Great Wines From Three Countries


Bodegas O. Fournier, Uco Valley Argentina

We arrived around 6 pm at Bodegas O. Fournier in Argentina’s Uco Valley. arg After a wine tasting and late dinner in their newly opened restaurant, we ended up sleeping in owner José Manuel Ortega’s spare bedroom.  What incredible hospitality… mc his young daughter even served us wine on the patio!   Energetic and creative, José Manuel was born into Spain’s Fournier family, a famous manufacturer of playing cards.  In 2000, he turned away from a career in investment banking to enter the wine industry and by 2009 was nominated for Wine Enthusiast’s Innovator of the Year.    He’s now running successful wineries in Argentina, Chile and Spain, producing wines that each reflect the uniqueness of place.   He says: ‘Wine is a way of life. I swapped a prestigious career for it, with no regrets.’ (Decanter Magazine)  We’ve been trying to bring in these wines since our 2006 winery visit, especially given the increasing attention by the wine press.  Finally this week were able to get our hands on wines from all three of O. Fournier’s bodegas.

2007 Bodegas O. Fournier Urban Ribera, Ribera del Duero ($13.99)  “The 2007 Urban Ribera is a strong candidate for the best new release Ribera del Duero under $25. Made from 100% Tinta del Pais (Tempranillo), the wine spent four months in French oak. Purple-colored, it offers up a fragrant bouquet of scorched earth, violets, and black cherry that leaps from the glass. Smooth-textured and suave on the palate, it has loads of succulent black fruit, silky tannins, excellent depth and grip, and a juicy finish. Drink this tasty effort over the next four years.”   91 points Wine Advocate

2005 Bodegas O. Fournier Spiga, Ribera del Duero ($29.99) “Coffee and tar notes frame black plum and prune flavors in this well-structured red. The dense texture is supported by firm tannins, which give way to black pepper and licorice notes on the finish. Brooding but balanced. Best from 2009 through 2016. 4,000 cases made.”   91 points Wine Spectator

2009 Bodegas O. Fournier Urban Uco Malbec, Mendoza ($11.99) Rich black cherry fruit and exotic spice notes have an edge of blueberry.  Medium bodied with pliable tannins make up this balanced and versatile wine. “This is ripe and friendly, with a mix of raspberry, boysenberry and blueberry compote notes that mingle through the licorice-tinged finish.”  88 points Wine Spectator

2009 Urban Maule Red Blend, Chile ($12.99)  A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot and 5% Carignan   Intriguing aromas of eucalyptus on the nose blend with concentrated ripe fruit in this cuvee.   Notes of kirsch, black currant, boysenberry and  tobacco make up this superbly balanced value red.

Photos by Sharon Baden

Travel to Spain with a wine importer! Discover Spain; A Gourmet Wine Tour May 8-16, 2011 From Barcelona to Priorat, Zaragoza, Basque Country, Valladolid, Toro, Toledo &  Madrid.  Includes hotel stays from Sunday May 8th-Sunday May 15th; ALL breakfasts, lunches & dinners in the finest restaurants of each region; first class private tour bus featuring a private driver; travelers Insurance while on the bus;  and visits to the wineries; wine tasting & tapas.  Price:  $3800.00, not including air fare.   Please send us an e-mail to sign up or for more information.

1998 Sierra Cantabria Gran Reserva Rioja ($32.00) After we drank this amazing Gran Reserva  last weekend, we bought out the distributor’s supply.  Get a bottle of this before it runs out! “Wild aromas of smoked meat, musky underbrush and spicy pomegranate. Energetic and spicy in the mouth, with vivid red fruit flavors lifted by minerals and tangy acidity. The brisk, firm finish features an exotic floral pastille accent to go with its red berry flavors. A wine of noteworthy complexity, and possessing the balance and vivacity for further aging.”  92 points Stephen Tanzer

2003 Bodegas H.A. Barcelo Secreto Reserva, Ribera del Duero ($29.99) “This syrupy red shows the heat of the vintage in its dried cherry, fig, marmalade and espresso flavors. This is thick and chewy, yet retains a lively freshness that keeps it youthful. A modern style, complex and rich. Drink now through 2015. 5,000 cases made.”  94 points Wine Spectator

2005 Finca L’Argata, Montsant ($21.99)  Close out price on a great vintage!  Joan d’Anguera is a family run winery whose origins date back 200 years.   This single vineyard wine is a blend of 40% Syrah, 40% Grenache from 50 year old vines and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged for 12 months in French oak.  Rich and powerful with great balance and length.  ” Exotically perfumed aromas of sexy cherry, blueberry, cinnamon and clove, underscored by vanilla and mocha. Juicy red and dark berry flavors are gently lifted by suave minerality and gain sweetness on the finish. Impressively focused wine with surprising elegance for its flavor impact.”  90 points Stephen Tanzer

2008 Triumvirat Priorat ($35.00) A partnership between Ramon Farre Marti and Ester Nin Llort in the Vilella Baixa del Priorato region beginning in 2005. Their Carignan based wines (they make only two) have already received much critical praise, securing them among the top handcrafted producers in this prestigious region.  Farmed biodynamically.  “The 2008 Terra de Verema Triumvirat is made by Ester Nin, vineyard manager of Clos Erasmus. It is a blend of 90% Carinena, 5% Garnacha, and 5% Syrah aged for 12 months in French oak. Dark ruby-colored with an already complex bouquet of pepper, Asian spices, mineral, and black cherry, on the palate it is supple, suave bordering on opulent, succulent, and very long. It can be approached now but will be more expressive with another 2-3 years of bottle age.” 94 points Wine Advocate

Diana Kennedy has been called “the Julia Child of Mexican cooking” and her latest cookbook “Oaxaca al Gusto” ($50.00) is an encyclopedic masterpiece of Oaxacan Gastronomy.  With three hundred authentic recipes, mostly from home cooks, the book is loaded with pictures and a glossary of herbs and ingredients.  A must for Mexican cooks!


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San Ignacio Blue cheese from Argentina- Young, creamy, crumbly with a distinct mild blue flavor. The best part of this cheese is the price – $7.99/Lb is unheard of for a blue cheese!
Paski Sir Croatian Queso!!! This is the first cheese from Croatia we have been able to import. This 1 year pasteurized sheeps milk cheese comes from the island of Pag. The small indigenous sheep feed on the islands scarce salt grasses. Paski Sir has a unique crystalline texture and complex layered flavors: notes of Parm, a unique sweet and saltiness with a lingering savory tangy finish.
Thank you for being our customer!
Sharon Baden and Steve Winston, Owners

The Spanish Table, 1426 Western Avenue, Seattle WA  98101  phone: 206.682.2827

SPANISH TABLE HOURS:  9:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Monday-Saturday, 11 AM to 5 PM Sunday
Paris Grocery, 1418 Western Avenue, Seattle WA  98101 phone: 206.682.0679
PARIS GROCERY HOURS:  Monday- Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM.  Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM

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Filed under Argentina, Chile, Food, Red Wine, Spain, Travel

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