Wine Talk

Snooth User: spikedc

Spanish Wine Tasting

Posted by spikedc, Aug 2, 2011.

Sampled some very nice wines at a tasting the other evening at a local Spanish Restaurant with a selection of Tapas.  Amongst the highlights were..

Rioja Reserva Muga 2006/07

Rioja Single vineyard Ramon Bilbao 2008

Emilio Moro Ribera del Duero 2006/07

Rioja Blanco Muga 2010

Rueda Blanco Marques de Riscal 2010

Rioja Blanco Marques de Caceres 2009/10


The reds were all fantastic,  the Muga and Emilio Moro the stars.

Not tasted much Spanish whitesbut the Verdejo/Viura ( Marques de Riscal) stood out as a lovely crisp refreshing flavour on a humid night..

I would like to sample more Viura or Verdejo, so any suggestions would be great !

My wine rack is slowly filling up with a lot of Spanish and Australian bottles, both my current favourites.




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Reply by GregT, Aug 2, 2011.

Spike - the Moro is the most modern if you will.  Very good producer and I'm thinking those wines have a future as well since they've everything necessary to age well.  Riscal is one of the oldest in Rioja and also one of the most consistent.  It's one thing to put out a few hundred cases of a wine that's pretty good, it's completely another to put out, as Riscal does, a million or so. They're the poster child for the argument that good winemaking trumps every other variable. They have a "modern" wine that's actually quite good too- smaller production, higher price.

Viura is all over Rioja.  It's the most widely planted white in the region.  There's a little Garnacha Blanca as well. The funny thing is however, that Riscal isn't from Rioja.  They don't really do Verdejo there.  The wine is from Rueda, which is where you look for Verdejo and that wine is mostly Verdejo as far as I know.  Viura tends to have a slight bitterness on the finish, whereas Verdejo is more similar to Sauv Blanc.  So if you look for Viura, look in Rioja, and if you want to try something interesting, try an older white to see what happens with those wines.  Lopez de Heredia for example, sells them as Gran Reservas with 10 years of age.  Try to find that in Burgundy!


Reply by spikedc, Aug 2, 2011.

Thanks Greg, Already got some Muga in stock, definately be trying some more verdejo's. Emilio Moro is on my list as well.

Just read GDP's excellent articles on Spanish Rose's, also going to try some of those.

Reply by JonDerry, Aug 2, 2011.

Glad your expanding on the Spanish theme spike.  As GregT has mentioned, it's hard to go wrong with Marques de Riscal, Lopez de Heredia, CVNE, and others.  I actually had a really nice CVNE white not long ago, the Monopole 2008.  If you can get a hold of this, would be interested to hear what you think. 

Reply by Richard Foxall, Aug 3, 2011.

Once again, a convert to Spanish wine.  I haven't accumulated a lot of Sp wine because I wind up drinking them right away, and I can buy them with age so I don't have to store them.  I wish France and California treated me as well.

I don't know how big Muga is, but it's really easy to find here in California, so I suspect they aren't small, either.  And Lan and Beronia are easy to find and make darn good bottlings at a few very reasonable price levels.  Somehow, without subdividing into ten million incomprehensible appellations (what part of Burgundy was that?  Which side of the fence in Chambolle-Musigny was that?  Was that vineyard grand cru or premier cru and which is which in this part of France?) Spain is making wine that New World and Old World drinkers can enjoy.  Sure, you can spend a lot--VS, some of the Gratallops folks--but there's a good amount of easily found wine at reasonable prices. Don't those Spanish wine guys know anything about marketing?

Spike, I'm going to drop in on you some day and help you drink some of that store you've built up, like a grasshopper hitting up the ant in winter.

Reply by spikedc, Aug 3, 2011.

Fox, seen Lan and Beronia locally at reasonable prices, yet more to check out !!

Reply by rolifingers, Aug 3, 2011.

Sounds like an awesome time spikedc. I've had the Marques de Riscal red before and I loved it

Reply by Richard Foxall, Aug 3, 2011.

Spike, I have to admit (in spite of my anti-snobbery stance) that the ubiquity and reasonableness of Lan, Beronia, and Muga actually made me skeptical of them for a long time.  Credit GregT for getting me started on Beronia, although my first ventures into Spanish wine were through Vega Riaza, which I really liked.  It received very little attention in the wine mags (one rating by WS, not very good, and one by WE, a little better) so I bought it with no preconceived ideas and really liked it.  The only disappointment for me has been Panarroz, from Jumilla, which got some good numbers somewhere but left me flat, and Conde de Valdemar, same story.  But they were less than $10 and not offensive, just fell short of what I had come to expect in the QPR department from Spain.  Meanwhile, I've enjoyed Creta, a low-priced RdD, Protocolo (though not a fanatic as some are), Juan Gil (Monastrell based), and a host whose names I can't remember anymore bought on a whim.  Mencia based wines haven't completely floored me yet, but I'm still looking at more. 

I'll never get anywhere close to GregT's depth of knowledge about Spain--hey, it's partly an occupation for him, and he's put in a lot of time--but I look forward to popping and pouring well-aged, reasonably priced wines from Iberia with relish. Much more so than seeing what adopters of Bordeaux varietals can do in South America, for instance. (Sorry, Chilean cab fans, or malbec drinkers.)

