Category Archives: Spain

Recaredo Cava & Cheese

RECAREDO CAVA ARRIVES

Established in 1924, Recaredo is a pioneer in the production of totally dry Spanish cavas, working with oak barrels and extended aging on the lees.

The musts from the oldest Xarello vines ferment in oak barrels, which give structure and greater complexity to Recaredo’s cavas.  Some of the base wine is also aged in oak barrels for a few months and this wine will be used to add greater finesse and structure to the final blending.

  Viticulture at Recaredo is based on dry farming, use of only estate fruit, and vineyards are certified organic and biodynamic.     The wines are meticulously produced, hand-riddled, and aged on the lees with cork stoppers.  They are disgorged manually, without freezing the necks of the bottles which provides the most natural product.   All cuvées are vintage-dated and have zero dosage. These sparkling wines must simply be tasted to be believed!
2010 Recaredo “Relats” Brut Nature, Gran Reserva Penedes ($33.00)  Relats means “little stories in a bottle” and with its extensive 54 months of lees aging, Relats says a ton about depth and complexity.   A blend of  54% Xarel-lo and 46% Macabeo, this is the youngest cuvee made by Recaredo.   With rich brioche aromas, hints of nuts and toast, this bone-dry cava has a fine mousse of bubbles with staying power and elegance.
2008 Recaredo Terrers Brut Nature Gran Reserva, Penedes ($41.00)  46% Xarel-lo, 40% Macabeo, 14% Parellada, aged 71 months on the lees.  Fresh aromas of yellow apple are bright and creamy on the palate. Ripe white fruit has a hint of nuts and mineral and very fine bubbles, which end in a delicate crown.  Balanced acidity with a persistent finish, showing notes of almond and anise.  “… an elegant bouquet of white flowers, pears, apples and freshly-baked brioche, fresh and elegant, subtle, with a fresh palate with tiny, almost imperceptible bubbles that only seem to add freshness and texture, with clean flavors, superb acidity and balance. A great Cava at a bargain price. Drink now-2017.”  92 points WineAdvocate
Also available from our distributor (call or e-mail to order):
2006 Recaredo “Brut de Brut” Brut Nature Gran Reserva ($60.00)
2004 Recaredo “Particular” Brut Nature Gran Reserva ($115.00)

CHEESE PLEASE
   Infinitely variable in texture, flavor and unctuousness, cheese can play the meal’s starring role or be the fill-in workhorse.   Imagine an artisanal cheese platter accompanied by dried apricots or figs, charcuterie or nuts. Served with Recaredo cava, the seductive platter is a very romantic meal.
  Everyday quick and easy recipes like pizza, lasagna or toasted cheese sandwiches can be brightened up by using a different queso.   Variety is the spice of life; try one of the following tasty Iberian cheeses.
  One of our favorite meals in a hotel room is uber simple:  a selection of great cheeses and a bottle of wine.    This strategy is essential when restaurant options are poor.  Never leave home without emergency supplies!
Recommended Artisanal Cheeses:

Garroxta:  Goat milk.  Semi-hard and luscious, delicately flavored and smooth.   Excellent with cava!
Roncal:  Sheep milk. Made from raw milk of the Lacha and Aragonesa breeds that feed in high Navarran pastures.  Aged 6 months.  Intense flavors, nutty, with hint of mushroom.
Valdeon blue cheese:  Cow and goat milk.  Sweeter than Cabrales, it is smooth, rich and caramelized.
 
