Tag Archives: Garnacha

Easter Specialties

March 25, 2016

Easter, or Pascuas, is a major holiday in Catholic Spain.  The week before Easter is Semana Santa (Holy Week), when many towns close down and hold religious processions throughout the streets.   The arrival of Pascuas ends the fasting of Lent, and special sweets such as torrijas (similar to French toast) are widely enjoyed.
  For Easter brunch or other meals, using hearty Spanish ingredients will enhance any recipe.  For example, using roasted Piquillo Peppers from a jar, scrambling or baking them with eggs and chorizo makes an easy and crowd-pleasing brunch dish.   Or make a Tortilla Espanola in advance, and grill a side dish ofchistorra (breakfast sausage).    Accompany these dishes with our Easter Brunch Bread (recipe below), which delights with Spanish flavors of orange blossom honey, orange zest and pine nuts (ingredients are available at The Spanish Table).
NEW ARRIVALS 
A timely shipment of cured meats arrived yesterday, including favorite chorizos for paella, the semi-cured Bilbao and Riojana.
New:  Despana chorizo – a semi-cured sausage, with smoky and mild flavors of garlic and spices.
 
Dacsa Valencian paella rice is back in stock, again available in 1 kg and 5 kg bags.
Customer favorite Miguel and Valentino Arbequina extra virgin olive oil arrived this week.   Fruity, buttery and flavorful!
New cut:  The uncured, raw Iberico Bellota meats are melt-in-the-mouth tender.  In addition to the Solomillo (tenderloin) cut, we now have a limited supply of Carrilleras (cheeks).
Easter basket treats:    
From Portugal, pastel colored, sugar coated, egg shaped almonds.
 
Spanish hot chocolate mix.   Extra thick style to cling to churros or anything sweet that is dipped into it.
We’ve got churro mix and churreras (extruders for making churros), too.
WHAT TO DRINK WITH THIS FABULOUS MEAL?
 
ROSÉ SANGRIA is refreshing and gorgeous, and perfect at Easter brunch.
INGREDIENTS:  (substitute frozen fruit if necessary)
2 cups blueberries
2 cups blackberries
2 cups hulled strawberries
2 cups mixed red and golden raspberries
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
5 ounces Framboise or Cassis
1 bottle chilled Abadia de la Oliva rose wine
1 1/3 cups white cranberry juice
DIRECTIONS
In a pitcher, combine fruit. Stir in sugar. Add Framboise; let sit at least 1 hour. Stir in wine and juice. Serve chilled.

EASTER BRUNCH BREAD
Bread is relatively inexpensive and there are many great bakeries, so why bother?  Because making bread is a chance to participate in the almost mystical experience that occurs as the yeast springs to life and loaves of bread puff up, rising before your eyes.  So once in a while, I make some off-beat bread that is not like store bought bread at all.  This is one, a fluffy loaf with a sprinkling of flavors I associate with Spain.   Steve Winston
 
Sponge:
½ cup Flour
½ cup Warm water
1 package Dry yeast
1 tablespoon Orange blossom honey
Dough:
1 cup Milk, room temperature
¼ pound Butter, melted (we recommend using French butter, available at Paris Grocery)
½ teaspoon Salt
2 large eggs
1/8 c cup minced orange zest
1/8 c cup Poppy seeds
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
3½ cups all-purpose flour
Sponge: Combine first four ingredients and proof for 30 minutes until bubbles form.
Dough: Mix in the remaining ingredients, adding flour ½ cup at a time.
Turn out onto a board and knead until elastic, 15-20 minutes.    The dough will be quite wet so keep your hand floured and work the dough with a pastry scraper.  Oil a large bowl and turn the dough into it, turning it over so the oiled side is up.  Let rise until doubled in volume.
Preheat oven to 350º
Form into a loaf.  It is very flexible.  I make a U shape and twist the two arms over each other.  Place on a baking sheet sprinkled with corn meal. Let rise again, 40 minutes. Bake for 40 minutes.

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, Garnacha, Jamon, Meat, Portugal, Recipes, Rose, Spain, Wine

Sole Sips: 2010 Indigena, 100% Grenache, Penedes


indigena

Indigena or indigenous means “originating in a particular region or country, native”. What a great name for this 100% Grenache wine from the Penedes Region of Spain!

The Vineyard is located in A.O.C Penedes, in the south of Catalonia between the pre-coastal mountain range (Serralada Pre-litoral) and the Mediterranean Sea. The vineyards belong to Peres Balta, a family owned winery with roots that go back to 1790. The grapes are cultivated using organic methods, without any use of herbicides, pesticides or chemicals, allowing us to enjoy the full expression of terruño in the wine.

