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Spanish flava: the wines that are making a mark

Fri 27 Aug 2010 10:33


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Wine expert Tom Cannavan takes a closer look at the offerings from Spain this week, from fresh, zingy white wines to full-bodied reds.

Taking inspiration from all over the country, from Barcelona to Madrid, Tom tried and tested some of the finest wines. If you’d like to inject some Spanish passion into your day, here are Tom’s top three picks from the country.

1. Vega de la Reina, Verdejo 2008, Spain, priced at £7.99, Majestic (£5.99 until August 30)
This wine hails from Rueda, an area specialising in some of Spain's most zingy, zippy fresh white wines. Rueda lies not far from Madrid, but the altitude of the vineyards (around 700 metres) helps cool the Spanish temperatures and allows the production of super-modern wines like this, which is Spain's answer to Sauvignon Blanc with its fresh, juicy fruit and crisp finish.

Lovely fresh flavours of lemons, grapefruit, pea-pods and green beans make this wine a perfect partner for sardines or prawns on the barbecue.

2. Torres, Viña Sol Rosé 2009, Spain, £6.29 from Morrisons
The white version of Viña Sol is a perennial favourite, but this pink version has been added to the portfolio of the reliable house of Torres.

It comes from the fast-changing vineyards of Catalunya in the north-east of the country, and is made from the Garnacha and Cariñena grapes.

This wine has a seductively strawberry-scented, summery appeal with food-friendly freshness, with strawberry and raspberry tasting cues. It goes nicely with charcuterie and cold meats, as well as salmon.

3. Raimat, Abadia 2007, Spain, £7.99, from Oddbins
This red is a blend of Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon from a region called Costers de Segre, that was officially recognised only 20 years ago.

The vineyards lie close to Barcelona in the north of the country, and here a Spanish grape (Tempranillo) is blended with a French one (Cabernet Sauvignon), which is typical of many New Waves Spanish wines.

The palate has a soft, welcoming splash of juicy cherry and red plum fruit, layered over creamy vanilla, and there are also little hints of peppercorns and bracken.

On the palate soft, sweet, juicy fruit dominates, though tobacco and spice,and a little more of that herbal quality makes for deliciously fresh finish. With tasting cues of vanilla pods and cherries, this wine goes really well with foods including gammon steaks, pork and roast chicken.

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