Wednesday, March 19, 2014

New Shade of White

While searching the cargo hold for a pairing partner to compliment an earthy chicken with vegetable dish, Las Colinas del Ebro Garnacha Blanca 2012 came into view. Sourced from old vines 20-40 years old, this subtly beguiling Spanish white from Terra Alta won us over with seamless layers of citrus, pear and minerals. The lengthy finish, of this 88 pt. Wine Spectator selection, echoed some whites from Priorat, with lingering spicy notes of ginger and nutmeg. Garnacha Blanca may be hard to find, but when it is discovered, the Wine Armada always adds a bottle to the arsenal.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Go, Graciano!

Another eye-opening experience in Wine Armada's quest to explore the many regions and grapes of Spain. While we are so familiar with Rioja, we had the good fortune to try a rare, single-bottling of one of the varietals used to produce the classic red blend.  2011 Rio Madre Rioja is 100% Graciano and 110% delicious! Huge flavors of blueberry, black raspberry and a savory, smoky, acidic finish leaped from the glass and made us wonder why we don't see more wine made of this grape being imported. Even better, this Wine Advocate 91 pointer can be yours for under $10.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Wintery Weekend Wines

The Verdejos of Rueda are among the most consistent white wine values available and Lo Nuevo Lunares Verdejo 2011 is no different. This bottling has the signature white peach, pineapple and honeysuckle flavors, but has an extra charge of acidity that makes it sizzle. Should be delicious with anything from the sea.

La Cartuja Priorat 2011 has quite a pedigree, scoring 93 pts. from Robert Parker, so expectations were high. While it delivered some of the black cherry, blueberry and mineral flavors from the Garnacha/Carinena blend, we considered it an overall lighter style than the rustic, boldness that typify Priorat wines. Easy drinking, uncomplicated and a great match with red meat or pasta in a rich tomato sauce.