Deep, clean, and young cherry color, this wine invites you to continue.  Intense aromas of blackberry and plum. Satin tongue and vibrant mouth feel; you can feel the acidity playing with light tannins, while the fruit develops toasted notes and hints of caramel. With a light, elegant and fresh finish, it is not surprising that this delicate and feminine wine was made by two women.

Pairings: Try it with crab pie, risotto, or on a tapa with blue cheese.

– Soledad Clavería

Leave a comment

Filed under Wine

Rare Spanish Gran Reservas Arrive!

Spanish Table Seattle Newsletter

April 30, 2010

Last December for the first time, Bodegas Beronia opened their library of Gran Reserva Riojas for sale. Our special order of three historic vintages were shipped directly from Beronia’s cellars and arrived at Spanish Table yesterday.

Beronia was founded in 1973 by a gastronomic society and was conceived as a winery dedicated to quality, exclusively making Reservas and Gran Reservas, in the purest, most traditional Rioja style. In 1982, having exceeded its initial expectations, Beronia was acquired by Gonzalez Byass (producer of Tio Pepe sherry) who expanded production to include value priced Crianzas. (For those new to Rioja wines, the terms Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva refer to the aging process. Crianzas are wines matured for at least one year in oak cask and six months further in the bottle. Reservas are aged for at least three years total, with one year minimum in oak cask. Gran Reservas are produced only in great vintages and have been aged at least two years in oak casks and three years in bottle prior to release.) The Beronia Gran Reservas that we received have been aged much, much longer than a normal Gran Reserva, as they’ve been aging in the winery cellars since bottling. Ready to drink now, they would be excellent with a special Mother’s Day dinner, or as a gift.

1981 Beronia Gran Reserva ($54.00) is at its peak right now. A very good vintage, this is soft and balanced with great mouth feel. Dried fruit, leather, green tea, vanilla and dried tobacco aromas in this aged red wine.

1982 Beronia Gran Reserva ($72.00) is an impressive library offering from Rioja. A superb vintage, this is soft and balanced with great mouth feel. Sweet plum, cranberry and cherry, earth notes, vanilla and cigar box aromas in this impressively elegant aged red wine.

1994 Beronia Gran Reserva ($53.00) comes from one of the best vintages in the last several decades. Just starting to show its age with dried tobacco, baking spice, plum and dried red cherry. Nice weight and good balance. This is a treat.

Mothers Day is coming up (Sunday May 9th) and we’re stocked with gifts for cooks and specialty foods. Some gift ideas: Hand painted ceramics in various colors and shapes. Olive oil soaps from Spain and Greece scented with Magnolia or Lavender. Cookbooks are a terrific inspiration for the culinary minded. Our selection includes Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Mexican, Turkish, Middle Eastern, Vegetarian, Cuban. Our latest favorite is Michael Psilakis’ “How to Roast a Lamb – new Greek cooking”. An assortment of extra virgin olive oils. If you’re serving brunch, pick up a rosé cava to add a celebratory touch.

NEW ARRIVALS

New shipment of Graupera cazuelas arrived today. Now in three colors: Clay, Dark Gray and Very Red. Limited quantities available of Very Red.

Ole Ole Fresh Sausages – No preservatives, no nitrates. Available in Butifarra, Merguez, Chorizo, and Chorizo Picante.

Fresh shipment of Spanish saffron arrived this week! We air freighted one and two gram plastic boxes of the latest harvest. 1 gram box: $10.99, 2 gram box: $19.49

MORE SPANISH TABLE WINES

1998 Señorio del Aguila Gran Reserva, Carineña ($19.99) Distributor close out! A blend of 60% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, this food friendly red is perfectly aged. An earthy and medium-bodied wine, Señorio Del Aguila has notes of balsamic and spice. Red and black fruit with licorice flavors are balanced by silky tannins. Full of finesse, it is excellent with pork dishes.

2007 Beryna, Alicante ($19.99) Beryna is produced by a talented and enthusiastic team who bought a 19th century wine estate primarily planted with old vine Monastrell. 2007 Beryna has concentrated black cherry, dried plum and boysenberry flavors with drive and focus. Made of 60% Monastrell and 40% Tempranillo, Cabernet and Syrah, it has notes of chocolate and coffee. With superb lift, mineral notes and a persistent finish, this is a structured red that is excellent with barbequed rib-eye steaks or burgers. Very much like an old style Zinfandel! “Powerful, toasty” 92 points Guia Penin

2006 Riscal Tempranillo, Castilla y Leon ($9.99) Established in 1858, Rioja producer Marques de Riscal quickly became one of the most sought-after Spanish wines. Recently Riscal began producing table wines in Castilla y Leon, crafting value wines with the same care as their top Riojas. The 2006 Riscal is a well rounded Tempranillo with concentrated red fruit. Notes of cherries, raspberries, and cola are held together by soft velvety tannins, making it a perfect food wine. This is an excellent value!

