“Tempranillo, Tempranillo & more Tempranillo!” If this sums up your experience of Spanish wines you have barely scratched the surface and have plenty of exciting tasting ahead of you. Regional diversity & local specialisation is the mark of a confident & mature wine producing nation and Spain has all the above.
There are the fantastic fresh white wines from Rias Baixas, Rueda & Valdeorras, made by Albarino producers Santiago Ruiz, Diluvio; Finca Remendio and Tempestad Godello. They are a brilliant match for all kinds of seafood, a great foil for rich and creamy foods or as a light, aromatic aperitif.
Comparing the full bodied, powerful Morayama from Priorat (a Garnacha, Mazuelzo, Cabernet Sauvignon & Syrah blend) with the more elegant & refined Manium Crianza, made from the indigenous Mencia grape in Bierzo, can give you an idea of the quality capacity & variety being achieved across Spain. This is before mentioning the modern style wines of the Terra Alta DO (Denominacion de Origen), produced from 50 – 100 year old Garnacha Negra and Blanca vines.
For those lovers of Rioja & Ribera del Duero wine, producers Bodegas LAN Rioja, Bodegas Arrocal & Vina Pedrosa provide a number of recent fantastic vintages to enjoy such as 2001, 2004, 2005 and 2006.
Vina Pedrosa from Ribera del Duero are making world class wines, owned and run by the third generation of brothers from the Pérez Pascuas family. Their vineyard holdings are mainly situated at a height of around 800 metres set on a hill with commanding views over the surrounding countryside. This makes the vineyard sites significantly cooler when the sun goes down, in fact with quite cold evening and night time temperatures. This helps to preserve the wines natural acidity and to regulate the alcohol making these some of the most elegant, restrained and delicately crafted wines from Ribera del Duero. In his Top 250 Wines for 2011 Guide, Oz Clarke gives the Vina Pedrosa Crianza 2006 a rave review and places it at number 18 out of 250.