Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Red Alert!

All hands have been on deck to explore just a few of the many red wines Spain has to offer this season. With Springtime temperatures on the rise, so is our need for getting out of the galley and firing up the outdoor grill. While white wines offer a break from the heat, a red is usually called upon to successfully execute the perfect pairing with many of our summer favorites like burgers, brats and big-ass steaks.

So the next time you fell that primal urge to get outside and cook something, give these wines a shot:

2009 Picos del Montgo' - 90% Tempranillo 10% Syrah. A modern take on Tempranillo from La Mancha that bursts with dark cherry flavor, then sails to a long, smooth finish. Over-delivers for the price, but peaking now, so drink it by Labor Day.

Altavins Domus Pensi - Terra Alta's unusual blend of 40% Garnacha, 40% CariƱena and 20% Syrah balances ripe plum and black raspberry notes complemented with a burst of acidity.

2006 Predicador - From cult winemaker Benjamin Rome, a modern Rioja featuring dark, brooding fruit that finishes with a complex savory quality (think au jus and green olives). A big wine, with an iconic label, that can be appreciated by both novices and Robert Parker whom gave it 90 pts.

2010 Honoro Vera Garnacha - Another blockbuster out of Calatayud loaded with lush, juicy fruit and a backbone of solid acidity. A joyful expression from one of the most under-rated regions of Spain.

2010 Obalo Rioja - 100% Tempranillo that balances old world elegance with modern delivery of delicious fruit aromas and flavors. Balsamic notes provide a unique undercurrent to a wine worthy of its 90 pt. Wine Advocate score.

2006 Acustic "Brao" Montsant - This 50/50 blend of Garnacha and Samso, with 12-months of oak aging, confirms Acustic's position as a top-notch producer. A huge wine that needs at least 1-2 hours of decanting, will reward you with unforgettable layers of fruit, spice and minerals. Simply superb!

2009 Finca El Tesso Tempranillo - This chameleon, from the rarely seen (at least in our local wine stores) Ribera del Guadiana region, delivers an initial hit of bright red fruit, but eventually transforms to darker, earthier flavors. Resist the temptation to categorize this as a simple quaff and you'll be rewarded over time with something special.

All these, and other great values from Spain, are now available at Lukas Wine and Spirits. If there's a noteworthy Spanish red you've uncorked grill-side lately, please let us know!