2007 Goulart “The Marshall” Malbec, Argentina ($18.99) “The 2007 The Marshall “M” is 100% Malbec aged for 18 months in 40% new French oak. Opaque purple-colored, it offers up a nose of toasty new oak, cinnamon, allspice, violets, black cherry, and blackberry. On the palate it is rich, savory, and plush bordering on opulent. With excellent depth and grip, this substantial effort will evolve for another 2-3 years and offer prime drinking from 2011 to 2029.” 91 points Wine Advocate, 90 points Wine Spectator

VISIT US ON LINE!

Shop our wine website at Spanish Table Wines.

For food, cookbooks, paella pans and all non-wine items, go to The Spanish Table website.

For the latest product news from Paris Grocery, visit the PG Facebook page.

To subscribe to Paris Grocery’s newsletter, send an e-mail to info@parisgroceryseattle.com.

Have a great week and we’ll see you soon!

Sincerely,

Sharon Baden and Steve Winston, Owners

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

Paris Grocery, 1418 Western Avenue, Seattle WA 98101 phone# 206.682.0679

Hours at both stores: Monday- Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM. Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM

Leave a comment

Filed under Argentina, Books, Cava, Food, france, Meat, Red Wine, Rose, Sherry, Spain, Uncategorized

Spanish Table Seattle Newsletter

April 22, 2010

We’ve got a serious case of spring fever. What a joy to break out of winter’s gloom and bask in daylight until 8:00 p.m.! We never eat dinner until it gets dark, so there’s time for a bike ride or a long walk through the neighborhood with Marcello the dog. We’re preparing lighter meals such as salad made with fresh greens from the farmer’s market, grilled local asparagus or simple dishes such as clams steamed in white wine. And what to drink? We toast to the bounty of spring with a glass of crisp rosé!

This dish is a superb recipe for spring, adapted from The Spanish Table cookbook.

CLAMS WITH SMOKED PAPRIKA

Serves 4

¼ cup Olive oil

1 Onion diced

1 teaspoon Garlic, finely chopped

2 teaspoons La Vera Smoked Sweet Paprika

¼ cup Minced parsley

3 lbs Steamer clams

½ cup White wine

1 Lemon, quartered

We cook this dish in a 11″ Cataplana which is large enough to hold the clams after they open, but a deep stock pot also works.

Cook the onion in olive oil over medium heat until translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. Stir in the paprika and cook for a minute. Add the parsley and wine and bring to a boil. Add the clams and cover; cook until all the clams are open (approximately 9 minutes). Sprinkle with reserved garlic and a squeeze of fresh lemon.

CELEBRATE SPRING WITH A SPANISH ROSÉ!

2009 Espelt Corali Rosado, Emporda ($10.99) We weren’t able to get any of this fantastic rosé last year. The new vintage just arrived last week and the distributor is already sold out! The 2009 Espelt Corali is light salmon colored with fresh aromas of berries. Strawberry notes have a creamy texture with refreshing mineral snap and a long crisp finish. Absolutely delicious! We have two cases in stock.

2009 Cune Rosado, Rioja ($11.99) Made of 100% Tempranillo, Cune Rosado was macerated on the skins long enough to produce a beautiful light ruby color with vibrant fruitiness. This is a rich rosé with body, balanced by zesty acidity and a long clean finish. Highly recommended!

2009 Ameztoi Rubentis Rosado, Txakolina ($19.99) Rosé txakolis from the Basque country are rare and when this one came along, we happily scooped it up! With aromas of raspberry, Ameztoi Rubentis has delicate flavors of wild forest fruits mingled with ripe apple. Containing only 10.5% alcohol, it is light on the palate and easy to drink. And it has the cleansing effervescent of a white txakoli which makes it super with seafood or tapas.

Close out special! 2007 Artazuri Rosado, Navarra ($5.99) Artazuri is one of our favorite producers from the region of Navarra. This rosé is made from 100% garnacha in the saignée method, where some of the juice is bled off the skins after a short maceration period. Normally rosés are meant to be drunk young, but when the distributor dropped the price of this 2007 to an absurd level, we couldn’t resist. We paired Artazuri rosado with grilled scallops and its crisp strawberry fruit was vibrant and delicious. And at this price, it makes sense to pour it in large quantities on the Seattle’s Opening Day Boat Parade or at a Mother’s Day brunch!

RED WINE:

2006 Casa de Illana Tradición, Ribera del Jucar PRICE REDUCTION Was $13.99, now $9.99. Bright and clean, Tradición is a blend of 45% Bobal, 30% Tempranillo and 25% Syrah. Aged three months in barrels, it is loaded with blackberries, cherries, violets, licorice and nuances of earth. With sweet tannins, mineral notes and an excellent food pairing quality, it is delicious served with a tapas assortment. 89 points Wine Advocate

SPANISH TABLE FOODS

We currently have twelve different cheeses fresh off the boat from Portugal:

Azeitão, Toledo, Alma, Nisa, Gardunha, Cabra Pimentão, Palhais, Ribafria, Evora, Serpa and Sao Jorge.