Olveha Amanteigado:  Portuguese sheep milk.  A non-DOP Serra de Estrela cheese, it is made with thistle rennet.  Unctuous and soft, sweet with hints of thistle.  Slice the top off this cheese and eat the center with a spoon.
Excellent Melting Cheeses:

Young Mahon: Cow’s milk.  Aged 4 months. Has a slight piquancy, with fruity, rich and nutty flavors.
Tetilla:  Cow’s milk.  Made in Galicia, the cows graze on lush grass and the cheese is aged 15-20 days.  Mild, buttery and semi-soft.
Palhais:  Goat milk.  From Portugal, semi-soft, crumbly and tangy.   Great stuffed inside piquillo peppers and warmed.
Great picnic cheeses:

Pata Cabra:  Goat milk. A washed-rind cheese from Aragon.  Fruity and refined when young, it develops tanginess with age.
El Valle Semi Curado:  Sheep milk.  Everyone knows Manchego sheep cheese from Spain, and we carry a selection from a number of producers.  El Valle is a non D.O. sheep milk cheese that is slightly creamier than Manchego, with fresh flavors of hay, and is a touch sharp.

Beira:  Cow’s milk.  From Portugal, near the Serra de Estrela mountains.  Flavorful, smooth and grassy.
Upcoming Paella class on Saturday March 19, 11-1 PM.
Details:  Hot Stove

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Filed under Catalan, Cava, Cheese, Events, Food, Jamon, Paella, Spain, Wine

Spanish Pantry Essentials

Not a fan of slogging through pounding rain to the grocery store?   Or don’t have time?   By keeping a few essential Spanish ingredients on hand, it’s easy to pull together a nutritious, tasty meal in a flash and save a run to the store.
Conservas are a must.  In Spain, vegetables are picked at their peak of flavor, roasted or simmered and then packed in jars or cans.   Equally delicious are a wide range of fish and shellfish, many packed in olive oil.  The oil can and should be used in recipes.
Rice is a versatile staple to have in the pantry.    Rice simmered with chorizo and jarred, roasted red peppers is delicious and quick to prepare.   If there is chicken in the frig, make a fast and toothsome rice soup with Aneto chicken broth, Spanish garbanzo beans and a sprinkling of dried lime.   Or, make a complete paella in 30 minutes with an Aneto Paella broth.   Choose from Seafood, Squid Ink or Valencian Paella; comes in easy to store tetra paks with a one year shelf life.     
In Spain, pasta called fideo is used to make a dish called fideau.   Fideo, simmered with broth in a paella pan, can be prepared in minutes by adding jarred ingredients.   For example, toss olive-oil packed Spanish tuna with strips of piquillo pepper, the oil from tuna, capers, water and pasta.
Or use Aneto Squid Ink Paella with fideo and revel in this different take on a traditional Spanish dish.   If Mac n’ Cheese is a favorite, upscale it.  Combine chicken stock with pasta and saffron; simmer until the pasta is done, then drain and stir in Manchego cheese to melt.
Gluten intolerant?    A jar of lentils, cooked with spicy chorizo makes a hearty and simple meal.   Canned mackerel or anchovies are fantastic tossed with lentils or white beans.
 
Got a freezer?  Store packages of Bilbao Chorizo, Chistorra or Morcilla for the right moment.  Scramble choistorra with eggs.  Grill chorizo and serve with de la Estancia organic polenta from Argentina which cooks in 3 minutes.  Just add grated Mahon cheese.
NEW!  Hernán products from Mexico, made by artisan producers.    Just arrived are Mole Poblano andMole Pipián sauces.   Mole Poblano is a blend of chiles and spices, tempered by an infusion of nuts, chocolate and other ingredients. Typically served on chicken or pork.   Mole Pipián contains roasted pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and peanuts with spicy chiles and epazote and is excellent on fish.
  Hernán Mexican hot chocolate with cinnamon is now available, in powder and squares.
Brush up on Spanish with Spanish Circle on Wednesday evenings.  Held at the Seattle Public Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Level 4, Room 1.  Jan 13-March 16 at 6 p.m.   Free!   For more information call 206.684.0849.

WINES
 
2013 Narupa Alala Albarino, Rias Baixas   ($26.99)   First vintage!  Sustainably produced from a 30 year old, family-owned vineyard planted by the winemaker’s Grandfather.  The grapes are pressed by foot and fermented with native yeast.  Raised in stainless steel with no malolactic fermentation, it has extended aging of one year to develop complexity.   Fresh aromatics with a hint of tropical fruit have notes of citrus and dust.   Mineral-laden with great mouthfeel and a pleasurable weight, this is a terrific expression of Albariño.   Limited availability – only 3 cases came to the state of Washinton, and we have 6 bottles.

