Spanish Wines — A Seductive New Crop
Godello, mencia, and other less-than-famous Iberian grapes shine in a new selection from Spanish wine expert Gerry Dawes
Aliaga Lagrima de Garnacha Rosado 2011 ($14). An almost dusty-dry Navarra sangrado ("bleeding") rosé — meaning that it's made from free-run juice — with a light, luminous pink color and an intense strawberry fruit both on the nose and on the palate.
Bodegas Adrià Viña Barroca 2010 ($15). A dark, juicy, lively mencia from Bierzo. The wine is unoaked, which lets the intense fruit shine through very nicely.
Don Bernardino Tinto Joven Mencia 2011 ($17). A brash, forthright mencia from Ribeira Sacra, medium-rich and herbaceous, with a flavor reminiscent of blackberries and a faint tannic bitterness.
Viña Cazoga Tinto 2010 ($27). Another Ribeira Sacra mencia, surprisingly soft, with a generous bouquet, a blackberry-and-black-pepper tang on the palate, and a long, satisfying finish. (Pictured right, Jorge Carnero, proprietor of Viña Cazoga, courtesy of Gerry Dawes)
Terra Remota Camino Tinto 2009 ($29). Atypical of Dawes' offerings, this is a blend of French and Spanish varieties (equal quantities of garnacha and syrah, plus 20 percent cabernet sauvignon and 10 percent tempranillo), higher in alcohol than the other wines tasted here (at 14 percent), and definitely showing some French oak. I thought the nose was a little cabbagey at first, but that character dissipated, and on the palate the wine is earthy and full, with the garnacha fruit shining through.
Gerry Dawes's wines are not yet widely distributed around the U.S. Some of them are available at Stew Leonard's Wines in New York State and at Chambers Street Wines, Despaña Vino y Mas, and Nancy's Wines for Food in New York City, and will be sold through Stew Leonard's Wines in Connecticut as of August. They may also be mail-ordered, for delivery to states that allow direct shipping of wines, from AOC Fine Wines in New York State, and will be sold through LaTienda.com, also beginning in August. Several of them are being poured by the glass in New York at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and at Terroir Tribeca. For more information on these wines, see www.spanishartisanwinegroup.com.
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