They are ripened to perfection – give them a try!

2009 Early Harvest Neus Extra Virgin Olive Oil Neus Especial is a delicious, early harvest olive oil made from the best hand-picked green arbequina olives from Priorat in Northern Spain. This year’s early harvest olive oil has a sweet and dry hay aroma, a buttery flavor and an explosive presence in the mouth. Absolutely wonderful in a salad dressing, drizzled on top of sautéed halibut or used to marinate olives. If you really want to spice things up, try tossing with some fresh popcorn, sea salt and a few shakes of sweet paprika!

VISIT US ON LINE! Shop our wine website at Spanish Table Wines.

For food, cookbooks, paella pans and all non-wine items, go to The Spanish Table website.

For the latest product news from Paris Grocery, visit the PG Facebook page.

To sign up for Paris Grocery’s newsletter, send an e-mail to info@parisgroceryseattle.com.

Have a great week and we’ll see you soon!

Sincerely,

Sharon Baden and Steve Winston, Owners

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

Paris Grocery, 1418 Western Avenue, Seattle WA 98101 phone# 206.682.0679

Hours at both stores: Monday- Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM. Sunday 11 AM – 5 PM

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A Segovian Gold Mine

SegoviaThe Elusive Pago de Carraovejas

July 30, 2009

Segovia3Established by Segovian restauranteur and sommelier Jose Maria Ruiz, Bodegas Pago de Carraovejas has become one of the crown jewels of Ribera del Duero wines. Jose Maria’s insistence on excellence has driven these wines onto the “must have” list of all quality restaurants in Spain. Only 10% of production is exported. Every vintage quickly sells out and allocations are becoming more difficult to come by. Our Bay Area stores have been lucky enough to obtain a small amount of the recent vintages, and it knocked my socks off when I tasted it earlier this year. We’ve had countless customer requests for this wine and for months the distributor has repeated “it’s coming..” it’s coming…”Segovia4

Happenstance rewarded us once again in Spain. Unwittingly, we stumbled into a tapas gold mine at El Descanso de Juan Pacheco in Segovia. Along with fantastic food, Pago de 

Carraovejas was being poured like water!

Crianza, Reserva, Gran Reserva… by the glass… by the bottle… no limits.

And now that we’ve returned from Spain, finally, last week we received two cases of the 2006 Crianza. Another case “is coming..”

A single vineyard wine, 2006 Pago de Carraovejas Crianza is a blend of 85% Tempranillo, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Merlot. Aged for 12 months in oak barrels, it is an intense cherry color with purple tones. The nose is filled with ripe fruit aromas of black berries and spices. Flavors of tar and boysenberry slowly spread over the palate with glycerin contributing a rich fruity mouth feel. Well integrated oak, notes of coffee and cacao with supple tannins. Concentrated and intense, it has herbal notes with a smooth and persistent finish. A powerful and effusive wine, here is a rare opportunity to experience this wine outside of Spain! 2006 Pago de Carraovejas Crianza (Ribera del Duero) $40.00. Only 34 bottles available.

 

NEW WINES THIS WEEK

2007 Torres Sangre de Toro Tempranillo, Penedes ($7.99)  The Torres family has been producing wines in Catalunya since the late 1800’s. Their consistent production of quality wines at all price levels has earned them a loyal customer base. Sangre de Toro Tempranillo is a new wine developed by Torres. An absolute bargain, its juicy cherry flavors with hints of smoke have solid complexity for the price. “Impressively supple wine with strong finishing sweetness and focus. Packs a lot of punch and honest fruit for the money.” 87 points Stephen Tanzer

2007 Vina Gormaz, Ribera del Duero ($9.99) A former co-op, this recently-privatized company controls the majority of acreage in Ribera del Duero’s Soria province. Containing the highest remaining percentage of old vine, head-pruned Tempranillo, Vina Gormaz’s focus is upon complexity and elegance without oak aging. The 2007 vintage has deep wild berry aromas, fruit forward juicy blackberry flavors and ample but balanced tannins. This tasty wine is one to enjoy young.

2007 Tres Ojos Old Vines Garnacha, Calatayud $9.99)  Exemplifying all of the wild red fruit and spice of pure Garnacha, Tres Ojos is a pleasure to drink. Juicy black cherry flavors have just enough white pepper spiciness to provide zest. Clean, with energizing lift and a persistent finish, Tres Ojos a great all-around food wine and a great value!

