Tempranillo: The “Authentic Protagonist” of Bodegas Cepa 21 Vineyards

Winemaker José Moro has much love for Tempranillo despite the fact that it “doesn’t stand out for anything but has everything.” Moro’s words point to the paradox inherent in the wines made from Spain’s famous black grape: while they don’t tend to tickle the nose with exotic aromas or leave an immediate and indelible impression on the palate, they are some of the loveliest wines … Continue reading Tempranillo: The “Authentic Protagonist” of Bodegas Cepa 21 Vineyards

Spanish White Guerrilla, Part Two: Verdejo

  In a previous post I talked about the revolutionary wine project undertaken by Castillo de Maetierra to boost the image of white wines from Rioja, Spain.  Through the creation of Valles de Sadacia, a separate Protected Geographic Indication with its own locally determined wine-making standards, the founders sought to reimagine white wine’s place in Spain’s first Denominación de Origen.  At the heart of their strategy … Continue reading Spanish White Guerrilla, Part Two: Verdejo

It’s International Grenache Day!

    “Grenache is for me, the wild, wild woman of wine, the sex on wheels and devil take the hindmost, the don’t say I didn’t warn you.”  –  Oz Clarke   I rather like Oz’s description of Grenache, the wine grape of many personalities.  Having spent a bit of time in Spain, I myself have fallen prey to her charms:  sometimes in the magenta-hued … Continue reading It’s International Grenache Day!

Vuelta a España 2016, Week Three: Wines of the Levant

  I can’t believe we’re already in the home stretch of the 2016 Vuelta a España.  The past two and a half weeks have flown by, although I’m not sure the peloton would agree.  By all accounts, this year’s race has been arduous, even by Vuelta standards, with more mountain stages than ever.  As I mentioned in my first post, most of the world-class sprinters … Continue reading Vuelta a España 2016, Week Three: Wines of the Levant

Vuelta a Espana 2016 – Part 2: Galícia’s Got More Than Albariño!

  While the opening week of the 2015 Vuelta saw the peloton roaming through the hot, arid climate of Andalucía in southern Spain, the first week of this year’s race looks completely different.  If you’ve been watching the coverage of the 2016 Vuelta, you’ve no doubt been impressed with the magnificent scenery of Galícia, in far northwestern Spain:  slow-flowing rivers cutting through cordons of granite; … Continue reading Vuelta a Espana 2016 – Part 2: Galícia’s Got More Than Albariño!

Familiar Grapes in Weird Places – Spanish White Guerrilla Project

  Before you start wondering exactly what I mean by “weird places,” let me assure you I’m talking geography here.  For those whose proclivities have already taken them to another track all together, I’ll see what I can do to craft a follow-up post.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you . . . . Lately it seems that I’ve been drinking a lot of strange … Continue reading Familiar Grapes in Weird Places – Spanish White Guerrilla Project

Tour de France by the Glass 2016: Stage 9, Vielha Val d’Aran to Andorre Arcalis

  The quest to dominate the Pyrénées  begins in Spain Sunday morning, and edges upward, ever-so-slowly toward Andorra.  With Chris Froome in the yellow jersey after Saturday’s surprise attack on the descent from the Col de Peyresourde, it looks to be another day of scheming and strategizing for the GC contenders.  Froome and Team Sky are experts at maintaining a lead once they’ve built one, … Continue reading Tour de France by the Glass 2016: Stage 9, Vielha Val d’Aran to Andorre Arcalis