SPAIN: More on offer than just Rioja
Spain is a source of both value and diversity. Modernisation and improved wine-making has opened up an endless choice of wine styles beyond Rioja and Cava.
Regional differences in climate and grape varieties provides aromatic white wines from the north west, full-bodied reds from the south east and the fortified wines from the south and much more.
On The Shelf
Torres – Viňa Esmeralda 2016 Catalunya, £8.50 Waitrose – Weighing-in at just 11.5% abv, a whistle-clean, vibrant, aromatic blend of Moscatel and Gewurztraminer. Fresh grapes and grapefruit combine, with a little spice in the background. Brilliant with lightly spiced fish curries and the-like.
As Caixas – Godello 2015 Martín Códax – Monterrei, £8.99 (£6.99 mix six) Majestic) – Aromas of citrus fruits, pear and ripe melon. On the palate it’s textural, with flavours of pineapple and lemon zest, propped-up with youthful acidity and minerality. Drink with salt cod or grilled sardines.
Taste the Difference – Barrihuelo – Rioja – Rosado 2015, £7 Sainsbury’s – A super rosé made from a blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Viura grapes. Dry, succulent, cherry-toned, with citrusy acidity and very good length. Versatile with tapas and salads.
Asda – Extra Special – Marques del Norte – Rioja Reserva 2013, £6.28 – Stunning value, classic Rioja, smooth and velvety, plummy, with cake-spice and vanilla to the fore.
Anda– Tempranillo, Syrah 2015 Andalucia, £7.99 Waitrose – Strawberry and plum scented, fleshy on the palate, moderate tannins and food-friendly acidity. Would match a chicken and chorizo casserole.
Morrisons – Signature– Somontano – Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Somontano, £8 – Generously fruity - Morello cherry, blackcurrants, with an attractive rich texture in the mouth. Try with braised lamb.
Taste the Difference – Cepa Alegra– Rioja – Reserva 2010, £8.50 Sainsbury’s – Plum and redcurrants, with a touch of chocolatey richness, wood-smoke, vanilla and tea. Very satisfying. Tailor-made to accompany roast lamb.
Laderas del Tietar – Garnacha 2015 Gredos, £8.50 The Wine Society – From vines growing in the Gredos mountain range near Madrid, a superbly balanced Garnacha – medium-bodied, pure red and black-cherry flavours and a refreshing finish.
Vox Populi – Bobal 2014 Utiel-Requena, £9.99 (£8.99 mix six) Majestic – Powerful, full-bodied, brimming with forest fruit flavours and rich/ripe tannins. Great with smoky barbecued meats.
-- Neil is a freelance wine educator and writer. He runs wine courses and tutored tastings for groups and individuals, in Bury and Cambridge. More details: 01359 firstname.lastname@example.org/grapesense.com.