2007 Finca Resalso, Ribera del Duero ($13.99) Producedby Bodegas Emilio Moro, Finca Resalso is a wine produced from Moro’s younger vineyards. Four months of aging in oak give structure with fine tannins, vibrant fruit flavors, and well balanced acidity. “Dark ruby-colored, it emits an enticing perfume of mineral, violets, black cherry, and blackberry. On the palate it reveals an elegant personality, savory, spicy flavors, good depth, and a fruit-filled finish. Drink this tasty effort over the next four years.” 90 points Wine Advocate

2006 Luigi Bosca Malbec Reserva, Mendoza ($19.99) Produced from low yielding vines at an altitude of 960 meters, made of 100% Malbec, it is aged 12 months in oak casks. Full bodied with aromas of bing cherry, it has flavors of concentrated kirsch liqueur, notes of coffee, spices and pepper. Elegant, with round and sweet tannins, this has the potential to age for up to 10 years. When we tasted this against a limited release ($120.00) Malbec, Luigi Bosca completely over delivered for a fraction of the price. Highly recommended!

 

Last week’s New York Times article about wines from D.O. Ribera Sacra generated a ton of inquiries. We’ve located another wine mentioned in the article: 2007 Guimaro, (Ribera Sacra) $17.99 “Light bodied, juicy, inexpensive wines with a welcome earthy touch.”

 

HOT WEATHER BEVERAGES

When the thermometer tops 90 degrees and your house has no air conditioning, what do you do? My favorite heat-beating activities: Go swimming in Lake Washington, have a picnic at Lincoln Park, and sip a cold, cold, beverage.

Some our our favorite cold drinks:

Estrella Damm Beer from Spain: $9.99 per six pack

Cusquena Lager Beer from Peru: $9.99 per six pack

Sagres Lager Beer from Portugal: $8.99 per six pack

Casa Beer from Morrocco: $1.99 per 11 oz bottle

Estrella Damm Inedit Beer: Developed by Ferran Adria of El Bulli, this beer was specifically developed to serve with food. $9.99/750 ml bottle

2007 Senorio de Sarria rose, (Navarra) Seafair Special — Was $9.99, now $5.99! Navarra is the traditional home of Spanish rosados. Senorio de Sarria’s bright aromas and flavors of fresh strawberries are front and center in this tasty rose. 100% Garnacha, it is crisp, dry and the ultimate refreshment on a hot day.

2009 Casal Garcia rose vino verde ($8.99) took Seattle by storm during our first heat wave. We couldn’t keep it in stock and neither could the distributor. But thankfully it’s back, just in time for the hot weather! Light berry and pie cherry flavors with a thirst quenching effervesence and 10.5% alcohol make this a perfect wine to sip at an afternoon get-together.

2008 Protos Verdejo, Rueda ($10.99) The grapes for this wine are hand picked and kept at low temperature to preserve freshness. Protos Verdejo has clean aromas of grapefruit with lush citrus flavors, vibrant acidity and a persistent green apple finish. Pair this with ceviche for a light and cooling dinner.

 

PICNIC CHEESES

Gardunha: A washed rind goat cheese from Portugal made with a milk thistle rennet. The semi-soft creamy texture is complimented by aromatic citrus zest. It’s lighly piquant flavor is grassy, slightly tangy & floral with white pepper and onion tones. $7.99/quarter lb.

Abrigo: 5 month-aged goat cheese in the format of Tronchón from the town of Catí in the region of Valencia. Abrigo is wonderfully herbaceous,sweet, grassy, slightly piquant and full-flavored with a lingering tangy finish. $5.99/quarter lb.

Serra de Estrella: Queijo Serra da Estrela comes from one of the coldest and highest regions of Portugal. These savory wheels of raw sheep’s milk cheese are made with cardoon thistle, raw sheep’s milk, and salt and can boast Portugal’s DOP name protection. Traditionally scooped out of its leathery cloth-bound rind with pieces of hearty peasant bread, Serra is a a soft, gooey, mildly herbaceous delight. As the wheels age, the paste becomes harder and chewier, but no less delicious. Pair Serra da Estrela with spicier reds like Pinot Noir or Syrah. $10.75/quarter lb.

 

NEW PRODUCTS JUST ARRIVED!

Roland brand Duck and Pork Pates

La Espanola brand Piquillo Stuffed Olives

Dried Red Guindilla Peppers

Despana brand Chorizo and Morcilla

Costa Peruana Aji Amarillo chili paste from Peru. No preservatives!

Grey Mullet Bottarga Powder

 

Stay cool, enjoy the Blue Angels and the Hydroplane races this weekend, and stop in to pick up your picnic supplies!

 

Sincerely,

 

Sharon Baden and Steve Winston, Owners

Spanish Table

Leave a comment

Filed under Cheese, Food, Meat, Red Wine, Spain

A Great Unknown Winery in Rioja

A GREAT UNKNOWN WINERY

great unknownJuly 9, 2009

A few years ago we were at Eva Restaurant in Latona which is co-owned by James Hondros, our former wine manager. James poured us each a glass of Saturnia Crianza Rioja which we enjoyed so much that we took a bottle over to my late Dad’s house. After that, whenever I told my Dad I was coming over, he would ask if I could bring along some more bottles of those “saturn” wines.

