Sunday, 22 November 2009

Spain, again

To Sevilla for an opera at the Teatro Maestranza. Nearby we found what was described as one of the city´s best Bodegas, "La carte des vins".

La carte des vins

There a very well informed young woman, Hanael Maciá soon cottoned on to what we were looking for and came up with the first of the winners we found on this trip: Dominio do Bibei ´Lalama´2005 Ribeira Sacra (13%).
We nearly passed up on this on the grounds that it was a Mencia, Brancellao Garnacha blend but the lure of trying to get an idea of the intriguing Brancellao even in a cuvee got the better of us. We were glad it did. Whatever contributions each variety made the result was outstanding. The bottle cost €15.95 + 16% VAT.

Ribeira Sacra is in Galicia, North West (Green) Spain near the Portuguese border and has the river Miño running through it. It shares some of the interesting characteristics of the Portuguese Minho including unique local grape varieties.

Ms. Maciá´s other suggestion was an Albillo from Castilla y Leon, ´Valdebonita´2007. This was half the price and the Albillo struck us as perfectly pleasant without suggesting itself as a major find.

La carte des Vins,
Garcia Vinuesa 25,
4001 Sevilla,
Tel, 952 210 398

The next day we drove to Malaga and happened on the Museo del Vino which is actually an institution which promotes only the wines of Malaga but none the less welcome for that since as we have seen it is difficult enough to find these wines even in the area where they are produced.

Museo del Vino, Malaga

Pedro steered us towards two fascinating inexpensive wines, both great discoveries: ´ál Lagar de Cabrera,Sierras de Malaga (12,9%) made from a red grape previously completely off our radar - Tinto Romé.
This turned out to be a delicious, light food wine perfect with pasta. It was perhaps reminiscient of a Corvina. Definitely worth seeking out and very reasonably priced at €5.30 inclusive of tax.

The white was a Blanco Joven Doradilla and Moscatel blend by Montespejo at an even cheaper price, €4.00.
at 11.5% this was a find which ticked all the boxes. Doradilla is a variety not found anywhere else than in Tierras Malaga. Great.

Museo del Vino,
29008 Malaga,
Tel, 952 288 499

Pedro recommended an Enoteca just 200m along the road as one of Malaga´s best wine shops selling wines from all over Spain: Cropani.

It was closed and we didn´t manage to return on this trip but will definitely check it out next time. Through the windows it looked clean, modern and cool.

Vinoteca & Enoteca Cropani
(Antonio Pacheco Cropani)
Palacio de Cropani,
Calle Alamos 7,
29012 Malaga

Having taken John Radford´s book ´The New Spain´with us we took a look at some unfamiliar wine styles and grapes including Rueda/Verdejo - a wine everyone else seems to know but not us,
having previuosly sampled only uninspiring supermarket examples of Verdejo from Australia Radford describes Verdejo as "a grape waiting for technology to catch up with it" and recounts how the Marques de Riscal and his advisors discovered how to prevent its oxygenation during fermentation. We sampled for the first time the Marques de Riscal Rueda/Verdejo (the 2009 as it happens) and found it pleasant but no more overwhelming than a cleanly made Sauvignon Blanc and rather less exciting than Albariño or even the Doradilla/Moscatel we had discovered in Malaga.

We spent the rest of the time trying to find any of the following indigenous varieties mentioned in Radford but soon discovered from several sources that wine from such varieties is usually not seen outside their areas and in our experience, perhaps frequently not even there. This is a great pity although not all or even a majority will be worth the effort. We found a 100% Zalema from the Contado de Huelva (Cadiz) called Castillo de la Andrade (2007). This provided an instant recall of a vin ordinaire c. 1960 sold in demijohns. This style of wine is called ´Afrutado´ but oxygenation was more in evidence than fruit.
At Casa Pablo's in Marbella we presented these lists to the presiding genius and he produced one of those sad expressions to which we have become so accustomed, producing the memorable exclamation "in Spain, Tempranillo is king". Casa Pablo

Casa Pablo,
Calle Ramón Gómez De La Serna 2
29602 Marbella, Spain
+34 952 77 00 24

So much so it is also known as Aldepenas, Aragones, Aragonez Da Ferra, Aragonez de Elvas, Arganda, Arinto Tinto, Cencibel (Castile La Mancha, Madrid, Aragón, Extremadura, Murcia), Cencibera, Chinchillana (Extremadura), Chinchillano, Chinchilyano, Cupani, Escobera (Extremadura), Grenache de Logrono, Jacibiera (Castile La Mancha), Jacivera, Juan Garcia, Negra de Mesa, Ojo de Liebre, Olho de Lebre, Sensibel, Tempranilla, Tempranillo de la Rioja, Tempranillo de Perralta, Tempranillo de Rioja, Tempranillo de Rioza, Tinta Aragones, Tinta de Santiago, Tinta de Toro, Tinta Do Inacio, Tinta Monteira, Tinta Monteiro, Tinta Roriz Da Penajola, Tinta Santiago, Tinto Aragon, Tinto Aragonez, Tinto de la Ribera, Tinto de Madrid (Toledo, Cantabria, Salamanca, Soria, Valladolid, Madrid), Tinto del País (Castile/Leon, Rioja), Tinto de Rioja, Tinto de Toro (Zamora), Tinto del Toro, Tinto Fino (Castile/Leon, Madrid, Valencia, Extremadura, Rioja), Tinto Madrid, Tinto Pais, Tinto Ribiera, Tinto Riojano, Ull de Llebre (Catalan for "Eye of the Hare"), Valdepeñas, Verdiell (Catalonia) and Vid de Aranda (Burgos). And that's just in Spain.

Here's that list of local grapes according to Radford:


Albarin Blanco
Cayetana (= Jaen Blanco)
Garrido Fino
Jaen Blanco
Maturana Blanca
Mollar los Palacios
Planta Nova
Tempranillo Blanco


Albarin Negro
Cabernet Montcabrer
Carrasquin Tinto
Coma dén Pou
Juan Garcia
Juan Ibañez
Listan Negro
Maturana Parda
Maturana Tinta
Miguel de Arco
Monastel de Rioja (no relation to Monastrell or Moristel)
Prieto Picudo
Verdejo/Berdejo Tinto

We also found an excellent site which gives an even more comprehensive list.

1 comment:

wineforthought said...

J'habite a londres avec ma maman, any recommendation?