Wine Talk

Snooth User: CheloSpahn

Amazing Spanish wines tasting.

Posted by CheloSpahn, Oct 26, 2012.

Hello everyone, (A LONG POST)

Yesterady I have the opportunity to taste 15 differents wine from Spain from various regions ans style and I will like to share with everyone my thougths and opinions about this amazing experience.

The taste was directed by Juan Muñoz, the Spanish Sommelier Association President and the wines were:

Cava Rosé

- Agustín Torelló Mata Rosé Brut / Trepat

This grape gives a very elegant Cava, with more pronounced bubbles. A great strawberry color wirh same aromas and some jelly also, medium acidity and body.

- Freixenet Cordon Rosado Brut / Trepat-Garnacha

One classic Cava. Fresh, crisp and lively. It is full of ripe cherry and berry flavors with a body that is exceptionally smooth and satiny. Silky finish.


- Freixenet Carta Nevada Brut / Macabeo, Xarel-lo, Parrellada

What an amazing Cava. Perfect body and it completely integrates on the mouth, If I could; I will drink one bottle of this every week. It has some vanilla and apricot aromas and flavors.

- Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut / Macabeo, Xarel-lo, Parrellada

Some smoky, brioche and yeast aromas. Very dry on the mouth but with a nice body. Didn't like it so much.

- Agustín Torelló Mata Gran Reserva Barrica Brut Nature 2008 / Macabeo

This one has a very particular elaboration process, it is made from 3 different macabeos and only one of them has barrel fermentation (new one). With a golden color, almond and vanilla aromas, on the mouth it has a delicious cream body very unctuous. The best Cava of the tasting.

- Agustín Torelló Mata Gran Reserva Brut Nature 2007 / Macabeo, Xarel-lo, Parrillada

This cava was very nice because even that it doesn't had a tome trough the barrel it has the  vanilla, toasted bread and butter a mix of breakfast amazing and perfect aromas.

White wines

- Viña Esmeralda / Moscatel-Gewurztraminner / Penedés 2011

With a complex aromatic expression. The best Gewurztraminners smell like cat urine and this one has that unice aroma combining with some passion fruit and pineaple. With 8 grs of residual sugar this wine is sugary and smooth.

- Viñe del vero Gewurztraminner / Somontano 2011

Amazing pairing for asian food. Geranium, papaya and guava are the most found aromas on this aromatic wine. Also smooth and sugary.

Red wines

First Tasting:

- Atrium / Merlot / 2009

A very spicy merlot and the first I ever drinked from Spain (not my favorite). 6 moths passing trough french oak barrel.

- Castillo Perelada 3 Fincas / Garnacha-Cariñena / 2008

AMAZING! This is the perfect word for this wine. Color is a beautifull purple red with ink aromas that melt with some vegetable notes such as spinach (weird). Liquorice appears after 2 minutes of oxigenating the wine. On the mouth the oak is pretty much what you feel with some silky tannins. It clearly needs some time to rest on the cup.

- Castillo Perelada 5 Fincas / Merlot-Garnacha / 2006

I have three word for this wine OH MY GOD. Coconut, plum with a rich body, this wine passes 24 months on american oak barrel and 1 year on the bottle before going on the market. This is one of my favorite wines and obviously I have it on my home cellar.

Secong Tasting:

- La Miranda / Garnacha-Syrah / 2008

Intense purple, with integrated aromas given by the oak. very spicy and complex.

- Gran Sangre de Toro / Garnacha-Cariñena / 2008

Very nice wine, integrated plum and christmas eve with cristallized fruit aromas.

- Finca Constancia / Tempranillo, C Sauvignon, Syrah, C Franc, P verdot, Graciano / 2008

I have no word for this wine, amazing. Blackberry jam with some floral scents, well-balanced acidity, roundness, sweet tooth wine. Also very fresh.

- Beronia Reserva / Tempranillo-Mazuelo-Graciano / 2007

Specificity is found from the first time you get the wine on the cup. Leather and chocolate are the first one to appear as black ripe fruits like plum combines with them. Clasical Rioja with unbelievable diferentiated cinamon and spicy flavors.

I will publish some photos later


Reply by EMark, Oct 26, 2012.

Thank you for the nice report Marcelo.

I have never had a Gewurztraminer from Spain.  Are they always sweet?

Reply by spikedc, Oct 27, 2012.

Thanks Chelo, some nice wines and good reports. I've also tasted a few..

Freixenet Carta Navada Brut

Sangre de Toro / Garnacha - Carinena

Beronia Reserva 2007 (a few days ago although it was the 2006)

All very enjoyable

I do have a liking for Gerwurztraminer and like Emark never tasted Spanish versions.


Reply by Fenderbaum, Oct 27, 2012.

