Category Archives: Red Wine

Cava Tasting and Party Wines

When the Thanksgiving leftovers run out, the holiday party season can’t be far behind.  We have a sensational time noshing on finger foods, experimenting with seasonal beverages and catching up with old friends – it is indeed a special time of year!  And there is absolutely nothing more festive than a glass of bubbly at a party.   Thus our Cava tasting dinner at Harvest Vine could not be more timely.  Join us on Wednesday December 8th, at 6:30 p.m. to taste the cavas of preeminent winemaker Augustí Torelló Mata. Here’s an opportunity to taste the acclaimed Kripta cava which influential French wine critic Michele Bettane described as comparable to the very best champagne.   Click Cava to view the complete menu; the cost is $65.00 per person.  For reservations, please contact Harvest Vine at 206.320.9771. “The Agustí Torelló Mata Cavas rank with the best I have tasted.”  Jay Miller, Wine Advocate

AFFORDABLE AND DELICIOUS PARTY WINES

2008 Ique Malbec, Mendoza ($9.99) Juicy and lush, this 100% Malbec has notes of violet and ripe berry. With firm structure, flavors of coffee and hints of licorice add complexity to the lengthy finish.   This unoaked Malbec is meant to be enjoyed young and is excellent served with pizza or burgers.

2009 Prado Rey Verdejo, Rueda ($11.99) 100% Verdejo, Prado Rey comes from a 75 year old vineyard.  It displays intense citrus aromas with notes of fennel.  A serious white, it is lean and steely, fresh and balanced.   It has a long and polished finish with notes of bitter almonds, characteristic of the Verdejo varietial.  This is excellent with steamed clams or mussels.

2008 Tres Picos Garnacha, Campo de Borja ($15.99) We’ve never been disappointed by Tres Picos. Reliably delicious year after year,  “The 2008 Tres Picos is 100% Garnacha old vines in which 50% was aged in tank and 50% in French oak for 10 months. It gives up a compelling nose of black cherry fruit that jumps from the glass along with earth and mineral notes. Plush on the palate bordering on voluptuous, this pleasure-bent, full-flavored effort will drink well for another 3-4 years although few will be able to resist its charms for that long.”  91 points Wine Advocate

2008 La Planta, Ribera del Duero ($15.99) La Planta is the youngest red produced by Bodegas Arzuaga Navarro, whose wines are full-bodied and suave.  2008 La Planta has fresh aromas with high fruity notes of blackcurrant, licorice, and toasty notes from noble woods.  A meaty wine with ripe tannins, it has a fine tuned velvety texture.   The finish is persistent and smooth.

Last chance to pre-order special vintages of Cune Rioja!  Bodegas Cune will be shipping a limited number of old Rioja Reservas and Grand Reservas directly from Spain in February 2011.   Pre-order now to assure availability of a special anniversary or birthday wine!   Pre-orders are due no later than December 8, 2010.   Standout offerings include a 1917 Imperial Gran Reserva, 1964 Viña Real Gran Reserva, and a 1939 Corona, (a cache of this golden-colored Rioja blanco was recently discovered during the winery’s renovation.)  There are over 30 wines available from vintage 1917 through 1995; pre-sell prices range from $68.00 for a 1988 Imperial Reserva to $510.00 for the 1917 Imperial Gran Reserva.   For a complete list and prices, just send a request to seattlewine@spanishtable.com.

NEW PRODUCTS

Seasonal Spanish Food Cookbook by José Pizarro ($32.95)  This is not a vegetarian cookbook but it’s loaded with delicious salads, soups and sautés that make you want to rush home and start cooking.   I can’t wait to make Artichoke and Sheep Cheese Salad and Green Asparagus Soup with Romesco Sauce.

New shipment of Churreras!  chur We now have plastic ($19.99) and metal ($45.99).  Fry up some of these bits of dough deliciousness and dunk them into a steaming mug of thick Spanish hot chocolate.   This indeed, is true decadence!  We also carry Blanxart, Amalia and Valor brand hot chocolate mix.

Marcona Almond Butter: A healthy alternative to peanut butter, and a great option for those folks with peanut allergies. Marcona Almond Butter can be substituted in any recipe you would normally use peanut butter. We suggest:  Changing your PB&J into a MAB&J, high-brow take on the quintessential classic, substitute MAB for your Thai peanut sauce or fold into your ice cream. Think of it like liquid Turron!

Armenian Walnuts Steeped in Syrup: They look like black olives, but they are whole walnuts packed green in the Ararat Valley of Armenia and steeped in sugar syrup until they turn lush, sweet, tender and irresistible, a little like marron glaće, only moister. The walnuts are perfect foil for pungent cheeses, pâté or roast duck or game. You can also nibble them after dinner or slice them to decorate your pumpkin pie.

