-Well, holidays are finally here -or so they say. Time to slow down. Time to put aside daily worries. Time to indulge in contemplation. Time to distance oneself from the world and live a carefree life.
-Excuse me, did you say summer holiday or spiritual retirement? Nothing against spirituality, of course. In fact, I understand pretty well the desire to break away from it all. But, do you really want to separate from everything in the world? Take wine, for instance. Summer vacation brings a great opportunity to improve our wine knowledge. So I have a suggestion for you: what about a nice packet of summer homework? Bear in mind that, if we don't want to loose the substantial learning acquired over the last months, we must keep our brains and palates sharp. You don't believe me? Ok, don't take my word for it. According to a study carried out by the University of Missouri-Columbia, achievement test scores decline substantially over summer vacation.
-Just take a look at the paper.
-Ok. (Begins to read.) But, hey! Here it says something different! This paper doesn't refer to...!
-Yes, I know. The study refers to school performance, not to wine performance. But, what's the difference? Come on, man! Dont' be so picky! Relax! After all, it's summer, isn't it? So, here is our Enterwine summer holiday list.
Dido La Universal 2012 is a little red wonder from Montsant crafted by the wonderful Sara Pérez, daughter of José Luis Pérez, founder of Clos Martinet, and her husband René Barbier Jr., son of René Barbier, creator of Clos Mogador. A blend of Grenache with tiny amounts of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, this organic red wine has the freshness, the minerality and the purity of one of Spain's great terroirs.
Montsant, one of Catalonia's best kept secrets right next to Priorat, not only produces mighty reds. Ètnic Blanc 2010 is a white wine entirely made from White Grenache, a little-known, underrated grape that produces wines with a great structure, a smooth palate and, when properly crafted, a tight acidity. This wine elaborated by Celler Masroig winery is a ridiculously versatile white that will go well with almost any dish. Paella, Risotto, white meat, baked fish… You name it.
Now a couple of rosés, probably the best wines to pair with tapas, salads, appetizers and light meals. 5 Rosas 2013 is made from Mencía, an indigenous grape from El Bierzo, in northern Spain, capable of producing deep, entrancing reds and also subtle, crystal-clear rosés like this one. 5 Rosas 2013 is like a wild berry juice with a little touch of alcohol.
From Navarra, Otazu Rosado 2013 is another bargain rosé, this time made from Merlot. Bigger and bolder than the previous one, it nevertheless remains fresh and pleasurable thanks to a remarkable acidity and a touch of strawberry milkshake sweetness that makes it simply irresistible.
Did you think that we had forgotten Rioja? Of course not! Spain's most important wine region is always on our minds -and on our mouths-. Well, what would you say if I told you that you can drink a world-class white wine, crafted following a winemaking tradition that goes back more than 150 years, for less than 11 euros? And that this wine, already aged for more than a decade, will continue growing in the bottle over the next 10 years? We are talking about Viña Gravonia Crianza Blanco 2004, by the amazing López de Heredia-Viña Tondonia winery.
We jump to Ribera del Duero in order to present Finca Villacreces 2009, one of the wines served at the coronation banquet of HM King Felipe VI of Spain. This red wine is the elder, mightier brother of Pruno 2012, a red that, incidentally, was given 93 points by Robert Parker. How much did Finca Villacreces 2009 got? Well, uncle Bob has not tasted it yet. However, the wine is even better than Pruno, so make an educated guess...
Speaking of royalty, we will end our selection with two sparkling wines and a sweet wine so good that will transform any gathering into a memorable banquet. The first one is Mestres Brut Nature Coquet 2007, a Cava Gran Reserva of great breadth and Champagne-like finesse that shows notes of citrus, dry fruit and butter over a tight structure. A sparkler with a vinous character, little, playful bubbles that melt across the palate, and a lingering, flowery finish.
Bertha s.XXI Brut Rosé is a Mediterranean Pinot Noir that, if you dont' mind us being a little corny, we will rename as “Sensuality in a bottle”. Creamy, fresh, lively, with notes of strawberries and pastry and an exciting colour, this could be your best ally in those summer evenings and those summer nights...
Finally, from Jumilla, Murcia, land of world-class sweet wines such as the legendary Fondillón, mentioned in Shakespeare's plays and Dostoyevsky's novels, we present Casa de la Ermita Dulce Blanco, a naturally sweet wine made from overripened Viognier grapes with no addition of sugar. Delicate and well-balanced, with flavours of apricots and pineapple, this dessert wine is a gem waiting to be discovered.
Nine great wines. The best way not to completely lose contact with the world.
See you in September!