Spanish Table Seattle Newsletter October 20, 2011
In May we took one of the best wine trips of our lives to northern Spain. We discovered a multitude
of innovative winemakers who are pushing the boundaries to produce phenomenal wines. Raul Peréz, pictured to the left, epitomizes this group of groundbreaking innovators. (He’s sharing barrel samples with us in the photo). Born into the family that owns Bodegas Castro Ventosa, the largest owner of Mencía plantings in Bierzo, he developed his ideals and passions at his family’s winery and by studying intently the world’s wines. As a winemaker, Raul’s mission is to capture all of the potential from each site, and he has an uncanny knack for knowing exactly what a vineyard needs and how to extract the greatest expression from its grapes. In addition to producing his own handcrafted, artisanal wines, he is full-time winemaker at Bodegas Tilenus in Bierzo. His unwillingness to accept anything less than zenith has made him the most sought-after winemaker and consultant in northern Spain.
Many other winemakers that we met on the trip are just as passionate, but lesser known. And unfortunately, many of these wines are produced in very limited quantities with only infintesimal quantities available to the U.S. market. We were able to place small orders at the wineries, and the newest lot arrived late last week. You’ll be unlikely to find these wines anywhere except at The Spanish Table, due to the limited availability. Give these special wines a try or lay some away as gifts for that special Spanish wine lover!
NV Matilde Totus Tuus Brut Cava ($16.99) This delicious cava has bright notes of apple and pear, brioche and finishes dry with hints of toast. The 17 months aging on the lees offer up a sparkler with intensity and depth. ” Matilde’s Non-Vintage Totus Tuus Cuvee Brut is a blend of 40% Chardonnay, 18% Xarel-lo, 18% Macabeo, 18% Parellada, and 6% Pinot Noir aged for 17 months on its lees. It reveals a beautiful frothy mousse, fragrant aromas from the Chardonnay, plenty of glycerin, and a Champagne-like personality at a fraction of the price. This lengthy effort is an outstanding value meant for drinking over the next 12-18 months.” 89 points Wine Advocate
2010 Carro, Yecla ($9.99) A blend of 50% Monastrell, 35% Syrah, Tempranillo and Syrah, aged in stainless steel, 2010 Carro is a seriously delicious wine. Suave, elegant, and full-bodied with a hint of blueberry, it has notes of dust and profound earthy flavors. Rich and muscular, it has a depth of flavor and complexity that most $9.99 wines can only dream about. Highly recommended!
2009 Pinyolet Selección, Montsant ($19.99)
2008 Bodegas Licinia Licinia, Vinos de Madrid ($55.00). Licinia is produced by three extraordinary visionaries whose mantra is “no compromises” and where the team’s attention to detail is paramount. Their only wine, Licinia, is an homage to the soil and soul of Madrid and the first release in 2006 was named the best red wine in Spain in a blind tasting by 50 top winemakers. Not a bad way to start! 2008 Licinia is a blend of 40% Syrah, 30% Tempranillo and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, all farmed biodynamically without certification. The varieties are fermented and oak aged separately for 12 months in 95% French oak, 5% American oak; the wines are not clarified or cold stabilized. The result of this exceptional care is a seamless red wine, layered, with juicy red fruit, spices and complexity, elegant, polished and intense. “Inky violet. Pungent, highly expressive bouquet of dark berries, licorice, Indian spices and strong violet. Juicy, mineral-laced blackberry and bitter cherry flavors stain the palate, picking up an exotic floral pastille quality with air. Impressively focused blend with strong mineral cut to the finish… very impressive.” 92 points Stephen Tanzer 1000 cases were produced – 150 cases were brought to the U.S. – we have 12 bottles available.