CHEESES OF THE MONTH

Caña de Oveja: This snow-white, fluffy coated, soft-ripened sheep’s milk cheese hails from Murcia, a region known for its goat milk. The pale ivory creamy interior is suave, silky tangy and spreadable. Enjoy with a glass of sparkling white wine or cava.   14.99/LB

Queso de Oveja en Aceite de Oliva: From Jumilla in Spain’s southeast, this sharp and herbaceous sheep’s milk cheese is soaked in virgin olive oil and rosemary. Tangy with a bit of harrumph! The flavors are more infused than our Spanish Table customer favorite, Rosemary Manchego!   15.99/LB

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Musing on a Wine Trip to Spain

 

   Tasting wines in El Brozal vineyard, Rioja 

Spanish Table Seattle Newsletter                   May 20, 2011               

We’re still savoring memories of our early May trip across northern Spain, where we visited 19 wineries in 15 days. At every stop, young  winemakers shared their passion for the land. Many are from families who have been viticulturists or wine makers for generations and working the land  is unquestionably their identity. Over and over, winemakers described their quest to produce wines that reflect the terrunyo, singular wines that reflect the unique conditions of each plot using minimal intervention, and without abandoning  the region’s heritage. We special ordered a bunch of these wines on the spot and they’ll be rolling in over the next few months. As they arrive, we’ll spotlight them in our newsletter. We can’t get over the sheer quantity of old vines in Spain. Old vines are less productive and thus their fruit has more concentrated flavors. We had many a vineyard lunch among these ancient vineyards.  

NEW WINES 

2005 Barón de Magaña, Navarra ($19.99) This was the only Navarran winery on our trip, but it was worth the drive just to meet this family. Owner-oenologist Juan Magaña decided 30 years ago that he wanted to produce a Bordeaux-style wine in Navarra. He located a nursery in Bordeaux (coincidentally owned by a Spaniard) that supplied Merlot vines to Chateau Petrus and other wineries. Unfortunately the government of Spain at that time did not permit the planting of Bordeaux varietials in Spain, so Juan had no choice but to smuggle the vines into Navarra. Thus was established the first vineyard of Merlot in Spain. Eventually he had to confess to the D.O. that he was growing Merlot, and not Tempranillo.   By then he was known as one of the best winemakers in Spain and had numerous awards, so the D.O. relented and authorized Merlot to be planted. Juan’s son Diego is now winemaker and continues to push the boundaries with these varietals.

  2005 Barón de Magaña is very expressive, aromatically complex with hints of ripe dark fruit, spice, and fine leather.  Well-balanced, bright spicy fruit with very well integrated lively tannins. Aged in French oak for 14 months. “Good lift to the Bordeaux-like aromas of redcurrant, dried cherry, tobacco and rose. Juicy and focused, offering sweet red fruit and floral flavors and a lashing of cracked pepper. Finishes lithe and sweet, with a note of candied cherry. This is delicious now.” 

90 points Stephen Tanzer

2010 ROSADOS ARE HERE AND THE SUN IS OUT!

2010 Pares Balta Ros de Pacs, Penedes ($12.99) A blend of Merlot, Syrah, and a touch of Cabernet.  This year’s vintage is the best ever, with a perfect balance of cherry fruit and crispness. We pre-ordered it, so many shops won’t have it for another month.

2010 Artazuri Rosado, Navarra ($9.99) From one of the best Garnacha producers in Navarra, their rosado is elegant and dry.

2010 Conde de Valdemar Rosado, Rioja ($9.99) Garnacha and Tempranillo. Fruity and fresh, this is excellent with paella.

2010 Melipal Rose, Mendoza ($12.99) Pick up some empanadas here and a bottle of Malbec rose for an easy dinner tonight!

2010 Olivares Rosado, Jumilla ($8.99) 70% Monastrell and 30% Syrah.  This is our best value and the distributor is almost out of it! Get it while you can.

We still have a small amount of 2010 Txakoli Gurrutxaga ($19.99) and 2010 Amestoi Rubentis rosado Txakolis. Low alcohol, light, with clean effervescence, the Txakoli rosados are produced in minute quantities for the U.S. market and have developed a cult following. You’ll see why when you taste one!