If you liked the 3 Fincas and the 5 Fincas then check out the Perelada Malaviena. A little pricier but it is absolutely superb. 

Regarding Spanish Gerwurztraminers - I'm not a huge fan as they can be somewhat underwhelming compared to their Alsace equivalents. 

Reply by CheloSpahn, Oct 27, 2012.

First of all thanks for your comment guys, that encourage me for writting more reports about my wine tastings (I apologize for the not so acute and limited technical vocabulary but as you understand I learn all what I know about wine in spanish and I'm still learningn) About the Spain gewurztraminner I think they have that sweet sensation because of the weather. But they are not sweet as I described it, they had that sensation of sugarness but that's it. I've tasted 2 and that's what I can say about them.

Thanks for the heads up Fender I will look for Perelada Malaviena around here and see if I can find it.

Reply by Fenderbaum, Oct 27, 2012.

No problem, I hope you can find it. 

Your point about the weather affecting the Spanish wines is a valid one. The extra sun does make a difference in terms of the sweetness of the white wines. This is one of the main differences between Champagne and cava for instance. The same is true of the Reislings made in Spain compared to the quintessential ones made in Alsace and Germany, This is the reason why if you like biting, acidic white wines then Spanish whites usually don't cut the mustard. 

Reply by GregT, Oct 27, 2012.

"This is the reason why if you like biting, acidic white wines then Spanish whites usually don't cut the mustard."

That's actually not true. One may not like any number of Spanish white wines, but it's entirely erroneous to suggest that they lack acidity.

Spain is a big place and it's not all sunny and warm desert. In Galicia there is so much moisture and rain that their problem is not irrigation, it's drainage. They grow the vines overhead partly to keep them away from the damp ground and to allow air to circulate and keep them dry. Albariño can be dry as a bone. It varies depending on whether it's grown nearer the Atlantic coast or farther inland, but anything grown near the Atlantic is not going to be low-acid. In terms of latitude, Rías Baixas is at about 42 degrees north latitude, which is roughly the same as Buffalo, New York, although of course it has nowhere near the same climate. By way of comparison, the wineries on Long Island are at 40 degrees, which is farther south and nobody suggests that those wines suffer from low acidity.

Moreover, even in the very south of Spain, France, Greece, and Italy, they are able to make white wines with plenty of acidity. They do what has always been done - they plant higher up in the mountains and the hills. It's why you can get crisp wines from the Languedoc. Standing on the Mediterranean cliffs on a summer day makes one understand immediately how chilly it can be.

Further inland in Spain, in places like Rueda, the Verdejo is every bit as acidic as any Sauvignon Blanc or Semillon from Bordeaux.

As far as Cava goes, that too is very much dependent on the producer. There are 2 producers who dominate the market, but there are many artisinal producers as well, even down in Valencia, and some are making wonderful wines. Cava is not a D.O., it's really a winemaking practice although most of it comes from Penedés. But again, depending on where you grow the grapes and when you harvest, you can get the wine as acidic as you want. Try a number of different types of Cava from different producers - it can be every bit as acidic as any Champagne. In fact, some of the still wines made from Xarel-lo or Chardonnay, which are used in Cava, are as lean as anything from the Loire. Had Cava and Verdejo and Godello on Thursday and Chenin Blanc on Friday and there wasn't a flabby wine in the lot. Even the dry Muscat can be remarkably acidic, again depending on the producer and vinification.



Reply by Fenderbaum, Oct 28, 2012.

I agree with you Greg that there are, of course, some exceptional Spanish white wines out there. But the intention of my comment was to convey the fact that, by in large, you cannot compare Spanish Gerwurztraminer and Reisling to those from Germany and Alsace.

I also agree with you on the cavas. I've had some wonderful bruts that you could cut yourself shaving with. 

Reply by CheloSpahn, Oct 29, 2012.

Thanks for your wide response Greg and I agree with you on everything except on ONE little detail. Cava is actually one D.O! You can search on every book nowadays and it will always says D.O Cava, specially on restaurants that have this fabulous wines on their wine list.

I was near 1979 that the regulatory board of sparkling wine stablish Cava as a D.O. The only problem (then solved a few years later) was the delimitation of the area where Cava can be produced, being today the production centered on "Penedés".

You dind't make any comment about the tasting.. Did you like it?


Reply by GregT, Oct 29, 2012.

Chelo - you are right. It is a D.O. My mistake. I should have actually read my post before putting it up! What I meant to say was that it's not a D.O. that refers to a single place.

In 1972, they created the Consejo Regulador de los Vinos Espumosos, and when Spain joined the E.U. in 1986, they had to bring their wine laws into compliance with the rest of Europe. But on accession, there are provisions for countries with their own unique histories, because not every European country was modeled on France. Besides, even in France, there are some regions that don't quite fit into the general parameters. For example, Muscadet includes four regions and it's also sometimes used to refer to the grape itself. 