2012 Carramimbre Roble, Ribera del Duero   

SALE!  Regular price $14.99, now $10.99  

We rediscovered this tasty gem last weekend, accompanied by a tapas assortment.  Versatile and nuanced, and it’s now 25% off!   (6 cases available).  90% Tempranillo, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged four months in oak.  Offers up aromas of ripe blackberry, hints of earth and road tar, reminiscent of an old-school California Zinfandel.  Very smooth and full-bodied, it displays lifted notes of white pepper, tobacco leaf and mushroom.  Black fruit and mineral notes on the lengthy finish.   Decant for 20 minutes to fully release aromas and depth of flavors.

2012 Lagar de Robla Premium, Castilla y Leon ($10.99) 100% Mencia, aged about 18 months in oak.    Plush, with soft tannins and a hint of earth.   Round and smooth, Lagar de Robla is mineral-laden, with well-integrated notes of oak.   This is really good!   “This firm red is reserved, but shows depth and integration, with mulled plum, licorice, mineral and smoke flavors that mingle over well-integrated tannins, giving way to the juicy finish.”  91 points Wine Spectator

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Filed under Albariño, Catalan, Cheese, Chile, Fish, Food, Meat, Mencia, Paella, Recipes, Red Wine, Spain, Tempranillo, Uncategorized

New Year, New Wines; Chorizo Restocked

WE ARE OPEN REGULAR HOURS ON MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY (MONDAY, JANUARY 18)  10 AM-6 PM  
 
Our cured meats, cheeses and groceries have been restocked since the new year began.
Need Bilbao chorizo or Bomba rice for paella?   It’s here.    Looking for Morcilla, Chistorra or Cantimpalitos?  Back in stock.   
All manner of dried beans are here for making robust winter stews.  My new favorite is Zursun Dapple Grey Beans.   Creamy and ideal for soups, the bean’s mottled grey and ivory colors are reminiscent of a cowboy’s horse.

Mini wheels of 3 month aged Maese Miguel Manchego are available again.  This is a buttery and flavorful manchego cheese with tangy hints.   Slice and serve, or make into a sandwich with rustic bread.
  
New!  Smoke-dried Ñora peppers from La Vera.  Use these to make a smoky romesco sauce (see recipe below).

New Year, New Wines!

2014 Castillo de Mendoza Vitarán Cepas Viejas Blanco, Rioja ($14.99) 100% Viura produced from old-vine, estate vineyards in Rioja Alta.   Aged on the lees and in neutral French oak, 2014 Vitarán offers up aromas of tropical fruit.   Fleshy and rich on the palate with a hint of oak, it is smooth and bright, with a touch of spice.  Finishes clean and dry.   Great with Asian or spicy foods.