When we chose our favorite bodegas to visit last month, naturally Rioja’s holy trinity headed the list: R. Lopez Heredia, producer of Vina Tondonia, La Rioja Alta and Bodegas Muga. (Interesting fact: the front doors of thesegreat unknown2 wineries are only meters apart in Haro’s Railroad District where a hundred years ago, they loaded huge barrels of wine on flat cars and sent them off to France which was suffering the scourge phylloxera.)

But one of our most enjoyable visits was with Bodegas Ramon de Ayala Lete y Hijos, who make Vina Santurnia and Deobriga. Just across the Ebro great unknown3river from Haro in the tiny town of Briñas, they have a new, functional winery nestled between houses on a side street. The modern winery replaced the old bodega which has a two story underground wine cave, now used for aging home-made Cava. Laboring in quiet obscurity, there are few visitors and no tasting room. However, 4th generation winemaker Ramon de Alaya was charming and hospitable during our 4 hour visit, as we visited the vineyards, the old bodega, tasted barrel samples and the most recent releases.  The secret to his nuanced wines lies in his south facing vineyards which are nestled high up against the Sierra Cantabria mountains. His oldest vineyards were planted in 1936; the youngest vineyards are 30-40 years old. The vines, planted to a mix of traditional Rioja grapes, are overseen by Ramon’s grandson, a technical agronomist engineer. Minimal intervention is used in the vineyard, whose late ripening grapes achieve great depth and balance.great unknown4

THE WINES OF VINA SANTURNIA

Stay ahead of the wine critics and try one of these little-known wines!

2004 Vina Santurnia Crianza Rioja ($15.99) Made of 100% Tempranillo, the Crianza has inviting fresh aromas, with flavors of bing cherry, boysenberry, toast and licorice. Notes of vanilla frame a persistent, earthy finish. Give it 20 minutes to open up and savor the complexity.

2004 Deobriga Seleccion Familiar, Rioja ($21.99) Spanish Table exclusive! The most modern style Rioja produced by Bodegas Ramon de Ayala Lete y Hijos, we jumped at the chance to carry this an an exclusive. Made from old vine Tempranillo and Graciano, it has complex flavors of blackberry, blueberry, hints of black olive and tobacco. A supple and full bodied Rioja, it is well balanced with notes of vanilla and minerals. An all around superb Rioja!

1999 Vina Santurnia Gran Reserva Rioja ($40.00) Notes of balsamic, plum and black cherry infuse this traditional style, medium bodied Rioja. Elegant, with notes of smoke and cedar that compliment silky tannins. Balanced and extremely well crafted, the Gran Reserva is smooth with a persistent finish. A knock out with any grilled meat.

 

NEW CHEESES

Los Beyos is a dense, compact, “peasant” style artisan cow’s milk cheese from the Asturias region of Spain. It has a unique flinty texture. The first bite’s slight chalkiness melts into a big, buttery, creamy texture with a well-balanced and tangy finish.

Valèe d’Aspe This pleasantly earthy and grassy raw cow and sheep’s milk farmstead Tomme is crafted by Basque artisans in the shadow of the Pyrenees. Firm, but not flaky, this cheese speaks of mountain terroir with nutty notes, vibrant tanginess, and an olive savoriness.

Young Majorero con Pimentòn Those of you already familiar with this exotic cheese from the Canary Islands will enjoy the younger version coated with Pimentòn from the same region. Majorero is unlike any other! Made from the aromatic rich milk of goats that graze on wild marjoram. Flavors of almonds and a spiciness make this a unique cheese. Pair this with full bodied and spicy red Tajinaste from the Canary Islands. – Jorge

 

“SPAIN 2009 – AN ABUNDANCE OF RICHES” was last week’s Wine Advocate sensational review of 600+ Spanish wines. With superb vintages in 2004 and 2005, and excellent 2006 and 2007 harvests, over 490 wines received a rating of 90 points or higher. We’ve been advocating little known Spanish wines since 1995 and it’s rewarding to see the wine press finally taking notice in a big way!

HIGHLY RATED WINES THAT WE HAVE IN STOCK:

2006 Clos Erasmus, Priorat – 97 points ($190.00) 3 bottles available “As usual Clos Erasmus is one of Spain’s finest wines. The 2006 Clos Erasmus offers an ethereal bouquet of balsam and sandalwood, incense, liquid mineral, black cherry, and black raspberry. Dense, rich, and voluptuous on the palate, it has plenty of well-concealed ripe tannin, tons of fruit, and potential complexity.”