Spanish Table Cheese Festival Winners

Torta Del Casar is a definite customer favorite and a rare cheese to find in the states. Rich, buttery, nutty, herbaceously sweet with a long piquant finish, this raw sheep’s milk, washed rind cheese hails from Extremadura. Torta del Casar takes 20 sheep milked twice daily to create a single wheel of cheese.  Serve by cutting off the top of the torta and spooning out the delightfully oozy center. This cheese is perfectly balanced and complex; the more you enjoy, the more nuances you discover!

Queso Curado al Azafran is a delicate nutty sheep’s milk cheese blended with saffron. The mild flavor tones accentuate the floral notes of saffron. This cheese is best enjoyed on its own or with a refreshing glass of Rueda.

Montcabrer is constructed like no other cheese and is made by queso design freaks. The young fresh goat milk is aged in a thick rind of charcoal and vegetable oil. The cheese remains semi soft and creamy encased in its rind and develops beautiful musty mushroom tones. If I didn’t know any better I would guess Montcabrer is a buttery truffle cow’s milk cheese.

Rhapsody in Blues

Monje: Creamier than Cabrales, wrapped in chestnut leaves, and so blue it would put Billie Holiday to shame. Monje has a velvety smooth texture with a wonderful pepperiness and lingering hazelnut finish. This Asturian farmhouse blue has been made with raw cow’s milk for over 100 years. Robust and creamy, its complex flavors will unfold on your palate.

Autor is a raw goat’s milk blue from Quatratondo, in southeastern Spain. This artisan farmstead goat cheese is curdled with thistle rennet and aged for 60 days in an underground cavern. Full-flavored with a hearty goat tang and mild natural blue flavor, Autor has persistent hints of grass herbs and citrus.

PORTUGUESE CHEESES 

São Miguel -We were finally able to get our hands on this mammoth 20 lb. wheel o’ cheese from the Azores. Wonderfully buttery, with a texture like a creamy Colby cheddar. Sao Miguel has pleasing sweet grass flavors that reflect the Azores Islands’ terrain. The perfect table cheese to enjoy with cured meats, olives and, sun-drenched red wines.

São JoãoKissing cousin to its substantially larger compadre, São Jorge, this petit creamy pancake-looking cheese is also from the Azores. Sao João is a much younger, creamier version of São Jorge. Very approachable with a slightly elastic texture, mild sourness, and pleasant grassiness.

We are fully stocked with over 50 different Artisan Spanish cheeses and 15 Portuguese cheeses.

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Easter Eggs and Semana Santa

Ready For Feria de Abril, Sevilla   

Spanish Table Seattle Newsletter                                                                  April 21, 2011

Not unusually, my Easter celebrations as a child involved hunting for colored eggs. My Dad liked an excuse to give us money, so he’d write prices on a few eggs, hide them, and the finder could redeem them for a quarter or even a dollar!  Later that evening, we’d sit down to a baked ham and scalloped potato dinner with my extended family. Easter in Spain is one of the most somber and dramatic holidays, especially during Semana Santa. Sevilla and many other cities shut down for the week proceeding Easter and religious penitents march in processions through the streets until Easter Sunday. The music of Semana Santa is as serious as its subject, the crucifixion. The central song is the Saeta. Sung from balconies to the processions of penitents below, it starts with a moan, descends into a lament and ends in a groan. Often grouped with this music is Misas Flamencas, flamenco music which is performed in a religious context.    Two weeks later, Sevilla completely switches gears and closes down again for the Feria de Abril, a joyous week of music and dancing Sevillanas, one of the most glorious events of the year!   One of my best trips to Spain was to the Feria with my dance class… a week of dancing, tapas, and non-stop fun with an exceptional group of flamenco afficiandos.

WINES 

2009 Señorio de Garci Grande Verdejo, Rueda ($15.99) This fresh white has aromas of pear and green apple with hints of anise. There’s a noticeable weight on the palate, along with flavors of melon, citrus and herbs.   The zesty finish is clean and long. Delicious! 

2006 Abadia Retuerta Rívola, Sardon de Duero ($15.99) This isn’t a new wine on our shelves, but the 2006 vintage is so tasty that we bought up a quantity before it runs out. 60% Tempranillo and 40% Cabernet, Rívola brims with juicy red and black fruit.  Notes of cedar, spice and herbs are given lift by abundant minerals. Full-bodied, with firm tannins from 12 months barrel aging,  this savory red has a fresh and lingering finish. Highly recommended!

Special wines arrived today!

