On the Road with the Grape Guy

Report from - Wines of Spain on the General List Tasting – August 9, 2007

21 Aug 2007

Of late I have been extolling the virtues of Spanish wine in my Vintages Release reports and tasting notes:  the value, the ageability, the flavours and aromas and most importantly (to me lately) real wine aging laws.  Spain is one of the few countries with the word “Reserve” canonized into their wine laws with minimum aging lengths and acceptable terminology.  To use these words you have to follow certain regulations (see my rant in Newsletter #58).  If the word “Crianza” appears on the label of a bottle of Spanish wine it means the wine has been aged a minimum of 2 years (24 months) from harvest date and at least 6 of those months in oak.  “Reserva” is a minimum of three years, with a year in oak; and “Gran Reserva” is wine that’s a minimum of 5 years old with 2 years in oak and three years in bottle.  You’d think with all this waiting time, minimum oaking requirements and tied up capital that Spanish wine would be expensive, but surprisingly they offer some of the best wine deals on the general list at the LCBO and some of the best aged wines (that you can still age longer).  On Thursday August 9th, I got a chance to try almost all of the general list wines from Spain – which means most of these are readily available at an LCBO near you.  26 of a potential 33 wines were on display – here are the best of a good lot (there are 7 and none will break the bank; best of all, they will leave you smiling and wanting more) ... (Read more)

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