The E.U. wanted a D.O. to be limited to a specific area but the Spanish decided not to limit the D.O. to a single region, like la Rioja or Jerez. After some negotiating, it was agreed that the D.O would include multiple unrelated and actually quite distant regions. And as you point out, all of them are able to include the D.O. Cava on their bottle. In addition to being from one of the regions, the wine has to be made from certain grapes (currently undergoing some revisions). It's different from Champagne in that it has to have a slightly higher pressure in the bottle, can only be from the first pressing of the grapes (the free-run juice) and has to be aged on the lees for a certain time if it is to be called Reserva or Gran Reserva, etc., and it's usually a vintage year, whereas Champagne is often a blend. And the Cava producers rarely Chaptalize because the grapes usually have sufficient sugar.

Today the Cava D.O. includes regions in the following areas:

Artículo 4.1 –La región determinada del “CAVA” comprende los municipios de las siguientes provincias:

Provincia de Alava: Laguardia, Moreda de Alava y Oyón.

Provincia de Badajoz: Almendralejo.

Provincia de Barcelona: Abrera, Alella, Artés, Avinyonet del Penedès, Begues, Cabanyes (les), Cabrera d’Igualada, Cabrils, Canyelles, Castellet i la Gornal, Castellvi de la Marca, Castellvi de Rosanes, Cervelló, Corbera de Llobregat, Cubelles, Font-Rubí, Gelida, Granada (la), Llacuna (La), Martorell, Martorelles, Masnou (El), Masquefa, Mediona, Mongat, Odena, Olérdola, Olesa de Bonesvalls, Olivella, Pacs del Penedès, Piera, Pierola, Pla del Penedès, Pobla de Claramunt
(La), Pontons, Premià de Mar, Puigdalber, Rubí, Sant Cugat Sesgarrigues, Sant Esteve Sesrovires, Sant fost de Campsentelles, Sant Ginés de Vilasar, Sant Llorenç d’Hortons, Sant Martí Sarroca, Sant Pere de Ribes, Sant Pere de Riudevitlles, Sant Quintí de Mediona, Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, Santa Fe del Penedès, Santa Margarida i els Monjos, Santa Maria de Martorelles, Santa Maria de Miralles, Sitges, Subirats, Teià, Tiana, Torrelavit, Torrelles de Foix, Vallbona d’Anoia, Vallirana, Vilafranca del
Penedès, Vilanova i la Geltrú, Vilobí del Penedès.

Provincia de Girona: Capmany, Masarac, Mollet de Perelada, Perelada y Blanes.

Provincia de La Rioja: Alesanco, Azofra, Briones, Casalarreina, Cihuri, Cordovín, Cuzcurrita de Rio Tirón, Fonzaleche, Grávalos, Haro, Hormilla, Hormilleja, Nájera, Sajazarra, San Asensio, Tirgo, Uruñuela y Villalba de Rioja.

Provincia de Lleida: L’Albi, L’Espluga Calva, Lleida, Fulleda, Guimerà, Maldà, Rocafor de Vallbona, Sant Martí de Maldà, Tarrés, Verdú, Vilosell y Vinaixa.

Provincia de Navarra: Mendavia y Viana.

Provincia de Tarragona: Aiguamurcia, Albinyana, Alió, Arboç (L’), Banyeres del Penedès, Barberà de la Conca, Bellvei, Bisbal del Penedès (La), Blancafort, Bonastre, Bràfim, Cabra del Camp, Calafell, Catllar (El), Creixell, Cunit, Espluga de Francolí (L’), Figuerola, Garidells (Els), Llorenç del Penedès, Masllorenç, Montblanc, Montbrió de la Marca, Montferri, Montmell, Nou de Gaià (La), Nulles, Pallaresos
(Els), Perafort, Pira, Pla de Santa Maria (El), Puigpelat, Renau, Riera (La), Rocafort de Queralt, Roda de Berà, Rodonyà, Salomó, Sant Jaume dels Domenys, Santa Oliva, Sarral, Secuita (La), Solivella, Vallmoll, Valls, Vendrell (El), Vespella, Vilabella, Vila-rodona, Vilaseca de Solcina, Vilabert y Vimbodí.

Provincia de Valencia: Requena.

Provincia de Zaragoza: Ainzón y Cariñena.

If you guys are interested in the legal aspects, here's a link from the Consejo Regulador.

As far as the tasting, it was the standard tasting that we do every year. I was pouring wines but tried to taste as many as I  could from all of the other participants.  It was this:



Reply by CheloSpahn, Oct 29, 2012.

WOW, thank's for the head's up!

To bad I don't live in states for going to that wine tastings :(

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