2006 Aalto, Ribera del Duero ($58.00) Aalto is a partnership between Mariano Garcia, renowned former winemaker at Vega Sicilia and Javier Zaccagnini, former President of Ribera del Duero’s governing body. “Sexy, highly complex bouquet of blackberry, blueberry, truffle and smoked meat, with a sexy floral undertone. Weighty yet graceful, offering sweet dark berry flavors and suave candied violet and clove qualities. Impressively fresh and focused wine, with strong finishing spiciness and a lingering note of dark berry preserves-and drinking well right now.” 92 points Stephen Tanzer

2006 Aalto PS, Ribera del Duero ($120.00) “The glass-staining 2006 Aalto PS was aged for 32 months in 70% new French oak. It emits a super-expressive aromatic array of pain grille, crushed stone, lavender, spice box, and blackberry. Firm and structured on the palate, it has a boatload of intense, succulent, spicy fruit, ripe tannin, and impeccable balance. Drink this lengthy, powerful effort from 2016 to 2036.” 96 points Wine Advocate

2007 Chryseia, Douro ($50.00)  The 2003 Chryseia was one of the best Portuguese reds we’ve ever tasted, and thus when we were offered a case of the spectacular 2007 vintage, we jumped on it. It sold out so quickly that we got the only case in the Northwest from the first shipment. Another shipment may arrive in the future, but don’t wait if you love powerful, complex, Portuguese reds! “Pure and brambly, showing fresh, up-front aromas of raspberry and plum, with flavors to match. There’s a well-defined minerally essence to this, followed by a long finish of vanilla and cream, with hints of French roast. Drink now through 2014. 2,965 cases made.” 93 points Wine Spectator

EVENTS

Friday April 22 is Earth Day. The Pike Place Market has teamed up with The Nature Conservancy for Picnic For The Planet. 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM.

Flamenco de Raiz, direct from Spain, performs at Kirkland Performance Center on April 29 and 30th, and on May 1 at Sleeping Lady Theater, Leavenworth WA. Don’t miss this if you are an afficiando of flamenco puro!

RECIPES

Brightly dyed, hard-boiled eggs have to be disposed of after the Easter egg hunt. Spanish tapa bars show great inventiveness in creating the gourmet hard boiled eggs. Alioli or romesco sauces can be mixed with the mashed yolk of a hard boiled egg and then used to refill the white. A sprinkle of smoky La Vera pimentón, paprika made in Spain from red peppers dried slowly over oak wood fires, and a dusting of minced parsley add the finishing touches. Here is something, actually two things, a little more complex because we use the whites for one tapa and the yolks for another.

BABY SHRIMP MEAT STUFFED EGGS

Makes 24 tapas

¼ teaspoon Sweet smoked pimentón

½ cup Mayonnaise (commercial or homemade)

½ pound Baby Shrimp Meat

1 dozen Hard-boiled eggs

12 Lemon stuffed olives, cut in half lengthwise for garnish

Combine the first three ingredients. Half the eggs and remove the yolks. Fill the cavity in the egg halves with the shrimp mixture. Top with a lemon stuffed olive. ¡Ole!

EGG YOLK-ROMESCO MONTADITOS

At this point you are looking at a dozen left-over egg yolks. Use them to make Montaditos, two dozen little open faced sandwiches.

12 Hard-boiled egg yolks

¼ cup Romesco sauce (commercial or homemade)

½ cup Alioli  (garlic mayonnaise – commercial or homemade)

pinch Salt

grind Black Pepper

24 slices Small Baguette

24 Ripe olives, pitted (optional)

2 tablespoons Minced Parsley (alternative)

In a large yellow mortar, mash the yolks, romesco and alioli into a paste. Cover each of the bread slices with this mixture. Top with an olive or sprinkle with minced parsley.  

One more!  Click Basque for chef Gerald Hirogyen’s shrimp and egg skewer recipe.

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Padron Pepper Plants and Empanadas This Friday

 

Pick Up A Padron Pepper Plant This Weekend

Spanish Table Seattle Newsletter                                    April 14, 2011

Tomorrow, Friday, April 15th kicks off sales of Padron Pepper plants. Unfortunately it’s too early to plant them outside, so keep the plants in a warm and sunny window until Memorial Day. Give them fertilizer so they’ll be strong and ready to produce peppers when they go outside. $4.99 each.   

 If you’ve never tasted these habit forming peppers, here’s how to enjoy them at their peak:  Pick them when they are no more than 3 inches long, take them inside and immediately fry in olive oil until they are blistered. Remove from heat, sprinkle with sea salt and eat as soon as they cool down. Be warned: occasionally you’ll get a hot one! This is part of the appeal.

Starting tomorrow, we’ll be carrying freshly made, ready-to-eat Empanadas every Friday and Saturday. Owner Rodrigo of Maria Luisa Empanadas will deliver them at noon and feature six flavors, including vegetarian. They are $3.00 each, with a 10% discount for purchases of 6, and 20% off for a dozen. Great for parties! We’ll be getting 4 dozen on Fridays and 8 dozen each Saturday, so please pre-order if you’d like to pick up a large quantity.  