2006 Flor de Pingus, Ribera del Duero – 94 points ($79.00) “The 2006 Flor de Pingus spent 14 months in new French oak. Deep purple in color, it gives up a superb bouquet of toasty oak, spice box, mineral, incense, black cherry, and blackberry. Youthful, full-bodied, intense, and powerful on the palate, it retains an elegant personality despite its size. Splendidly balanced, it will evolve for 4-6 years and deliver prime drinking from 2013 to 2026. It is a superb value in great wine considering that the price of Pingus Junior is one-tenth that of Pingus.”

2006 Alto Moncayo, Campo de Borja – 94 points ($42.00) 8 bottles available “The purple-colored 2006 Alto Moncayo was aged in new French and American oak for 17 months before bottling without filtration. It offers up a sexy concoction of toasty new oak, lavender, spice box, cassis, and black raspberry. Round, rich, and voluptuous on the palate, it delivers plenty of up-front pleasure but hides enough ripe tannin to evolve for a few years. It can be enjoyed now and over the next decade.”

2005 Castro Ventosa El Castro de Valtuille, Bierzo – 92 points ($34.00) “The 2005 El Castro de Valtuille offers some toasty oak notes, plum, violets, and black cherry in its expressive perfume. This leads to a medium-bodied, sweet, intensely flavored wine with flavors of spice box, cherry, and cranberry. Long and pure, it will provide pleasure over the next 4-6 years.”

2005 Muga Reserva Unfiltered, Rioja – 90 points ($25.99) Winemaker Jorge Muga feels that the harvests of 2001 and 2005 produced the best Reserva in their history. “The purple-colored 2005 Muga Reserva, a blend of 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha, and the balance Mazuelo and Graciano. It was aged for six months in wood vats followed by two years in new French and American oak. It delivers an alluring nose of cedar, tobacco, earth notes, mineral, and black cherry. This is followed by an elegant wine with good depth and enough ripe tannin to evolve for several years. Nicely balanced and long in the finish, it will be at its best from 2012 to 2020 if not longer.”

 

NEW FOOD ARRIVALS:

Guava paste, 400 g and 600 g sizes

Napoleon grilled artichokes in oil (7.5 oz) We tossed these with pasta and halibut for a quick and delicious dinner this week.

Dona Maria Nopalitos (15 oz) Cactus leaves are used in salads, soups and tacos all across Mexico

Dona Maria Black Mole sauce (8.25 oz) Concentrated. Add liquid, heat and serve.

Annato Seed Achiote: 1 oz, 3 oz, 10 sizes

Mas Portell flavored olive oils: Lemon and Clementine are back!

 

FLAMENCO WORKSHOP WITH MARIA BERMEDUEZ FROM JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA

July 10, 11, and 12, 2009

Flamenco Arts Northwest presents a three day workshop with Maria “Chacha” Bermudez, Friday evening through Sunday afternoon. The legendary dancer and teacher from Jerez will teach two 90 minute levels each day of the workshop, accompanied by Marcos and Rubina on guitar and cante.

Workshop will be held at American Dance Institute, 8007 Greenwood Ave. North. Preregistration is strongly advised as this event always fills up quickly! Times and prices are posted at http://www.FANW.org (see calendar or workshops), or call Rubina at (206) 932-4067 for more information.

Enjoy our great summer, and come see us at the shop!

 

Sincerely,

 

Sharon Baden & Steve Winston, Owners

The Spanish Table

Leave a comment

Filed under Cheese, Events, Food, Red Wine, Spain

Great Memories

tst_501Too often, days fade into memory like the Bainbridge ferry disappearing into fog. But there are also times that are simply unforgettable, such as our trip to Cordoba where we waited in line for hours to see a flamenco concert we’d stumbled upon by accident. It was a sensational show featuring Jose Merce, Jose Menese and Chocolate. The raw emotions I felt that night turned me into an aficionado of cante flamenco.

The next morning’s visit to Bodegas Toro Albala was just as memorable. For starters, it was raining so hard that the wine maker had to drive us across the parking lot. Situated in a former electric plant since 1922, the tiny bodega is a hands-on operation which produces phenomenal sherries. Known for their dessert wines such as the Don PX Gran Reserva, they tasted us through their selection and I was blown away by the Fino Electrico. All of Toro Albala’s sherries are made from 100% Pedro Ximenez which has sufficient residual sugar so that fortification is unnecessary, in contrast to sherries produced in D.O. Jerez from the palomino grape. We’ve stocked the Don PX Gran Reserva for years but the rest were not available until now. This week we received 4 new sherries from Toro Albala.

NEW SHERRIES FROM BODEGAS TORO ALBALA

Fino Electrico ($11.99) Aromas of yeast meet pungent flavors of green olive and almonds. Bone dry, intense and great with salty jamon iberico.