2012 Valdecampana Crianza, Ribera del Duero($16.99)   100% Tinto del Pais (Tempranillo) aged 12 months in oak.  A delightful sipper, this medium to full bodied red is also a stand out with hearty meals.   Delivers heavenly aromatics with well-knit flavors of marionberry and black cassis.  Very fresh and lifted, its graphite and mineral notes add complexity to this distinguished red.    Shows some grip on the lengthy finish.   Great value!
2007 Viña Cubillo Crianza Rioja ($22.99)   Bodegas R. Lopez Heredia is a benchmark producer of traditional style Rioja wines.  Family owned and operated since 1877, Maria Jose Lopez de Heredia passionately adheres to her great-grandfather’s vision of making wine only from their own vineyards, using natural yeasts, long aging in wood and no filtration at bottling.
  The Viña Cubillo vineyards average 40 years of age.  The wine is a blend of 65% Tempranillo, 25% Garnacha, 5% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo, aged at least 3 years in barrel and 3 years in bottle before release.  Most producers would label this a Gran Reserva; and at $22.99 per bottle, it’s a steal!
  Viña Cubillo seems to get better with every vintage.  The 2007 is intensely aromatic, showing a bouquet of dried cherry fruit and iron. Bright, aromatic, and satiny on the palate, it offers up layers of dried leaves, mushroom, plum, red currant fruit and incredible length.   With cigar box spice, it is medium-bodied, dry and relatively low in alcohol (13%).
   91 points  Stephen Tanzer/Vinous, 91 points Wine Advocate: 
  “Lively smoke- and spice-accented cherry and raspberry aromas are complemented by floral oils and pipe tobacco. Sweet and seamless on the palate, offering juicy red fruit flavors that deepen with air. Shows very good energy and appealing floral character on a long, penetrating finish that’s given shape by harmonious tannins. Drinking nicely now, this fruit-driven Rioja should provide plenty of pleasure over the coming decade.”  (Vinous)
  “This could well be the best Cubillo of recent times.” (Wine Advocate)
2013 Alto Moncayo Veraton Garnacha, Campo de Borja, ($26.99)   NEW VINTAGE  The grapes for this wine come from Campo de Borja, thought to be the birthplace of Garnacha.  Veraton is made with grapes from ancient vines which are placed in open vat fermenters, then aged 17 months in 60% French, 40% American oak barrels.  Bottled unfiltered.
  “This is a blockbuster, 100% Old Vine Grenache cuvée, with a deep-purple color, great intensity, loads of blackcurrant and black cherry fruit, with licorice, lavender and touch of graphite and earth. It is full-bodied and powerful.”  92 points Wine Advocate

SMOKED ROMESCO SAUCE
Romesco is a Catalan sauce of tomatoes, red ñora peppers, garlic, vinegar and hazelnuts or almonds with stale bread as a thickener.  It is one of those sauces of infinite variation with every cook having different proportions and variations on the ingredients.
4-5                     Smoked Ñora peppers, re-hydrated with boiling water
2 tablespoon      Olive oil for frying
1 slice (½ cup)    Stale Bread
1 clove                Garlic, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon         Coarse sea salt
¼ cup                 Marcona Almonds and/or hazelnuts and/or pine nuts.   (In a pinch, walnuts can even be used.)
1                        Fresh Tomato, peeled and seeded, or grated.  (Or roasting the tomato first, which adds depth).
1 tablespoon      Red Wine vinegar or sherry vinegar (optional)
4 tablespoon      Reserved liquid from ñoras
2 tablespoons    Extra Virgin Olive Oil  (if needed)
Cover ñoras with water and bring to a boil.  Allow to steep for half an hour. Reserving the liquid, remove stems and seeds saving flesh and skin.
Fry nuts in olive oil until brown, remove with slotted spoon. Fry bread in olive oil adding more if needed.
Put garlic and salt in a mortar and blend together with a pestle or put them in food processor and give it a couple of bursts.
Add cooled nuts with bread and grind. Add ñora and blend in.
If using tomato, blend it in now.
Season with a splash of vinegar.  If serving with vegetables, go a little heavier on the vinegar.  If using with fish, use a lighter hand or omit.   If too thick, add a splash of extra virgin olive oil.
As with all sauces, running this sauce through a food mill gives a smoother, more sophisticated product.
Serve with baked or grilled seafood.  Delicious with halibut or prawns!

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Filed under Catalan, Cheese, Chile, Food, Garnacha, Meat, Recipes, Red Wine, Ribera del Duero, Rioja, Spain, Tempranillo, Uncategorized

A tribute to Penelope Casas

Penelope Casas & Steve Winston at The Spanish Table

Penelope Casas & Steve Winston at The Spanish Table

When Penelope Casas passed away earlier this month it marked the end of an era. She and I were almost the same age and shared an enthusiasm for Spanish cooking, then almost unknown. Before The Spanish Table was even a year old, before we had any customers, Penelope published her fourth book, ¡Delicioso! and came to our store one evening for a signing. She was gracious, lovely and enthusiastic about our new business. For us it was an exciting night that recharged our entrepreneurial batteries. We miss her. ~ Steve Winston, Founder, The Spanish Table