On Tuesday April 19, 2011 we've got a special dinner coming up at The Harvest Vine featuring the stellar wines of Rioja's Bodegas Ontañón. Fifth generation family member Raquel Perez Cuevas will be in town and will guide us through an evening of wines paired with The Harvest Vine's always glorious food. $65.00 per person, includes four wine flights - 2008 Vetiver Blanco, 2007 Ontañón Crianza, 2004 Ontañón Reserva and 2001 Ontañón Gran Reserva. Click Ontanon Dinner for the menu. 6:30 Guest Arrival.

A shipment of flags, decals and lapel pins just arrived. Use them to decorate at parties, or show your colors at a Sounder Game!

We sell fresh Macrina baguettes every Friday and Saturday, regular and sourdough. Pick up some cheese and a fresh baguette for lunch!

GREAT VALUE WINES 2009 Fillaboa Albariño, Rias Baixas (now $12.99, regularly $16.99) special price while supply lasts. Produced with estate-grown fruit, Bodegas Fillaboa makes only a single bottling of each vintage for the U.S. market to prevent bottle variation and ensure quality. 2009 was an excellent vintage, and Fillaboa displays spectacular aromas of citrus, pear and green apple. Elegant and with intense minerality, it is clean and fresh on the palate. A well integrated acidity and balance enhance its complexity and finesse. This spectacular Albariño has a lingering and dry finish.

2008 Graffigna Centenario Reserve Malbec, San Juan Argentina ($9.99) 80% of Argentina’s wine is produced in Mendoza Province, and it is the origin of most Argentinean wines that reach the USA. In contrast, Graffigna winery is located in small-scale San Juan, north of Mendoza in the foothills of the Andes Mountains. Fruit for 2008 Centenario Reserve Malbec comes from Pedernal Valley and is grown at an altitude of 4600 feet. Nights are cool at this elevation which preserves acidity in the grapes, resulting in outstanding complexity and a leaner style of Malbec. Red and black berry fruit flavors have lift and abundant minerality, and the oak aging gives a delicate spiciness. Smooth and elegant, Centenario Malbec completely over delivers for the price. Perhaps because Graffigna has been making wine since 1865?

2009 La Vendimia Rioja ($12.99)  Made with organically grown grapes and unfiltered, La Vendimia expresses the full potential of a young Rioja wine at a budget-friendly price. Aged in used oak barrels for 5 months, it offers up spiced fruit aromas and notes of currants.  Its bright red fruit is rich and layered with flavors of vanilla, baking spice and a hint of wild herbs. With its lingering finish, this is a lot of wine for price!

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An Exciting Week of Wine Arrivals

Spanish Table Seattle Newsletter                                                               April 1, 2011

April is shaping up to be a fantastic month for wine (and that's no April Fool's Day joke)! On Tuesday April 19, 2011 we've got a special dinner coming up at The Harvest Vine featuring the stellar wines of Rioja's Bodegas Ontañón. Fifth generation family member Raquel Perez Cuevas will be in town and will guide us through an evening of wines paired with The Harvest Vine's always glorious food. $65.00 per person, includes four wine flights - 2008 Vetiver Blanco, 2007 Ontañón Crianza, 2004 Ontañón Reserva and 2001 Ontañón Gran Reserva. Click Ontanon Dinner for the menu. 6:30 Guest Arrival. 

We'll be carrying freshly made, ready-to-eat Empanadas every Saturday. Owner Rodrigo of Maria Luisa Empanadas will deliver them at noon and feature six flavors, including vegetarian. They are $3.00 each, with a 10% discount for purchases of 6, and 20% off for a dozen. Great for parties!  We receive 8 dozen each Saturday, so please pre-order if you'd like to pick up a large quantity.  

NEW AND RE-STOCKED WINES ARRIVED YESTERDAY

2001 Ontañón Gran Reserva Rioja ($40.00) We haven’t tasted this yet since it just came in the door yesterday. But given the superb nature of Ontañón Crianza 2007 and Reserva 2004, the 2001 Gran Reserva can’t be anything less than incredible. It will be poured at the Harvest Vine wine dinner on April 19th.

2001 Viña Tondonia Reserva, Rioja ($40.00) From the artisanal and most traditional Rioja producer R. Lopez Heredia, 2001 Tondonia Reserva was barrel aged for six years and a further 3+ years in bottle. This would be a Gran Reserva from any other producer.

