Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Victorious Spanish Wine Tasting Event

A huge Wine Armada salute to Andy Bartee, from Eric Solomon Selections European Cellars, for hosting an off-the-chart Spanish Wine Tasting recently held in Clayton, Missouri. We appreciated him journeying north, from his home in Dallas, to share some old favorites, and new releases, that are now available at the Wine and Cheese Place on Forsyth.

After a brief intro, he had us jump right into the always reliable 2010 Burgans Albarino. Vintage after vintage, this Spanish white can do no wrong with it’s fresh, but restrained citrus flavors. Try it with fish tacos for a full-tilt pairing.

Underrated Godello followed, with the usual “I love Godello” emanating from the crowd, after the first few sips. The 2009 Pena das Donas Almalarga hails from Ribera Sacra and proved to be an exquisite example of the grapes unique blend of delicious fruit and minerality.

Next was the 2004 Izadi El Regalo Reserva Rioja which may have which had the best nose of the night. Bright fruit, combined with a bouquet of roses, just exploded from the glass, repeating that same freshness on the palate.

2006 Bodegas “Orben” Rioja
paved the way for an onslaught of red wines, each more powerful than the last. This was in the more traditional Rioja style, showing more tannin and deeper flavor than the Izadi.

We sailed on to the Ribera del Duero region next and the 2009 Finca Villacreces “Pruno” lived up to the billing as the best value of the evening. This neighbor to the famed Vega Sicilia estate costs only $19.99, but delivered flavor and finesse of wines two to three times the price.

2006 Finca Villacreces Ribera del Duero was a heady blend of bright expressive fruit followed by an incredibly long finish that was a roller coaster of dark flavors and spice. Quite worthy of the 94 pt. rating bestowed by Wine Advocate.

2009 Jimenez Landi Sotorrondero always impresses and makes one wonder why more wine is not exported from the obscure region of Mentrida. An outstanding blend of Syrah and Garnacha, and under $20, this one is always a crowd pleaser

The beast was unleashed at the end of the tasting to accolades worthy of the world’s finest wines. Big and bold, but still tightly wound due to its youth, the 2007 Nit de Nin Priorat had a perfect balance of fruit and terroir to lend to its supple framework. Rated 95 pt. by Wine Advocate, this should be at the top of your special occasion wine shopping list.

Up and down the line-up, it was an unbelievable night of some of the best Spain has to offer, that will not soon be forgotten by those lucky enough to attend. For more information on any of these wines, stop by the Wine and Cheese Place or log on to