Penelope’s first cookbook The Foods & Wines of Spain completely transformed the way we cook.   Her recipes were authentic, coming from Spain’s local cooks and restaurants, revealing the secrets behind  Spain’s dazzling cuisine.    This book was also a great travel guide, as naturally Casas credited each restaurant for their recipes.  We compiled a list of “Penelope” restaurants and always sought them out on our travels, often driving miles out of our way to eat at these establishments.  ~ Sharon Baden

We have three books in stock by Penelope Casas:

The Foods & Wines of Spain ($37.50)
The first, and one of the very best around, ever. Some would say it’s all you need.
Paella! Spectacular Rice Dishes from Spain ($35.00)
Some of these recipes are not traditional paellas, but every dish  I’ve tried has been fantastic!  One of our absolute go-to’s.
Tapas: Revised Edition ($30.00)
The original 1985 version of this book was one of our first tapas cookbooks. Our tattered, stained and crumpled copy has delighted many part guests at our house.  It’s the ultimate book for making small plates – many recipes only have a few ingredients.
Black Fire Rice
Arroz negro al fuego

Inspired by a recipe in Penelope Casas’ paella cookbook, here is our take on her arroz negro. A superb and striking paella, black as midnight and infused with deep sea flavors, arroz negro gets its pitch black color and wonderful depth of flavor from squid ink. Spiked with red chili peppers and spicy pimentón, this version has a kick to it, lifting the marine flavors to new heights. The spectacle of a dish of black rice creeping with tentacles is exciting and mildly alarming, making it the perfect Halloween or Day of the Dead feast.  Serve with aioli.

Ingredients:
2 oz black cod or halibut
¼ to ½ lb cleaned squid, tubes and tentacles
2 large shrimp
sea salt
olive oil, enough to coat pan
1 cup clam juice
5 threads saffron
¼ onion, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
¼ bell pepper, finely chopped
½ red chili pepper, finely chopped
½ small tomato
a splash of Madeira
½ cup Valencia or ⅓ cup Bomba rice
1 tsp spicy pimentón
1 x 4 gram packet squid ink
1 artichoke heart, quartered
1 piquillo pepper, sliced, to garnish
1 tsp chopped parsley, to garnish
a lemon wedge, to serve

Cut the black cod or halibut into bite sized chunks. Slice the squid tubes into ½ inch rings, leave tentacles whole. Sprinkle all the seafood with a little salt.  Heat your paella pan over medium high and coat lightly with olive oil. Sauté the seafood for a minute or two until they release some juice. Dump contents of pan into a bowl and reserve.

Pour clam juice into a pot and bring to a quick boil. Lower heat to keep warm. In a skillet briefly toast the saffron until aromatic, a minute or two. Then crumble into clam juice. Keep warm and covered.

Place paella pan over medium-low heat and coat generously with olive oil. Add your sofrito (onions, garlic, bell peppers, and chili peppers) and sweat gently until soft, about 15-20 minutes. Grate in the tomato halves over the pan and discard skin; this is easy as it will naturally remain in your hand as you grate. Stir well and cook down the mixture until almost jammy, about 10 minutes.

Add a splash of Madeira and stir until evaporated. Add rice and stir well to coat. Add pimentón and stir. Add clam juice and squid ink; stir for a minute or two. Return seafood to pan along with artichoke hearts and distribute evenly. Cook paella for about 15 minutes , without stirring, and then test rice for doneness. Cook a few minutes more if necessary, erring on the side of underdone rice. Allow to rest for 10 minutes then serve or return the pan to the heat for five minutes or so to make the crust (socarrat) . Garnish with piquillo pepper strips and parsley; serve with lemon wedges and aioli. ~ Rachel Adams

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Filed under Books, Paella, Pinchos, Spain, tapas, Travel, Uncategorized

Bittman on Paella

Buenos Dias Dear Readers,

Looking for fresh ideas on pealla? Well known chef and food writer Mark Bittman takes on Spain’s most famous dish in the latest edition of the NYT Magazine.   Although we may differ on the specifics (water as the cooking liquid, ehem…I don’t think so) I do appreciate the way he breaks down the process and components. Call it paella or ‘rice with things’, its always a winner….. unless you make it with water, of course.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/04/14/magazine/bittman-paella.html?ref=markbittman&_r=0

By Sam Kaplan for the New York Times; Food Stylist Susanne Lenzer; Prop Stylist Randi Brookman Harris.