2004 Rioja Bordon Reserva ($16.99) is back in stock! Smoke and leather wrapped around a cherry-plum core. One of the best traditional Rioja Reservas from an excellent vintage.

2001 Beronia Gran Reserva ($26.99) A bargain from the superb 2001 vintage, it displays structure and focus. Sweet black cherry, spice and mushroom mingle on the palate; you’d be hard pressed to find a better match for lamb. This is so good that we bought all of the remaining bottles of this vintage!

2001 Casajus Antiguos Viñedos Ribera del Duero ($39.00) Owner, oenologist and the only employee of boutique Bodegas Casajus, Jose Alberto Calvo Casajus is also the village baker in his village of Quintana del Pidio, pop. 200. Born into a family of grape growers and educated in oenology, Jose Alberto produces the Antiguos Viñedos from a vineyard planted in 1920, ranking it among the oldest vineyards in Ribera del Duero.  He uses small stainless steel tanks equipped with a micro-oxygenation devise, new French Allier barrels for malolactic fermentation, and a combination of French Allier and American oak to produce an average of 50,000 bottles per year. 2001 Casajus Antiguos Viñedos is a powerful red with driving minerality.  Meaty black fruit, dark chocolate and notes of vanilla have a firm tannic spine. This is a serious wine, and one not to be missed by fans of Ribera del Duero wines.

2006 Val Soltillo Crianza, Ribera del Duero ($24.99) Another classic producer from Ribera del Duero, Val Soltillo has been out of the market for years but is now back on our shelves!

A new shipment of Lustau sherries is here. Half bottles of Los Arcos Amontillado, Puerto Fino, Jarana Fino and East India are finally here again.

EXCEPTIONAL WINES ON SALE

New vintages of wines are released each year whether or not distributors have sold the prior year’s inventory, and with the sluggish economy, many excellent wines are on close-out prices. We scooped up some fantastic bargains this week, so take this opportunity and trade up to a better wine!

2005 Emilio Moro Ribera del Duero Now $19.99, was $29.99.   Emilio Moro is consistently one of the best mid-priced producers in Ribera del Duero. In the last decade only their 2002 vintage scored below 90 points, and it’s become my go-to wine from this region. The 2005 offers up ripe black fruit, graphite, mineral and chocolate in a full-bodied style with plenty of grip. With enough structure to age well for additional years, this is a great time to put a case or two away in the cellar!  

2007 Finca Míllara, Ribera Sacra $36.00 – regular price $50.00.  Produced from 100% Mencia grown on red slate terraces in Galicia’s remote Ribera Sacra region. Dark, intense, and focused, Finca Míllara exhibits deep black fruit with a fine minerality, reminiscent of a full-bodied Burgandy. Notes of earth with supple tannins and a lingering dry finish.  “Finca Millara’s 2007 Mencia is the estate’s debut vintage. It spent 12 months in new French oak and is deep purple in color. The nose gives up an iron-like minerality, brooding black raspberries, smoke, and floral notes. Sweet, supple, and concentrated on the palate, this lengthy effort has enough structure to evolve for 2-3 years and will offer a drinking window extending through 2019.” 91 points Wine Advocate

2005 Parmi l’Esperit de Porrera Priorat $38.00 – regular price $60.00. Parmi oenologist Christian Patat makes wine with Enzo Pontoni at Italy’s boutique Miani Winery. Produced in the same style as the Miani Merlot, the wines of Parmi are “absolutely spectacular” says Pontoni. A blend of 50-50 Garnacha and Carinena, with 24 months in new oak barrels, l’Esperit is explosive, concentrated and focused. With notes of vanilla on the front palate, expressive ripe fruit and hints of eucalyptus on the mineral finish, it manages to be both elegant and powerful. Parmi L’Infant (a younger blend) was singled out by Eric Asimov in his NY Times article  on 3/16/2011. When the distributor sold out of L’Infant, the winery temporarily dropped the price on L’Esperit and we were lucky to get one case at this price.   The next shipment of this wine will retail at the normal $60.00 price so pick up a bottle while you can!   Only 250 cases of this wine were produced.

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Perdiz Bomba Rice is back

The Spanish Table Seattle                                                                         March 4, 2011

18 pallets of new and restocked items arrived yesterday from Spain!

Paelleras & gas paella burners, all sizes are back in stock. Paella spatulas in 3 sizes.

Ferrer brand soups and sauces from Barcelona: Gazpacho, Romesco Sauce, Brava Sauce in two sizes, Roasted Peppers, Apple Vinegar.

New shipment of Terracotta Cookware. All sizes of cazuelas are restocked, and we now carry yellow tagines and small cazuelas. 