Amontillado Viejisimo ($29.99) This superb wine is an average of 30 years old. Great intensity of rich roasted nuts, dried fruit and leather with a seemingly endless finish.

Oloroso Viejo ($17.99) From soleras and reserve stocks approaching a century in age, Oloroso Viejo displays a round, velvety texture with aromas of butterscotch. Essentially dry, it is also rich with notes of caramel and a dry persistent finish.

Cream PX ($17.99) A blend of 10-year-old Oloroso which has been enriched with Don PX Gran Reserva. A complex and refined palate caressing wine, it melds flavors of dried fruit and raisins with balanced acidity.

NOTABLE NEW WINES

2004 Castell de Les Pinyeres, Montsant ($15.99) A blend of Grenache, Carignan, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo, this is an old world wine with panache. “Energetic spiced raspberry and cherry on the nose, with white pepper and cinnamon qualities adding complexity. Fresh, finely etched red fruit flavors are intense but almost weightless, with bracing minerality adding nerve. Pure strawberry and raspberry flavors dominate the long, refreshingly brisk finish. There’s a pinot noir-like vivacity to this wine that is extremely appealing.” 90 points Stephen Tanzer

2005 El Castro de Valtuille, Bierzo ($34.00) Winemaker Raul Perez is breathing life into these old vineyards. Made from vines between 50-60 years old, El Castro de Valtuille is 100% Mencia. It has spent 14 months in one year old barrels to let the intense fruit shine through. Elegant, tannic and structured with a persistent finish, this has amazing concentration. Absolutely wonderful! 90 points Stephen Tanzer, 92 points Robert Parker

FELIZ CINCO DE MAYO! Need ingredients for a party this weekend? Try some of our Mexican specialties:

Habanero lollipops ($1.59) Warning! Very hot adult candy. Marilyn says “Yum – tingles the tip of your tongue.”

La Morena Chipotle Sauce $2.79/7 oz Smoked hot peppers essential for many Mexican recipes

Cocina Mestiza salsas ($7.99/22 oz) Choose from Serrano, Chipotle or Habanera. Grab some chips and the appetizer is ready!

Los Chileros New Mexican whole dried peppers, posole, chile powder, chicos y mas.

We have an extensive selection of general and regional Mexican cookbooks, from $5.99 and up.

NEW VALUE WINES UNDER $10.00

2007 Juan de Valdelana Rioja ($9.99) Made of 90% Tempranillo, 5% Graciano and 5% Viura, this young Rioja has plenty of verve in a traditional style. Valdelana has cherry aromas with flavors of black currant, boysenberry and a touch of spice. Well balanced with a persistent finish, this wine has enough acidity to balance out paella or grilled sausages.

2008 Higueruela, Almansa ($9.99) Higueruela is made from 100% Garnacha Tintorera (also called Alicante Bouchet), from low-yielding vines between 30 and 80 years old. Aged in stainless steel tanks, it has a fruity aroma which reveals black cherry flavors and moderate tannins. Higueruela has an appealing earthiness with great lift on the finish. 87 points Jay Miller, Recommend Best Buy

2005 El Cipres Malbec, Menoza ($9.99) 100% Malbec from the 70 year old Don Angelino vineyard at 2800 feet above sea level, El Cipres presents a delicious blend of red and black fruits supported by soft, smooth

NEW PRODUCTS

tannins. Smoky and meaty, serve this with a slab of grilled beef and chimichurri sauce.

Isastegi Basque cider ($10.99) is back in stock at long last! We now have two distinctive ciders in stock. Isastegi is tart green apple flavored with a fresh finish. Bereziartua cider ($9.99) is loaded with fermented fruit. Try one of each and compare!

Seven Fires, Grilling the Argentine Way by Francis Mallmann ($35.00) We ate at Mallmann’s 1884 Restaurant in Buenos Aires and it was an amazing experience. When South America’s most venerated chef published a cookbook, we had to stock it. Filled with mouth watering photos of everything from empanadas to assorted meats cooking over coals, if you like playing with fire, this is a must-have book.

Clos Mogador extra virgin olive oil ($37.00): Produced in limited quantities by Rene Barbier’s Priorat estate, this is a cold extraction of arbequina, rojol and empeltre olives. Amazingly buttery with grassy notes, it is full flavored with a peppery finish. So good it’s hard to stop dipping bread into it.

Now back in stock: Choricero dried peppers ($19.99/7 oz)

Access from the Pike Place Market: The stairs between the Market and Western Avenue will be closed for several months for construction and utility work. In the meantime, the other stairs are still open and the elevator is working. The market is installing signage to help folks find their way to Western Avenue.

We hope to see you soon, and have a great week!

Regards,

Sharon Baden and Steve Winston, Owners

The Spanish Table

Leave a comment

Filed under Books, Food, Sherry, Spain