Like many of you, I consider the new year a time to look back on the previous year, as well as to make a few resolutions. It probably won’t surprise you that a lot of my reflection centers on wine.
For 2015, I will be drinking more Spanish wines than ever before. Spain has been producing premium quality wines since the last 30 years, yet still, in the mind of many Canadian consumers, it is still viewed as producing cheap wines.
I propose that for every month of 2015, you choose at least one Spanish wine. Now here you have plenty of room to pick. Being the winter months, i propose bold red wines from the likes of Ribera del Duero or Priorat. The former makes gutsy interpretations of Tempranillo. Priorat, on the other hand blends old vines Garnacha with Carignan. Powerful like Ribera del Duero but with a racy mineral character. If Garnacha is a grape that tickles your fancy, you must try the ones of Aragon, the kingdom of Garnacha. They offer plenty of floral and herbal aromatics with ripe and velvety palate profile.
Since St Valentin is around the corner along with skiing season, so don’t forget to include some Cavas. I recently came across 2 cavas from Spanish producer Giró Ribot. They are a family domaine situated in heart of the Penedes region. They have been producing wine for generations and more important they have Champenois production knowhow since at point, they were associated with the group Remy Cointreau.
I tasted the Tendencias with 18 months aging and a blend of 40% both Chardonnay and Xare.lo and the remainder Parellada. It is a cava that has subtle aromas of a tropical fruits along with pears and undertones of freshly baked pastries. On the mouth, it is crisp and lively with an excellent balance of acidity and sugar levels. On the palate, it is rich and well structured. My go sparkling wine salmon tartare
The Gran Reserva 2008 mare was stunning too. More opulent than the tedencias, this cava has aromas of dried fruits such as raisins, Pine and Macadamia nuts with beautiful floral tonalities bringing to mind Chamomille leaves. On the mouth, it is full body with a creamy texture. Elegant and refined, its flavors bring to mind fruits in syrup. This is a cava that is born in a single vineyard called “El Pont” – their oldest vineyard ( 30 to 50 years old vines). Also the Cava has a higher proportion of Xare.lo in the blend, around 50% which gives the more opulent profile. The Gran Reserva rest on its lees for 36 months which helps to give the creamy profile.
I would drink accompany the Gran Reserva with any seafood-poultry based spanish rice dishes with saffron or oven roasted lobster with garlic butter.
Giro Ribot is represented in Quebec by Armenicus Vins & Spiriteux. The samples were given for press review.