Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Visit From Gil Family Estates

No one epitomizes Spanish wine quality and value better than Gil Family Estates. Their ever-growing portfolio covers a wide range from simple quaffers to the mind-blowing El Nido red blend. So it was without hesitation the Wine Armada sailed into Sasha's on Shaw, in South St. Louis, to meet winery reps Loren Gil and Jordi Flos, then sample their latest offerings paired with some culinary treats. Under the twilight sky on the outdoor patio, we tasted these fine examples of some of Spain's best:

Arindo Rueda Verdejo 2012
From the remote Rueda region, this light, crisp Verdejo was a perfect start to the evening. A little drier than the 2011 vintage, this 2012 seemed more balanced with it's pear and pineapple notes and mouthwatering acidity on the clean finish. It was crazy-good when paired with a banana nut muffin drizzled in a Verdejo reduction - a brilliant inspiration from the chef.

Bodegas Tridente Mencia 2010
The influx of high-quality Mencia has been staggering over the past 1-2 years. The 2010 Tridente Mencia is no exception. From a vineyard just outside Bierzo, Mencia's homeland, the 6 months in French oak added aromas of spice and dark fruit. Black raspberry, cassis and cola flavors glided across the palate on a lengthy finish that keeps you coming back for more. 90 points from Wine Advocate and under $15 makes this one a keeper.

Bodegas Atteca Old Vine Garnacha 2011
This 100% garnacha has been a long-time "go to" big red in the Wine Armada cellars. Aged for ten months in French oak and full of crowd-pleasing dark berry, licorice and fig flavors. Incredibly long finish for the money (under $15!) ending with a spicy note.

La Atalaya 2010
We finished with this easy-drinking Garnacha/Monastrell blend. 12 months in French oak adds just the right amount of blackberry and cigar box aromas, with the addition of blueberry and plum on the palate.  Perfect balance, combined with good acidity, that ends with slightly savory finish, makes this an all-around universal food wine. Wine Advocate agrees with a 91 pt. rating for this terrific value costing less than $15.

Many thanks to the Gil Family, Sasha's on Shaw, Pinnacle Imports, Amy Simpson and her Wine Cru for hosting this special event. Hope to see you all again, very soon!