Bevia Sea Salt: In fine, course and extra course ground $3.99/750 gr

 Rafael Salgado Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 1 liter glass bottle: $19.99

Padron pepper seeds: It’s time to start seeds indoors – but don’t plant outside until you can walk around outside without  a coat. Memorial Day?  

New harvest Perdiz and Signo rice is back in stock. 

1 kg. Signo Valencian rice: $3.99, 5 kg. bag of Valencian rice: $17.95

 1 kg. Perdiz Bomba Rice: $9.99; 5 kg bag of Bomba rice: $44.95

Chorizo Vela is back by popular demand! This mild and smoky giant cured chorizo is made from premium cuts of pork loin, spices and just the right infusion of Pimeton de La Vera. Ready to eat and perfect for tapas. Buy a Whole Chorizo Vela (2.75LB) for $43.00, or have it sliced for 17.99/pound. Find it at our sister store Paris Grocery, 2 doors south of Spanish Table. 

NEW WINES 

2009 Basa, Rueda ($13.99) We’ve been eagerly awaiting the new release of this favorite white! From the excellent 2009 vintage, Basa is a blend of 85% Verdejo, 10% Viura and 5% Sauvignon Blanc. Rich and concentrated on the palate, its green apple, grapefruit and lime flavors have a grassy edge with a refreshing and persistent finish. Winemaker Telmo Rodriguez continues to produce exceptional wines at great prices.

2009 Esporāo Verdelho, Alentejo ($12.99) The Verdelho grape originated in the Azores Islands and was then taken to Madeira, where it makes a delicious medium-sweet fortified wine. The Esporāo winery was the first to bring this original clone to the Portuguese mainland for use in dry white table wines. The 2009 Verdelho has aromas of delicate white flowers with ripe tangerine and lemon-lime notes. Unoaked, it’s clean flavors display a creamy roundness with a fresh and moderately zesty finish.

2007 Esporāo Monte Velho Vinho Tinto, Alentejo ($9.99) We tasted Monte Velho last summer at the Herdade do Esporāo winery in Portugal and couldn’t wait to get this value-packed red on the shelf!  Energetic and harmonious, it shows a depth of bright fruit from its blend of Aragonez, Castelão and Trincadeira grapes. Intense aromatics are followed by notes of bing cherry, plum, blackberry and minerals. We’ve never been disappointed with any Esporāo wine, and Monte Velho will be a hit with any full-bodied red drinker. Excellent with rice or poultry dishes.

2008 Marc Ripoll Sans Black Slate Priorat ($19.99) “Ablend of garnacha, cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah… scents of redcurrant, raspberry and spicecake and a suave rose note. A spicy, penetrating midweight that offers sweet red and dark berry flavors and strong mineral spine. Fine-grained tannins add grip and shape to a long, juicy finish. I prefer this wine’s extroverted, perfumed personality … delicious now.” 91 points Stephen Tanzer

2008 Triumvirat, Priorat ($35.00) “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

2002 Abel Mendoza Jarrate Rioja ($14.99)  Abel Mendoza has been called a “Burgundian winemaker in Rioja” and a  pioneer of new wave Riojas. He gives top priority to his vineyards which he farms biodynamically, and the production of the finest, phenolically ripe fruit.   2002 Jarrate spent 12 months in new French oak, and after its 8+ years of bottle age, it has developed a complex elegance. On the nose, its aromas of earthy mushroom are classic Rioja. Black currant and marion berry notes blossom on the mid-palate, with supple tannins and great balance. Persistent and mineral-laden, it finishes with lingering notes of kirsch. This is a wine with finesse.

FLAMENCO PERFORMANCES 

Carmona Flamenco performs with guest Ana Montes on Saturday March 19th at Cafe Solstice.  Details

Ana Montes and Flamenco Danzarte, Big Student Show. Saturday, March 26th,  2011 and  Sunday, March 27th, 2011, Ethnic Cultural Theater, Univ. District.   More info.

