The ICC group met on Thursday 14 March to taste wines from Spain (but not Rioja). Here are my notes:

spain wine

Mestres, 2011 Visol Gran Reserva Brut Nature. 12%. Gauntley’s, £25.80.
As a Gran Reserva Cava, this wine has spent a minimum of 30 months ageing on its lees and this comes through in its brioche and nutty notes. The mousse is quite subtle, with the bubbles seeming to disappear fairly quickly in the glass but a nice sherbet-like fizz persisting on the palate. Green apple fruit and even a bruised apple quality reminiscent of sherry. A very nice Cava!
Value: 15/20                       Quality: 16/20

Alma Atlántica, 2017 ‘Alba Martin’ Rías Baixas Albariño. 13%. Brigitte Bordeaux, £15.50
Meaning ‘Atlantic Soul’, Alma Atlántica displays the Atlantic influence with a hint of salinity combined with ripe peach and tropical fruit notes and a touch of fizz. Fresh and clean with juicy acidity and a long mineral finish.
Value: 17/20                       Quality: 16/20

Santiago Ruiz, 2017 ‘O Rosal’ Rías Baixas. 13%. Brigitte Bordeaux, £16.50
This wine from the Rías Baixas sub-zone, O Rosal, is a blend of native grapes. Albariño plays a central role in the blend but is complemented by the high-quality Loureiro grape which is particularly associated with O Rosal as well as Treixadura and others.  Peach, pear and apple combine on the palate with some floral notes and a touch of spice.
Value: 16/20                       Quality: 15/20

Cuatro Pasos, 2016 ‘Black’ Bierzo Mencia. 13.5%. Brigitte Bordeaux, £16.90
The Mencia grapes that form this wine come from 80 year-old vines. Living up to its name, this wine is very inky in appearance, disproving the old suggestion that the Mencia grape produces thin, dilute wines. Lots of red fruit, particularly cherry, complemented by vanilla and some spiciness.
Value: 16/20                       Quality: 16/20

Finca Villacreces, 2016 Pruno. 13.5%. Brigitte Bordeaux, £15.90
This blend of 90% Tempranillo (or Tinto Fino as they call it locally) and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon from Ribera Del Duero, has received some rave reviews, including being called ‘the best wine in Spanish history for under $20’ by influential wine critic, Robert Parker. Well, it is pretty good! Black cherry, plum and liquorice combine with subtle oaky spice. Very well balanced with a long, soft finish.
Value: 17/20                       Quallity: 17/20

Cop De Ma Fort, 2014 Priorat. 14%. Brigitte Bordeaux, £15.80
The name of this wine means ‘lend a hand’ in Catalan and is a nod to both the Catalan tradition of the castellars who climb up on each other’s shoulders to form human pyramids and also to the group of growers who work together to produce the wine. The raised hand on the label represents that of the ‘enxaneta’ at the very top of the human pyramid, raising his or her hand with four fingers extended to represent the four stripes of the Catalan flag. This Priorat red is a blend of 40% Garnacha, 40% Carignan (known locally as Samsó) and 20% Syrah. Blackberry and red cherry combine with pencil lead to create a smooth wine with an earthy finish.
Value: 17/20                       Quality: 17/20

A very enjoyable evening’s tasting, proving that Spain has a lot to offer beyond Rioja!

See you soon,
Brigitte. x