Spain offers so much more than Rioja, so we have put together an Off the beaten track Spain Case Offer; this is a great way of discovering six distinctive and delicious wines from less well known areas of Spain. All these wines are from small family-run producers.
Two white wines – one comes from an organic Estate in central Spain, and the other from Monterrei in Galicia. The four red wines range from DO Almansa in central Spain, a wine from DO Bierzo in the North West, to a deep Monastrell from DO Alicante and finally an organic wine from the indigenous Bobal grape from DO Manchuela.
This case comes complete with Tasting Notes.
Lagasca Viognier 2017 (Organic & Biodynamic) VdlT Castilla (1 bottle)
(Gold Medal Challenge Millesime Bio 2018; International organic wine competition)
Intense peach aromas give way to an exotic palate of peach and tropical fruit, coupled with zesty acidity. A refreshing and delicious Viognier with a smooth, long finish and excellent balance.
From the family-run organic estate of Dominio de Punctum in central Spain, led by Jesus and Ruth Fernandez. You could drink it on its own with nibbles but it is a perfect partner to a wide range of foods like shellfish, chicken, pork or rabbit dishes, tagines, mild Asian dishes and vegetarian dishes with sweet root vegetables.
Crego e Monaguillo 2017/18 DO Monterrei (1 bottle)
Made from mainly Godello grape, this white has aromas of orange blossom, cut grass and apples followed by an intense and beautifully balanced palate of greengages and tropical fruit with a touch of lime. Overall it has a silky mouth-feel coupled with refreshing acidity. A complex white wine with terrific length. This definitely rivals Albariño.
Located in Salguiera near Verin, close to Portuguese border, the Rodriguez family have been growing and making wine for 50 years; in 2006 began to modernise their facilities to keep up with demand. The name of the wine is Galician for Crego (The Priest) and Monaguillo (The Altar Boy); Ernesto is a practising priest and his nephew Tito, who now runs the winery, used to be an altar boy.
El Abuelo 2016/17 (Organic) DO Almansa (1 bottle)
A blend of one of our favourite, indigenous Spanish grapes, Monastrell with Tempranillo. It has smoky, cherry and plum aromas coupled with spice and sage hints. Plums and cherry fruit flavours predominate with juicy tannins and it has a nice smooth balance with good intensity.
El Abuelo, Spanish for The Grandfather, who is pictured on the striking label. It is a photo of Luis Piqueras who established the family vineyards and started making jug wine in 1915. In 1927 his lottery spend of 8 pesetas brought him luck and he won! With his winnings he invested in the original Piqueras winery.
Merayo Mencia 2017/18 DO Bierzo (1 bottle)
(91 points Penin Guide: Independent wine guide in Spain)
Made from the lovely Mencia grape with aromas of cherries and smooth, cherry fruit and spice flavours. It is a flavoursome, savoury red with good length. Pedro Merayo has 25 hectares of well established and immaculate vineyards, which includes 80 – 100 year old bush vine Mencia. This Mencia has some grapes from mature vines as well as from 10 year old trellaced vines.
This young red has been aged “sur lie” for six months before bottling and is a terrific example of the lovely medium bodied, refined wines this grape can produce. Similar to Cabernet Franc with a bit more substance; it has been described as the Pinot Noir of Spain and is definitely worth discovering.
La Tremenda Monastrell 2016 DO Alicante 1 bottle
(90 points Decanter Magazine panel)
An immediately inviting red with aromas of black cherries and hints of mediterranean herbs, spice, toast and cocoa. This is followed by rich cherry fruit flavours and nice savoury, ripe tannins. It has a lovely silky texture and very good length. Made from the Monastrell grape which is known as Mourvedre in France, where it plays a starring role in Chateauneuf du Pape.
It has spent 6 months in American oak barrels (2nd and 3rd year which gives a gentle oak nuance to this wine) and then was aged a further 12 months in bottle before release. Bodegas Enrique Mendoza is a highly respected Bodega in Spain and a leader in this area. José (Pepe) Mendoza now runs the family-run vineyards and Bodega with his brother Julian.
Mil Historias Bobal 2017 (Organic) DO Manchuela 1 bottle
A rich and deep red wine. Intense aromas of ripe, black fruit with rosemary herb hints and a touch of black pepper. The flavours are equally intense, there is blackcurrant, cherry fruit together with peppery, liquorice and chocolate hints. This full-bodied red has a lovely full, savoury and complex finish. Wines made from this widely planted grape, the Bobal, mainly found in the Levant area of Spain, often display power and vibrant fruit, but not all achieve the freshness and juiciness and a well rounded palate, that this wine does.
It is produced by Manolo Garrote (who is an agronomist) and his wife Roselia Molina who is the winemaker at Bodegas Altolandon, in the hills well inland from Valencia near Cuenca. The vineyards are at 1100 metres which means cool nights which is helpful for retaining freshness in the grape flavours. This Bodega also restrict the yield to around 1.5 kilos per vine, which concentrates the aromas and flavours of the grapes. This wine is aged for 4 months in French oak barrels with some in clay amphora to retain purity, and build complexity. Finally they are bottled and have an eye-catching label which captures the natural and organic production.