Spanish wine continue to enjoy a rising popularity among Canadian wine enthusiasts. For instance, according to ICEX ( Espana Exportacion e Inversiones), Spanish wine exports to Canada have increased a whopping 27% from 2011-2015. Spain also ranks 4th place as a Canadian foreign wine supplier behind USA, France, Italy and Australia. The enthusiasm comes mostly from the province of Quebec with a share of the import market over 50%. Furthermore, growth in the French province has been an impressive 32% in the last five years, with 5.2% alone in 2016.
There is a number of factors that explain Canadians’ preferences for Spanish wines. First, Spain has a solid reputation of making the best quality price ratio wines in the world. Two, we can practically find all wine styles made in Spain. This fact is no surprising to me since the country possesses more than 1 million ha of vineyards. The last reason is just a matter of taste. Canadians and specially Quebecers just love the flavors derived from the oak aging system of Spanish wines.
I recently tasted a modest amount of Spanish wines that can be found presently at the SAQ under the $20 category. These are great wines for your weekday supper meals , weekends, or can be offered as gifts to please special friends or family. Below my tasting notes:
Disclaimer: Prices are in CAD for the Quebec market in Canada. Wines reviewed for this post were given as samples or tasted as part of a product portfolio by their respective importers or promotional agencies.
Sparkling and Whites
Paco & Lola Cava Lola ( Xarello, Macabeo, Parellada)-Sparkling. SAQ Code: 13483911 $19.95
Pretty nose bringing to mind ripe pineapple with orange quince jam. Medium body and fresh with a luscious creamy mouthfeel. Long floral finale.
Bodegas Protos Verdejo Rueda 2016 SAQ # 13321874 $17.25
Bright nose reminiscent of ripe green apple and lime. Medium body with a good acidity and fragrant flavours bringing to mind fennel and tropical fruits. This wine overdelivers for under $20.
Conde Valdemar Viura Verdejo 2016 SAQ # 13385309 $15.10
Delicious bouquet bringing to mind green apple, yellow pepper and endives complemented by notes of white pepper, acacia and jazmin as well. Round and caressing with a mouth-watering acidity. This is probably the best quality price ratio for a spanish white available at the SAQ at the moment.
Francois Lurton Hermanos Lurton Tempranillo Toro 2016 SAQ # 10359261. $15.45
This modest toro has a very enticing nose bringing to mind red cherry cream with notes of raspberry dark chocolate and vanilla. Juicy on the palate with a fresh acidity and a long dry and lingering finish.
Tardencuba Roble D.O. Toro 2015. SAQ # 12826096. $14.15
A delicious Toro wine. Crafted with 100% Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo grape) that were sourced from a single vineyard that is more than 60 years old. It is aged six months in French oak barrels and for an additional 12 months in the bottle. It has primal aromas of red and black berries with exotic spices and leather. Very long with suave tannins.
Conde Valdemar Crianza 2013. SAQ # 897330. $15.75
A classical Rioja wine that display notes of prunes jam, bitter orange peel and pipe tobacco complemented by vanilla and black cherry. On the mouth, noble and supple with satiny tannins with a quite spicy finish.
Garnacha Artazuri Artadi 2016. SAQ # 10902841. $15.65
Delicious red fruit expression such as ripe raspberries and red prunes complemented by floral scents such as roses,violets and lilacs.On the mouth, fleshy and juicy with flavors bringing to mind dry spices as well .Ripe and concentrated but always elegant