Friday, February 12, 2010

A Wine Day Around Spain

Being a part of the wine trade means being invited to wine events. Okay, well maybe not invited, but I heard about the event and showed up :-) No worries though, I was welcome! The Spanish wine region of Ribeiro and Navarra were in town to promote their wines from the DC International Food & Wine Festival. Hosted by Deussen Communications and Jose Andres, I attended the Ribeiro event first at Jaleo first. Not to be confused with Ribera del Duero, the Ribeiro region in the NW province of Galicia is known mainly for their white wines. The treixadura grape is the star of the region with its fruity and floral notes. Other varietals indigenous to this region are torrontes, loureira, and godello. GQ Chef of the Year, Jose Andres hope to bring wines from where he grew up to Spanish wine aficionados in America. YAY for us in DC!

There were 7 tables, 18 wines...and I tasted them all. That's the only way to get the full experience of the region, right?! My favs from the tasting all contained treixadura, and of course aren't yet distributed in this area. I really do need to become an importer!

Arman Barrica 2007
100% Treixadura
Hints of toast, bacon, and smoke. Slight minerality on finish

Val de Nairoa 2009
80% Treixadura, 10% Albarino, 10% Lado
Great fruit blast of apple, citrus, and lemon. Crisp acidity

Vina do Campo 2008
70% Treixadura, 30% Torrontes
Creamy mouthfeel with refreshing florals and citrus fruits in the nose and on the palate

Next up, Navarra. So glad they had actual walk around appetizers at this event, I was starving! Citrus shrimp, cold tomato soup shooters, foie gras...Taberna del Alabadero.

Navarra, located in the North of Spain has a long rich history of wine, food, and tradition. Monks established the vineyards in the area in the 13th century and their winemaking techniques were influenced by the French. The bodegas of Navarra are known for their blends of traditional grape varieties like tempranillo, garnacha with imported varieties. Spanish rosado, strawberry in color, is also held in high regard in this region.

I slowed down with my tasting here. Of the 16 tables, I only made it to 7. But a great 7 they were! The standouts of Navarra are:

Bodegas Artajona Crianza 2006
Cabernet Sauvignon & Tempranillo
Aged 12 mos in oak, this wine had flavors of bright red fruits and a soft mouthfeel

Ochoa Moscatel 2008
Moscatel a petit grain
A sweet dessert style, this wine had flavors of honey, peach, melon and honeysuckle

Casita Mami semiCrianza 2004
60% Garnacha, 40% Graciano
Spent 6 mos in American oak, tasted of oak, clove and sweet red fruits

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