Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Guide to The Wineries & Artisan Grower-Producers of The Spanish Artisan Wine Group - Gerry Dawes Selections

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Articles and Comments About The Spanish Artisan Wine Group - Gerry Dawes Selections

Castilla y León


Bodegas Adriá, Vilafranca del Bierzo (León)

Viña Barroca Mencía Tinto 2010 Bierzo 13.5% 12/750ML $14.99 SRP

This still very young Mencía red wine, which spends 4 months on its lees in stainless steel and 4 months in bottle before release, benefits from contact with air and continues to improve over the course of the bottle.  

The color is deep pomegranate-like black ruby.
The nose shows pomegranate-cranberry fruit typical of Mencía-based wines.
On the palate that depth of pomegranate fruit battles for prominence with striking minerality, which makes this wine very reminiscent of a serious Loire Valley cabernet franc-based Chinon, though the minerality comes from quartz and slate, not calcareous soil as in the Loire. 

Good with grilled and roasted red meats, charcoal-grilled lamb chops, chorizo, rice dishes, pasta dishes, pizza and cheeses


Viña Catajarros Rosado 2011 Cigales 13.0% 12/750ML $13.99

A blend of 80% Tempranillo, 5% Garnacha Tinta, 10% Verdejo, 5% Alvillo.

Appearance:  Pretty, bright, strawberry-raspberry rosé (please don't call my rosados pink).
Nose:  strawberry-cherry fruit with hints of spices such as cloves and cinnamon.

Palate:  A delicious, lively wine with excellent acidity, bright strawberry, cherry and cranberry flavors and spices, with a dry classic finish and nice light, but firm tannins from the red grape skins and a lingering minerality that makes it a great food wine. 

This is wine that begs for a second bottle.  I would not hesitate to cellar this wine for three to four years. 


Ribeira Sacra

Spanish Artisan Wine Group Stars from Ribeira Sacra: The most awesomely beautiful wine region on earth

"Tasted the new Holy Grail of Ribeira Sacra producers yesterday - Don Bernardino, Decima, Sabatelius, Toalde, Cazoga - just insanely good, low octane fireworks."--John B. Gilman, Publisher of View From The Cellar

(Click on above link to see notes on five great producers.)


Adega Manuel Formigo (Grand Cru Quality Treixadura-based White Wines), Beade (Ourense)

Finca Teira Blanco 2011 (D.O. Ribeiro), 12.7%  alcohol 12/750ML $19.99 per bottle SRP.

Treixadura (65%) , Godello (20%), Torrontés (15%).  

Exclusively from free-run must from selected grapes from the Miñoteira y Portela vineyards. 92+ points.

Teira X 2010* (D.O. Ribeiro), 13% alcohol 6/750ML $26.99 per bottle SRP.

Production:  335 6-bottle cases, of which 60 cases are available for the U.S. market.  We received just 30 6-bottle cases on the first shipment.

Made from  grapes from selected 30–year old Treixadura (60%) grapes, along with Alvilla (15%),  Albariño (15%), Loureira (10%), all from the Formigo’s top vineyard, Finca Miño Teira.


Valdeorras: Spain's Great White Hope in The Valley of Gold 

Excerpt:   ". . .Some people have already made up their minds about godello.  Gerry Dawes, who has been writing about Spanish wines for decades and who recently went into the importing business, has called godello “Spain’s emerging hope as an equivalent to the great white Burgundies.”  
Adegas D.Berna, Córgomo, Villamartín de Valdeorras (Ourense)
D. Berna Godello 2010 Valdeorras 13.0% 12/750ML $24.99

“The 2010 godello, a white from the small-production Bodegas D. Berna, in Valdeorras, was splendid.  Pointillistic, lithe, long, delivering visceral and cerebral pleasures, it was reminiscent of white peaches.  The property, Dawes wrote, is advised by “a great local, enologist, José Luís Murcía, who may know more about godello than anyone in Galicia.”  Murcía, he went on, “advises nine wineries” but “does not mark the wines with a one-fits-all winemaking stamp.” - - Howard G. Goldberg, who writes for The New York Times, Decanter and other publications.

Adegas O Barreiro, Seadur (Ourense)

O Barreiro 'A Silveira' Godello 2010 12.5% 6/750ML  $19.99 SRP

Retired electric power line builder 'Pepe' Rodríguez retired from his own company and now, with hired help from his 140-person village of Seadur, farms his vineyards in this isolated village, which is reachable only by a pair of serious cork-screw roads leading up from the Sil River valley.

Pretty, brilliant green-gold.  Whiffs of white peach.   Fine, racy, acidity with restrained white peach, stone fruit and bitter almond flavors.  Its tartness is balanced by lovely fruit and moderate alcohol, which makes it an exceptional food wine.  In the third glass, it's raciness is somewhat reminiscent of great Savennières and the quality, flavor and finish is as good as many white Burgundies.

Rías Baixas

“When Gerry discusses his albariños his voices rises and his enthusiasm goes into high gear, as does the prose in his tasting sheet on albariños from members of the Asociación de Bodegas Artesanas.

 Back label in Spain for the Asociación de Bodegas Artesanas, Autores do Viño.

Bodegas Artesanas, Rías Baixas, Galicia: Avó Roxo, Cabaliero do Val, Lagar de Broullón, Lagar de Candes, O’Forollo & Rozas

The association, he relates, is “A group of small grower-producers who rebelled against commercial wine styles in Rías Baixas and produce their own unique wines using native yeasts.” He continues: “Each wine is distinctly different from the others.  There are 14 members of this association.  I have six of them, with probably four more to come. Why? These wines are among the greatest white wines of Spain, that’s why.”

I am not knowledgeable enough to say whether they are the greatest or not, but I loved the scintillating, complex 2010 Albariño from O’Forollo ($23.99); enjoyed the lush, flavorful 2010 Avó Roxo ($24.99); and admired the lithe, fresh 2010 Cabaliero do Val ($24.99).

I wish I had drunk these wines with seafood, as Gerry did, in Rías Baixas, a marine paradise. They would have been accompanied by ostras (oysters), almejas (clams), cigalas (langoustines), nécoras (small hard-shell crabs), vieiras (sea scallops) and zamburiñas (bay scallops, sort of).” - - Howard G. Goldberg, writer for The New York Times, Decanter and others.



Can Festis, World-Class Champagne Quality Artisan Cava From Catalunya

Three exceptional elaboración artesanal (artisanally produced) Cavas from the cellars of Jaume Giró et Giró.

Empordà (Girona)

Terra Remota Caminante White and Camino Red

The vineyards are farmed with the maximum of respect for the environment and are now in sixth year of ecological cultivation. Delicious First-Rate Wines From Marc & Emma Bournazeau. 

Montsant (Tarragona)

Terrasses del Montsant Heretat Navàs

Heretat Navàs (Red Wine) 2008

History and tradition join with innovation to create the wine Heretat Navàs Vi Negre under the direction of the great Catalan winemaker Joan Milà, a great aficionado of the history of this house and this land. Joan Milà, who died in a traffic accident in January 2010, vinified this wine in 2008 and guided it through until it was bottled in September 2009.

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