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Serpis Stuffed Olives; Great Riojas

The Spanish Table Seattle                                                                 February 23, 2011
It was fantastic to see all of you who came in last Saturday for our cooking demo! We fired up a large butano and the 85 person paellera to make Fideuá, which is similiar to paella but uses pasta instead of rice.  We love this dish because it tastes quite different from paella, especially if you serve it with alioli, and it’s another great use of your  paellera! For those who couldn’t make the demo, here’s a copy of our recipe, which can be adjusted for fewer servings:

Fideuá (Valencian Pasta)   Serves 60   

1 cup olive oil

5 each onions chopped

1 head garlic chopped

5 lbs Rockfish fillets chopped

1 tsp sea salt

1 bottle white wine

½ gram saffron

6 tbs La Vera smoked pimentón dulce

4 jars Tomate Frito

12 quarts clam juice

5 kilos fideo noodles

10 lbs cooked salad shrimp, whole

Heat olive oil in 40 inch paella pan. Sauté onions, garlic & rockfish for 2 minutes. Stir in wine, saffron, pimentón, & sofrito then add clam juice. When clam juice comes to a boil, add noodles. Return stock to boil and cook until noodles are done and liquid is absorbed (12 minutes or so?). Stir in shrimp meat and heat. Add water if necessary.

OUTSTANDING OLD RIOJA GRAN RESERVAS

Last week I wrote that our store manager Isaac Rivera had turned 30, which was a mistake. I should have done the math, because on his birthday he opened a 1982 Montecillo Gran Reserva Seleccion Especial Rioja, produced in his birth year. He was blown away by its exceptional balance, vibrancy, soft acidity and dusty earth notes. Happy 29th birthday Isaac!

There’s been a buzz here at the shop about Montecillo Gran Reserva Seleccion Especials, ever since we scooped up an amazing deal on 1981, 1982, 1985 and 1991 vintages. Professional duty demanded that we taste them all to make sure they lived up to their potential, and they absolutely do! These are exceptional classic Riojas, gracefully aged, each reflecting the individuality of the vintage. Fans of traditional Riojas should not pass these up!

SPECIAL OFFER: BUY ONE BOTTLE OF EACH MONTECILLO GRAN RESERVA (’81, ’82, ’85 AND ’91) AND RECEIVE A WOODEN GIFT BOX, FOR THE ALL-INCLUSIVE PRICE OF $130.00.

1981 Montecillo Gran Reserva Selección Especial Rioja ($50.00) Impressive liveliness in this 30 year old wine. Notes of balsamic, dried cherry and cigar box; elegant with silky tannins. “Complex aromas of plum, red berries, cinnamon, tree bark, pepper and bacon; autumnal in the style of a mature syrah yet still fresh. Less sweet in the middle than the 1982 but more penetrating, with lovely clarity of flavor. Finishes with firm, slightly drying tannins. For tasters unfamiliar with fully mature classic Riojas, this would be an excellent starting point.” 91 points Stephen Tanzer

1982 Montecillo Gran Reserva Selección Especial Rioja ($60.00) From an excellent vintage, the 1982 exhibits nuance and impressive complexity. Vibrant and savory, with notes of smoke, mushroom, leather. “The superb 1982 Gran Reserva Seleccion is from a great Rioja vintage. The wine was aged for nearly four years in French barriques and bottled in 1987. It exhibits a deep red-brick color and a sexy nose of earthy minerals, smoky tobacco, spice box, cherry, and red currants. This is followed by a nicely structured wine with elegance and a certain stateliness marking it as a classic example of old-style Rioja. This splendid effort should drink well for another decade.” 93 points Wine Advocate

1985 Montecillo Gran Reserva Selección Especial Rioja ($45.00) Initally the 1985 seemed to be the lightest wine of the four, but it gradually opened up with air, and was even better the following day. “Mature aromas of strawberry, meat, leather and truffle. Old-style, slightly funky Rioja flavors of pungent strawberry, leather and baking spices; lovely acidity gives the wine a juiciness and impressive inner-mouth lift. Reminded me a bit of an old Graves. Finishes juicy and long, with a slight dryness. A very idiosyncratic and satisfying example of a fully mature Rioja” 89 points Stephen Tanzer

1991 Montecillo Gran Reserva Selección Especial Rioja ($40.00)  A more modern style, its expressive bright fruit has a beautiful taut balance. “The 1991 Gran Reserva Seleccion, from a difficult vintage, is nevertheless an outstanding effort. It spent 46 months in French barriques before being bottled in 1996. Dark ruby in color, the wine emits a lovely perfume of spice box, tobacco, and cherry. With considerable stuffing consisting of wood, mushrooms, currants and cherries, and a long finish, this deceptively powerful wine can be enjoyed for another 5-7 years.” 90 points Wine Advocate

These new items arrived a few hours ago! 

El Serpis Green Olives Stuffed with Chorizo Picante; El Serpis Green Olives Stuffed with Jamon; El Serpis Banderillas

Helios Organic Seville Bitter Orange Fruit Preserves 

Quely Picos, from Mallorca  Rafa Nadal’s Favorite!

Rafael Salgado Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Gullon brand Maria Crackers and Choco Sticks

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