Reply by spikedc, Aug 3, 2011.

Shared a bottle of Rioja Single vineyard Ramon Bilbao 2008 (which is a modern style Rioja) over the weekend with family,  I must admit it was a beautifully smooth Rioja, at a £7 a bottle i will be buying more.

The wine went down very well with everyone  as did the roasted garlic lamb.

My wife, son and daughter are in Spain at the moment (Valencia) visiting family. Unfortunately i couldn't make it. Still it's 30 degrees in the UK at the moment.


Reply by Richard Foxall, Aug 3, 2011.

spike, I am trying to go metric here.  That's quite warm.  As I recall, it's (30 x 9/5) + 32 to convert C to F, or 86 F. Now if I could just memorize the ha to acres ratio, and the rough formula for hl/ha to tons/acre. I know, it's liquid per area compared to wieght per area, but there's a rule of thumb for metric tonnes to hl and yields in the non-US world are always in hl/ha, whereas in the US based on tons/acre. Wish we'd really "gone metric" when I was a kid.

Let's see, 7 pounds is what these days?  A pretty reasonable bottle of wine especially since you generally have VAT and the like, right? So that's all in, your final cost?  Gotta love the Spanish by any measure!

That pairing sounds delicious--going to try it myself soon.

Reply by GregT, Aug 3, 2011.

There's still a lot on clearance from Spain these days.  And as their economy goes farther into the crapper, count on even more values.  Spike - if they're in Valencia, they should try some of the local wines.  You wouldn't think so, because they're pretty hot, but you can find some nice big and tannic reds in the region.  Lots of Monastrell and Cab and Syrah and Tempranillo and in next-door Alicante especially, Bobal.

Reply by Lucha Vino, Aug 4, 2011.

Love the Spanish wines too.  Like all the input so far - great prices, quality, generally easy to find and all selections seem to turn good+

Foxall - we need to get on our Vuelta Espana plan.  The race starts on August 20th!

Reply by spikedc, Aug 4, 2011.

Greg,  Unfortunately my wife is not a big wine lover (apart from the odd sweet Rose). Hopefully i can get out there later in the year and try out those 'Big Tannics'.

Fox,  Typical British weather, 30 degrees and sun yesterday, very wet this morning and torrential rain forecast for the rest of the day. Nevermind have to drink inside instead !

Reply by Richard Foxall, Aug 4, 2011.

I hear you, VV.  I'll PM this weekend, maybe tomorrow night (Friday, PDT).  My August is pretty mellow, so I should be able to do any heavy lifting needed over here.

Reply by dmcker, Aug 4, 2011.

Spike, I've been incredibly blessed in my weather during visits to your island. Never crappy weather over a couple of decades and a couple dozen visits during the late spring to early autumn. Never felt I needed to try the late autumn or winter. Who wants it to get dark at 3pm, anyway? OK, 3:30. Having said this, though, of course it'll be pissing down next time I clear at Heathrow.

Fox, hectares to acres are easy. Roughly 1 to 2.5. Accurate enough for figuring your land when you buy your villa in Spain or France or Italy.  ;-)   2.2 lbs to a kilo, 2.5 cm to an inch. Near parity on liters to quarts. Some of the easy ones, and accurate enough unless you're doing industrial strength calculations....

Reply by Richard Foxall, Aug 4, 2011.

Yeah, I am very cool with lbs to kilos and back again.  Also with liters to quarts, yards to meters (swimming and running make that easy).  But what's a "hect"?  Picking up the new stuff is harder than ever and we never had that in school. ;-) Plus I can barely learn all the stuff I have to.  But I'm gonna do it.  The real issue is the liquid measure per area vs. the weight of crop per area.  Just give me a little time--by the time I finish my new copy of Grapes and Vines, I'll have it nailed.

Reply by spikedc, Sep 2, 2011.

Two more Spanish wines i've tried

Vega de la reina Verdejo, Marques de la Concordia, Rueda. 2008/09

Vina Pomel Rioja Reserva 2005/06


Drank a few Verdejo's recently and really enjoyed them, Spains answer to Savignon blanc.

The Vina Pomel went down well and got it at a reasonable price. ( I love Rioja and this was superb)

Reply by ScottLauraH, Sep 14, 2011.

@Spike, I am really enjoying Verdejo as well.  It's a great warm weather wine.  The one we carry in the shop that I have been able to drink the most of is called Shaya. 

Reply by spikedc, Sep 15, 2011.


Pay a little, get a lot

Reply by lingprof, Sep 19, 2011.

@GregT: What is the exact name of the "more modern" slightly higher priced Riscal you mentioned?  The vanilla version of their rioja was one of the first wines I ever loved and remembered.  Havent had it in a while, but would love to return and try both the lower and higher end ones side by side....

Reply by Richard Foxall, Sep 19, 2011.

lingprof, love the spirit of that.  Try them side by side blind and see if the pricier one is the one you like best.  Always good to return to one of those wines that made you a wine drinker to begin with.  For me, that's a time machine back to Napa circa 1976... but lots of revelations, including Riojas and RDDs in the last few years.

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