palates, but were not sticky, hot or heavy. More Burgundian — or Barolo — in style. I got to talk to Luis Alberto Martinez, who is the wine maker and manager at the estate. Continue reading
Cool packaging is one way this company is trying to breathe new life to airén, the most planted grape variety in Spain. Pronounced eye-ren, this wine, from Second Story Selections, smelled faintly like honeysuckle, was crisp and fresh with a lime peel finish. It was long on the palate and a light lemon color. Not fancy, not complex, good summer drinking wine that should be on the shelf for $9.99. Continue reading
Urban Oak 2004 Roble Red Wine Ribera del Duero
This is one of the lower-end wines of the Bodegas y Viñedos O.Fournier Group, which was founded in 2000. They own estates in Mendoza and Ribera del Duero. According to their website, their main objective is to become “an international group focused high quality wines and produce approximately 1.5 million bottles in different regions: Argentina, Chile, Ribera de Duero, Rioja and Douro (Portugal).” Go get ’em.
The wine retails for about $14. One of the conclusions the WSET asks students to draw is the approximate sale price of the wine. Is it a mass produced wine? Or a super premium, which usually goes along with small production. I think it’d be easy to tell this wine is in the lower price range because it’s not too complicated, but it is pretty good. (Score alert: Parker gave it a 90.)
2004 was a great year all over Spain, following the extreme heat of 2003. So this wine is juicy and ripe. It’s made from tempranillo; the label says tinta del pais, which is what tempranillo is called in Ribera del Duoro. The label says it was aged for three months in French oak, while the website says four. Three, four, what’s the difference.
Tasting note after the jump. Continue reading