Great Wines and Upcoming Wine Events

Toledo, Spain
Each morning this month, we’ve taken an armchair trip to a different part of Spain via La Vuelta de Espana bicycle race.   This morning there were exciting shots of bicyclists racing around the historic walls of Toledo which made usreminisce about our travels to this amazing city.   Founded by the Romans, Toledo was a thriving multicultural center of learning by the 10th century.   Its architecture has been so painstakingly preserved that it’s easy to imagine life in the middle ages on these same streets.   Much larger than most walled cities, Toledo has plenty of neighborhoods, plazas and winding avenues to make travelers lose their way.   Personally, we can’t think of a better place to get lost in!



Last Wednesday, The New York Times ran an article about wines from my favorite region of Spain –  Ribera del Duero! We’ve got the wines that are available in Washington including their top wine, the 2005 Montecastro  ($47.00).    Also in stock are the 2006 Tinto Pesquera ($29.99) and 2006 Condado de Haza ($29.99).   We’ve also got the Arzuaga Crianza from the better vintage of 2005 ($29.99) and the 2006 vintage of the Sastre Tinto (the 2008 vintage was rated Best Value).    These are all stellar wines, certain to please any fans of full-bodied, smooth reds, whether or not you like modern Napa Cabs.  Click Ribera to read the full article.


2006 Dominio de Atauta, Ribera del Duero ($29.99)   “Dense yet lively, this chewy Spanish red delivers cherry, berry, licorice, mineral and smoke notes. The tannins are firm, yet the wine remains fresh and clean. Oaky, but well-grounded. Best from 2011 through 2017.”

92 points Wine Spectator

NV Hidalgo Pastrana Manzanilla Pasada ($28.99) A truly unique sherry, Pastrana is produced from a single vineyard located between Jerez and Sanlucar, owned by the Hidalgo family since the 1700’s.  Aged about 12 years, (7 to 8 years longer than a typical Manzanilla) and only lightly filtered, the color is darker and the flavors noticeably richer than it’s younger sibling, La Gitana. With notes of sea spray from the waves, a bit of nuttiness and a hint of green olive, it is deeper and more assertive than a lighter manzanilla. This is an eye opening take on Manzanilla.    91 points Wine Spectator

NV Lustau Manzanilla Pasada ($40.00)  “An assertive, salty style, with olive, briny apple and almond notes. Bites down on the finish, with a long, nutty aftertaste. Loads of personality. Drink now. 100 cases imported.”   89 points Wine Spectator

2008 La Madrid Malbec, Mendoza ($11.99) “Very juicy, with nicely detailed currant, fig and boysenberry fruit flavors laced with mulled spice and fruitcake notes.  Picks up a slightly raisined edge on the finish, but solid enough.”  88 points Wine Spectator  “Best Buy” Wine Enthusiast

2009 Tilia Malbec-Syrah, Mendoza ($9.99)  Sustainably farmed, Tilia is owned by the Catena family of Argentina.   A blend of 60% Malbec and 40% Syrah, it  is aged 6 months in neutral oak.  Aromas of rich black fruit, notes of earth and hints of roasted coffee bean give way to flavors of juicy black cherry, chocolate and sweet spice. A long, lingering finish wraps up the experience with ripe, velvety tannins.

2004 Chryseia, Douro ($70.00)  “The 2004 Chryseia seems brighter and more pointed than its 2003 counterpart, not quite as sweet, a little earthier. There are some similarities, such as refined tannins, lovely and persistent flavors and a suave, modern feel. The 2003 is far more attractive at the moment, and seems riper and sweeter, but the 2004 will likely overtake it.  Drink 2008-2016.”   93 points Wine Advocate


On Thursday September 23rd at 7:30 p.m., join us at La Taberna del Alabardero for a five course wine dinner featuring the wines of Freixenet and Segura Viudas.    A leading cava producer, Freixenet also produces red wines in Ribera del Duero, Penedes and Priorat.  The dinner will pair both bubbly and red wines with amazing cuisine, all for $75.00.   Click menu for details and call 206.448.8884 to make reservations.

And, all day on September 23rd, La Taberna’s bar is featuring special pintxos and cocktails made with Segura Viudas wines and cavas for $5.00 each.

On Wednesday October 6th, we’ll be teaming up with Bodegas Gonzalez Byass for a tasting of their sherries and wines, from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Harvest Vine. Fifth generation family member Felipe Gonzalez will be guiding us through the tasting flights which will be paired with light tapas, all for $25.00.   2010 is a very special year for Bodegas Gonzalez Byass; they are celebrating their 175th year of family ownership.  This will be a very special opportunity to learn about Spanish sherries and wine from one of the oldest producing families in Spain.    Space is limited to 30 people.   Call The Harvest Vine for reservations: 206.320.9771.


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