By Sam Kaplan for the New York Times; Food Stylist Susanne Lenzer; Prop Stylist Randi Brookman Harris.

 

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Filed under Paella, Spain

The secret life of saffron

Saffron – a spice as fine as a thread of silk and worth more than its weight in gold. The high price of this spice becomes understandable when you realize the intense labor that is required to harvest it. Those delicate sienna colored filaments are the stigmas of the Crocus sativus, also known as the saffron crocus.  Each thread must be carefully removed by hand and an amazing 150 flowers are required to produce one gram of dried saffron. Originating in Southwest Asia, saffron traveled westwards and north to become the prized spice it is today in Spanish cuisine.

Apart from imparting that gorgeous burnished orange hue to paellas, stews, seafood soups and more, saffron lends each of these dishes a warm, complex flavor that, in winter, always tugs me back to the soporific warmth of a sundried meadow.

People often walk into The Spanish Table, sniff the air reflectively, and comment that the whole stores smells of saffron. Indeed, we have a great supply of this edible gold – enough in fact to see us through a nuclear war. One must stock up on essentials.

Given its high price, there is a lot of fraudulent saffron on the market. Many countries to not have sufficient standards, allowing substitutes and fillers to be exported to the US and sold as ‘saffron.’ So it is important to know the origin of the saffron you purchase. If the price seems too good to be true it probably is. In Spain, however, the government rigorously tests saffron to be certain it is authentic. And at The Spanish Table we only sell high quality, genuine Spanish saffron.

We have three sizes on offer: 1 gram, 2 gram, or 4 gram. In terms of how many crocuses required, that’s 150, 200, or 600 flowers worth in each jar! Although not a cheap purchase, a little saffron goes a very long way; a tiny pinch of threads is sufficient for a family sized dish. Also, this spice has a shelf life of at least two years, considerably longer if you store it in a cool, dark, and dry place.

– Rachel Adams

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Bean Stew & New Great Wines


Spanish Table Seattle Newsletter                                                          January 26, 2012 

ONE HOUR PARKING VALIDATION:   Park in the Public Market Parking Garage at 1531 Western Avenue and receive one hour free parking validation when you spend a minimum of $35.00 at The Spanish Table.January CD sale!   Buy three and receive the least expensive one free!

KitchenspSpain is justifiably proud of its incredible variety of beans, peas and lentils which are used in stews, soups, and even paella. When the weather outside is blustery, I like to get a big pot of beans simmering with some ham hocks and chorizo, and savor the mouth watering aromas filling the house. Put on a movie and serve the bean stew with a glass of Rioja. That’s not a half bad way to spend a winter evening!

Spain’s most famous bean dish is the wonderful fabada, but there’s more in the Spanish bean pot than just fabes. In the Basque country you’ll find many local beans such as deep red Tolosanas. White beans from Leon have a fine and consistent texture; popular in stews, they are principally cooked with potatoes, chorizo sausages, bacon and blood sausage. The recipe below is adapted from “My Kitchen in Spain“, by Janet Mendel (Harper Collins 202, $16.99). It’s not a glamorous, photo-filled book, but for unfussy home-style Spanish cooking it’s one of the best. (I like her blog, too. Check it out.)

NEW PRODUCTS AND ITEMS BACK IN STOCKChocolove bars are back! Choose from Almonds & Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate, Coffee Crunch in Dark Chocolate, Ginger in Dark Chocolate or new flavors Salted Peanut in Milk Chocolate, and Peach & Pecan in Milk Chocolate.

