Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bierzo: A Region's Rapid Climb From Obscurity to Recognition / Viña Barroca Bierzo Mencía 2009, Bodegas Adrià (Vilafranca del Bierzo, Léon)

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Click on the title to read:
Wines From Spain News, Winter 2007


(Slide Show: Double click on the image to go to Picasa to see an enlarged version, 
then click on F11 for a full screen version; click ESC to leave slide show.)


Viña Barroca Bierzo Mencía 2009 (far right) from Bodegas Adrià (Vilafranca del Bierzo, Léon) which also makes Vega Montán. 
All photographs by Gerry Dawes©2011. Contact: gerrydawes@aol.com

Along this wine did not exist when this article was written, the vines did and budding star winemaker, Diego Losada, has created something special in this young Mencía red wine, so we  are proud to offer in October our Bierzo selection, Viña Barroca 2009 from Bodegas Adria.
Viña Barroca Bierzo Mencía Tinto 2009 (far right) is from Bodegas Adrià (Vilafranca del Bierzo, Léon) which also makes Vega Montán. 

 Bodegas Adrià has one of the top young winemakers in the region, Diego Losada, who apprenticed under such winemaking stars as Gregory Pérez of Bodegas y Viñedos Mengoba, Alejandro Luna at Bodegas y Viñedos Luna Beberide and maestro Mariano and son Eduardo García in their Paixar project. 


Damián Canepa, Export Manager of Bodegas Adria, Bierzo. Canepa worked at Bodegas Peique in Bierzo for six years, helping to build that winery's name. 
All photographs by Gerry Dawes©2011. Contact: gerrydawes@aol.com

Tasting note:


Viña Barroca Bierzo Mencía 2009 (13.5%) $11.99 SRP.
100% Mencía  Diego Losada, winemaker

Deep black plum red.  In bottle just three months (in early June) the wine was somewhat closed in the nose, with whiffs of minerals.  

Utterly delicious, juicy, lovely sweet red fruit (currants, pomegranate) with a touch of volatility that makes it so good with food.  Solid mineral underpining in the finish with notes of iron from the arcilloso soil on which the grapes are grown.

- - Gerry Dawes

Saturday, August 6, 2011

God and Men (Godello and Mencía) in Ribeira Sacra: Winemaking in Spain's Most Exciting Wine Region for Terroir-Driven Wines


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Chef Michael Chiarello, Bottega, Napa Valley, with José Manuel Rodríguez, President of the D.O. Ribeira Sacra and producer of The Spanish Artisan Wine Group wine, Décima, in José Manuel's precipitously steep Ribeira Sacra vineyards on the Sil River.  Photo by Gerry Dawes ©2011. gerrydawes@aol.com.
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Article by Gerry Dawes
(First published in The Wine News, Fall 2009)

Over the past few years, La Ribeira Sacra, a barely accessible, exquisitely rural wine region in northwestern Spain's mountainous Galicia (some 350 miles northwest of Madrid), has begun to show the most exciting potential I have encountered in more than 40 years of traveling the wine roads of Spain. Here God and men, using primarily godello for white wines and mencía for reds, are creating such irresistibly delicious, enticing, often profound wines that the Ribeira Sacra is rapidly becoming one of the most compelling wine regions on earth. In the bargain, Ribeira Sacra just may be the most strikingly beautiful wine region in the world with its terraced vineyards of dry farmed, old vines indigenous grapes that plunge precipitously hundreds of feet down the slopes of the majestic damned-up canyons of the Minho river, meandering from the north and defining the western zone, and the Sil, flowing from the east and marking the southern tier. Ribeira Sacra is one of only two areas in Spain--the other is Priorat--that practice "heroic viticulture," the laborious care and harvesting of vineyards from such steeply inclined terraces.

(Slide show on Ribera Sacra.)


Gerry Dawes can be reached at gerrydawes@aol.com; Alternate e-mail (use only if your e-mail to AOL is rejected): gerrydawes@gmail.com


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Travels on the Food & Wine Roads of Spain with Spanish Artisan Wine Group Creator Gerry Dawes

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(Note the wineries shown in this video are not members of The Spanish Artisan Wine Group.)

"In his nearly thirty years of wandering the back roads of Spain," Gerry Dawes has built up a much stronger bank of experiences than I had to rely on when I started writing Iberia...His adventures far exceeded mine in both width and depth..." -- James A. Michener, author of Iberia: Spanish Travels and Reflections
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video
Leading a group, including Chef Terrance Brennan of New York City
on a week-long culinary, wine and cultural adventure in Valencia and Alicante.

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"Gerry has an extraordinary knowledge of Spain, not just the cuisine and wine but the geography (little tapas bars on tiny streets in villages up in the mountains), history, culture and people. One of the highlights of the trip for me was not a 3-star Michelin meal, but a lunch at a winery. Gerry, of course, knew the winemaker, and we dined in a large beautiful room with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the vineyard. We ate simply: tomato salad, jamón ibérico, great bread and olive oil, baby lamb chops grilled over grape vines cuttings (exquisite), ewes’ milk cheese and, of course, great wine. What was special about this was the people, who invited us into their home with warmth and genuine hospitality, their alegría de vida (joie de vivre). I don’t speak Spanish but didn’t have too, we communicated through food, wine, banter, laughter and facial expressions." - - Terrance Brennan, Chef, cookbook author, creator-owner of New York’s Picholine and Artisanal restaurants. Brennan rates this trip, which predates the film pilot, as one of the top two gastronomic experiences of his life.

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Alternate e-mails (use only if your e-mail to AOL is rejected): http://gerrydawes@gmail.com/

Phone: 914-414-6982
Teléfono movíl (during stays in España): (011 34) 670 67 39 34

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Carlos Aliaga and the Wines of Viña Aliaga at Another Great Lunch at El Crucero, Corella (Navarra


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Pochas at El Crucero.

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About Gerry Dawes  


Gerry Dawes was awarded Spain's prestigious Premio Nacional de Gastronomía (National Gastronomy Award) in 2003. He writes and speaks frequently on Spanish wine and gastronomy and leads gastronomy, wine and cultural tours to Spain. He was a finalist for the 2001 James Beard Foundation's Journalism Award for Best Magazine Writing on Wine, won The Cava Institute's First Prize for Journalism for his article on cava in 2004, was awarded the CineGourLand “Cinéfilos y Gourmets” (Cinephiles & Gourmets) prize in 2009 in Getxo (Vizcaya) and received the 2009 Association of Food Journalists Second Prize for Best Food Feature in a Magazine for his Food Arts article, a retrospective piece about Catalan star chef, Ferran Adrià. 


". . .That we were the first to introduce American readers to Ferran Adrià in 1997 and have ever since continued to bring you a blow-by-blow narrative of Spain's riveting ferment is chiefly due to our Spanish correspondent, Gerry "Mr. Spain" Dawes, the messianic wine and food journalist raised in Southern Illinois and possessor of a self-accumulated doctorate in the Spanish table. Gerry once again brings us up to the very minute. . ." - - Michael & Ariane Batterberry, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher and Founding Editor/Publisher, Food Arts, October 2009. 
 


video
Mr. Dawes is currently working on a reality television series 
on wine, gastronomy, culture and travel in Spain.