Spanish National Day Promos: 7 Wines To Watch
It’s party time with Spanish wines! Spanish National Day is coming on 12 October, so this is your chance to enjoy up to 15% off nearly all our Spanish wines. To help you get acquainted with some of Spain’s most distinctive wineries and grapes, we have put together a special guide that’ll transport you its beautiful vineyards.
First of all, it’s important to know that wine is an important part of Spanish culture. Spain, which is the third-largest country in Europe, is also amongst the top three wine-producing nations in the world, alongside France and Italy. While international varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay are being increasingly planted, wines in Spain are still made largely from native grape varietals, which we will pay attention to.
Also known as Carignan in France, Cariñena has been considered a difficult to cultivate varietal for long due to its susceptibility to various vine afflictions but is being revived on both sides of Pyrenees mountain ranges in France and Spain. It is used mostly in blends, like in the Alvaro Palacios Les Terrasses Priorat 2017 (Special: $78), with 55% Garnacha and 45% Cariñena.
Les Terrasses is the second wine of Álvaro Palacios, arguably the leading figure in the winemaking revolution that took place in Spain in the 1980s. Produced from grapes which the winery acquires from small vine-growers in the Priorat whom they themselves advise and manage, Les Terrasses spends a year in French oak barrels, 20% of which are new and the remaining 80% are in their second or third year, used in the production of earlier wines.
Pedro Ximenez is a thin-skinned white grape varietal which is traditionally dried in the sun to produce sweet and syrupy wines that are mostly used for sweetening the fortified blends. Also known as PX, this varietal is native to the Andalucian region. You must try the Mahogany-coloured Barbadillo Pedro Ximenez La Cilla (Special: $58), made with 100% Pedro Ximenez. Nuances of plums, raisins and chocolate come smoothly on the palate with a lingering finish. This is a vigorous and well-balanced wine that’s ideal in the kitchen as an ingredient in both desserts and savoury dishes such as pork and orange casserole.
Also called Tinto Fino, this thick-skinned grape varietal Tempranillo produces age-worthy wines quite close in style to Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s the highest planted red varietal in Spain, particularly so in the famous Rioja region. Wines from Tempranillo have dark berries and spice characteristics, like the Bodegas Palacios Remondo Propiedad 2017 (Special: $74), a blend of Garnacha and Tempranillo.
This wine displays an exotic, intense aromatic profile, with notes of ripe cherries, strawberries, pomegranates, along with hints of citrus and delicate fragrances of flowers. We also find a rich bouquet of Eastern spices and a dash of balsamic. The wine enters the palate smoothly, showing a velvety texture and displaying irresistible flavours of ripe red fruit, notions of spices and an excellent acidity.
Dark coloured and thinner skinned than Tempranillo, Garnacha produces luscious and juicy wines with red fruit flavours. It is the second most planted red grape varietal of Spain and is the same as Grenache of France. One great example is the Cérvoles Celler Garnatxa 2018 (Special: $47), a young wine that represents Cervoles Celler’s new bet for verticality and purity – no makeup, no masks, just fruit in its utmost expression.
A large French oak “Tonneau” of 4000L slightly shapes its evocative and captivating character. Partially vinified with its whole cluster, strawberries, blackcurrant and blackberry, citrus jellybeans and deep species cover the whole spectrum of this wine to honour this indigenous grape variety.
Mencía is a Spanish grape that finds its home in northwestern Spain, in the region of Galicia. Bierzo, Valdeorras, and Ribeira Sacra are the three most renowned appellations for the grape. The Descendientes De J. Palacios Villa de Corullon 2017 (Special: $86), which hails from Bierzo, is 100% Mencía.
Corullón is the ´vino de pueblo´ of the winery, made exclusively with Mencía planted on slate soils and slopes on land surrounding the village. The vineyards are cultivated organically, with no pesticides or herbicides being used. The wines still maintain the fresh Atlantic character of the two previous vintages and seem to pick up both the aroma of grapes well-ripened in the sun and the freshness of the damp harvest. Delicate, very aromatic and with fluid, silky tannins.
One of the powerful white varietals specially grown in Catalonia, Xarel-lo (pronounced Sha-rello) is known to give Cava its citrus and fruity overtones. With Macabeu and Parellada, it’s one of the three traditional varieties used to make the sparkling wine Cava. It typically has vegetal to stone fruit flavours and good acidity and sweetness balance.
The Gramona Xarel.lo Font Jui 2016 (Special: $52), which is 100% Xarel-lo, has a distinct personality that’s intense and deep on the nose. Notes include ripe stone fruit: loquat and peach, Apple compote and honeyed notes. As the wine opens up in the glass, we discover the aromas derived from its ageing – spice, vanilla and sunflower seeds. On the palate, distinct personality, intense and deep. This is a wine with endless gastronomic matches: white fish, oysters, white meats in general, and medium strength soft cheeses.
Or try the Gramona Ill Lustros 2012 (Special: $93), with 65% Xarel.lo and 35% Macabeo. The nose is intense with clear notes of baked apple, sweet pears, ripe citrus & grapefruit peel. The ageing notes run through a gamut of aromas which includes hazelnuts, pastries, toast, brioche and toffee. On the palate, it is powerful on entry with great structure. The cava becomes more and more expressive as it opens up in the glass. It works well with all food types and recipes, from appetizers, foie gras, terrines and cold meats to seafood, poultry and even rice dishes, stews and hotpots.