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VallDolina Brut Nature Cava 2017
South of Barcelona lies the Garraf Massif, a coastal mountain range where the winery and farm Masia Can Tutusaus has stood since 1348. Young friends Raimon Badell and Ferran Gil resuscitated the farm and make a full range of reds, whites, and sparkling.
Their entry level Cava is a crisp, clean quaff that can stand up to any sparkling wine. The Xarel-lo, Macabeo, Parelleda, and Chardonnay blend is floral, bright, light, and thirst quenching. Pair with fried or preserved seafood or a few almonds and bit of cheese.
Martínsancho Verdejo Rueda 2017
Angel Rodriguez Leal makes Martínsancho, one of the best wine in Rueda, south of the Douro River. The Verdejo vineyards have been family-owned since 1784, are planted in a bed of rounded river stones, and average 40 years of age.
The wine tastes of peach, melon, and guava. The palate feel is dense, deep, and mineral driven. This wine can age and will handle fuller bodied white meats with great aplomb.
Yzaguirre Vermouth Rojo
Yzaguirre is one of the few producers who still make vermouth near Reus, an area just south of Tarragona. They began making vermut in 1884. Vermut/vermouth is a drink made from wine that is slightly sweetened and aromatized with herbs and spices.
This Rojo has citrus, spice and balsamic notes with great intensity and balance. Serve as an aperitif on the rocks with orange, lemon, or an olive as they do in Spain. For a tall drink top it with soda for a lighter cocktail alternative.
Jarrarte Rioja Joven 2019
Abel and Maite Mendoza began making wine in San Vincente, Rioja Alavesa in 1988. They are relative newcomers to the industry who grow grapes on lands that have always been farmed organically. Furthermore, they adhere to many “old school” ways.
The “Jarrarte" is a joven (young and unoaked) bottling that undergoes carbonic maceration before fermentation. This practice leads to a wine with serious flavors that jump out of the glass. Try it with hard, sharp cheeses, sausages on the grill, or a burger.
Tomàs Cusiné Vilosell Costers del Segre 2017
Cusiné helms Castel de Remei, the oldest producing Catalan estate. This bottling is from his eponymous winery within the same region the Coster del Segre. The area abuts Priorat and shares some of the same grapes varieties and powerful wine profiles.
Vilsoell blends Tempranillo with Syrah and Garnatxa for a medium bodied, spicy red that shows notes of red and black fruits with hints of smoke and pepper. Pair it with a spicy paella.
Almaroja Pirita Arribes 2013
Englishwoman Charlotte Allen makes wine in Spain’s Arribes del Duero Natural Park, a rugged, barely tamed land. Even still, humans have planted olive trees and vineyards. The wines are made from a laundry list of varieties and are as feral in spirit as the land.
Her Pirita bottling is mainly the Juan Garcia grape with Tempranillo, Rufete and Brunal. The wine is acid driven and will pair with fish beautifully. Handle with care; there is sediment. Decant and allow to breathe for a couple of hours before enjoying.