2009 Muti Albariño, Rias Baixas ($37.00) Raul Peréz makes a one-of-a-kind albariño called Sketch, which he ages in an underwater cellar below an aquaculture barge in an estuary of Rias Baixas. We motored out to the barge while on our trip and tasted it with plates of fresh mussels and oysters. I can only say that drinking Sketch was a an incredible experience and we hope to one day carry it at the store! In the meantime, we’ve obtained 4 bottles of Raul’s 2009 Muti Albariño which actually contains a half barrel of Sketch in the blend. It is 50% oak aged in large barrels for 12 months with grapes from three vineyards, one of which has 100 year old vines. It is expressive, with high toned fruit, lean and rich simultaneously. Only 133 cases were made. ” Deeply pitched aromas of smoky lees, bergamot, apricot pit and salty minerals. Viscous, palate-coating orchard and pit fruit flavors are enlivened by juicy acidity and complemented by honeysuckle and a hint of spun sugar. Wild, complex and singular wine with strong finishing cut and sappy persistence. This is far removed from your classic albarino.” 91 points Stephen Tanzer
2009 Ultreia Saint Jacques Mencia, Bierzo ($26.99) Raul Peréz produces 100 cases of this wine, and less than half is available to the U.S. market – we have 12 bottles. Made of 100% Mencia, it is fermented in egg shape Austrian barrels made of French oak. Intensely aromatic, it displays the beautifully ripened red fruit of the stellar 2009 vintage. Loaded with minerals, it is succulent, brooding and concentrated. Herbal and earthy notes offer layers of complexity with silky tannins. It’s a great introduction to his style of wine making at an affordable price!
2008 Tampesta Imelda Prieto Picudo, Tierra de Leon ($36.00) The Prieto Picudo grape is only grown in a small area of Leon, near Valdevimbre. Raul Peréz makes 50 cases of this wine with Noelia de Paz; we have 12 bottles available. It displays bright and juicy red fruits, rich and balanced, backed with spice notes and an elegant finish. “The 2008 Tampesta Imelda is 100% Prieto Picudo from 70-year-old vines that was naturally fermented and aged for 12 months in seasoned French oak. Purple in color with an inviting perfume of Asian spices, incense, lavender, leather, and cigar box, on the palate it displays enough structure to evolve for 2-3 years. This nicely proportioned, suave offering will have a drinking window extending from 2013 to 2023.” 90 points Wine Advocate, 90 points Stephen Tanzer
Photos by Friederike Paetzold
This excellent red made from old-vine Garnacha and Cariñena displays black fruit aromas with notes of crushed rock. Laced with minerals, it shows bright fruit and dark velvety elements, layered with notes of chocolate and road dust. Full-bodied and expressive, this has the stuffing to age for 3 to 5 years. “The 2009 Pinyolet Seleccion is made up of 80% Garnacha planted in 1945 and 20% Carinena planted in 1928 aged for 8 months in two-year-old French oak. Asian spices, incense, mineral, and a confiture of black fruits inform the nose of this juicy, incipiently complex red. Plush, friendly, and nicely proportioned, it can be enjoyed over the next 6 years, It is an outstanding value in pleasure-bent Montsant.” 91 points Wine Advocate 2000 cases made; we have 12 bottles available.
|Governor Chris Gregoire proclaims the week of October 30 – November 5 as Flamenco Awareness Week! Seriously, flamenco in Washington is hitting the mainstream. The Spanish Table will be playing exclusively flamenco music in the store that week, and the top-shelf flamenco group from Madrid, Casa Patas will be performing and teaching in the following greater Puget Sound locations. Don’t miss this group if you are a flamenco aficionado.
November 2 Evergreen State College Olympia 1:30p.m.
Master Class Open to the Public
November 2 Washington Center for the Performing Arts Olympia 8:00p.m.
Flamenco Show http://www.washingtoncenter.org/
November 4 Benaroya Hall Seattle 8:00p.m. Flamenco Show
November 5 Benaroya Hall Seattle 6:00p.m. Flamenco Show
November 6 Community Gym Makah Indian Reservation Neah Bay 2:00p.m. Flamenco Show
November 7 University of Washington Seattle Brechmin Auditorium – School of Music 1:30p.m.
Master Class Open to the Public