Spicy Tunisian Olives – Find these in our deli cooler. Medium hot, buttery and meaty green olives warmed by a touch of heat.

Busha Browne’s Spicy Pepper Sherry ($7.99/5 oz). Sherry spiced with scotch bonnet peppers, made in Jamaica.   Add to soups, casseroles or even Bloody Mary’s.

Agnus EVOO  ($24.00/500 ml) A blend of Arbequina and Hojiblanca, this extra virgin olive oil is fruity with a touch of spice. It comes in a terrific Pyramid shaped bottle.  Ask to sample it.

EXCLUSIVE SPECIAL ORDER WINES ARRIVED TODAY FROM SPAIN.   Quantities limited and available only at The Spanish Table.torremor2009 El Halcon, Ribera del Duero ($16.99) Bodegas Torremoron is located in tiny Quintanamanvigo (pop. 94). We met many of the town’s residents during last May’s visit, as the winery employs nearly everyone in town. 2009 El Halcon is 100% Tempranillo, sourced from 75 year old vines grown in the highest elevation vineyard in Ribera del Duero. Vega Sicilia buys 20% of their fruit, and the best of the rest is used to make the 4500 cases of El Halcon. Aged 8 months in 3 year old French barrels, it is extremely aromatic. Notes of berry, vanilla, and coffee are balanced and well integrated. “.. it sports a fragrant nose of cedar, Asian spices, incense, lavender, and black fruits. Dense, rich, and round, it is a great value for drinking over the next 5-6 years.” 90 points Wine Advocate

2009 Dargo by Raul Perez, Vino de Mesa Mencia ($16.99) Ripe strawberry and cherry aromas up front give way to dark black fruit and minerals.   Think finesse, precision and elegance, a trademark of winemaker Raul Pérez.   Dargo is his value expression; he produced 1000 cases of it, a huge quantity for him.   We received one case. “The 2009 Dargo Mencia (100%) was 30% whole cluster fermented and aged for 7 months in 5000-liter foudres. Black cherry, cassis, mineral, and spice notes inform the nose of this surprisingly elegant red. Succulent, nicely balanced, and lengthy, this outstanding value will provide enjoyment over the next 5 years.  The Geografia Liquida wines are made by Raul Perez. 90 points Wine Advocate, 90 points Stephen Tanzer

2009 Pinyolet Selección, Montsant ($19.99) Made from old-vine Garnacha and Cariñena, 2009 Pinyolet Selección 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 several years — if it lasts that long.   ” The 2009 Pinyolet Selección 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

FINALLY BACK IN STOCK

2006 Kripta Cava Brut Nature ($78.00)   Just in time for Valentine’s Day, this cult cava comes in a handmade, amphora-shaped bottle and is now back on the shelf!   The grapes come from vineyards over 50 years old and it is aged on the lees for 4 years. Pronounced better than most Champagnes by an influential French wine critic, this exceptional cava continues to develop in the glass, revealing layers of buttered brioche, citrus peel, dried white fruit and mineral. Only 20% of this producer’s wine is exported.

Photo by Friederike Paetzold 

beansJudiones con Chorizo y Jamon1 lb Spanish Alubia Judión (large white beans), rinsed but not presoaked

1 ham bone or hock

1 large carrot cut into chunks

2 bay leaves

1 small green bell pepper, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 leek, white & tender green parts, chopped

1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes

1 tablespoon salt

1 Palacios chorizo (7.9 oz), sliced

1/2 red onion, slicesd and sauteed

Put the beans in a soup pot w/ 6 cups water. Add the ham bone,bay leaves, green pepper, and onion. Bring the water to a boil and add the oil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 1 hour.

Add 1 cup cold water. Simmer for another 30 minutes.

Add another cup of cold water. Add the leek, potatoes, salt, and chorizo. Bring to a full boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook for another 30-60 minutes, until the beans are tender. Remove the bay leaves.

Serve the beans accompanied by sautéed onions and a glass of red wine . Serves 4.

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Filed under Books, Cava, crockery, Red Wine, Spain