The Evolution and Revolution of the Wines of Spain

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Another exciting Tuesday night wine class here at the SF Wine Center, out came the sabers and paella as we explored through the magnificent world of Spanish wines.  Okay,  I’m totally kidding about the sabers and paella, but man would that have been awesome!  Led by our very own James Beard award-winning author Jordan Mackay, we combed through the entire country and the phenomenal wines that decorate this Iberian beauty.  From the rugged Pyrenees to the serene Mediterranean to the foggy Atlantic coast, Jordan led us through the ins and outs of this historically wine abundant land.

We started the tasting and discussion on Fino Sherry as Jordan explained to the class the different levels of Sherry production that take place in Spain.  After that we moved on to the whites starting with the Spanish sweetheart known as Cava and ending with Godello from Valdeorras.  Finally onto the reds, we tasted our way from some lovely Bierzo from Mencia all of the way through Alicante, Castilla Y Leon, Rioja, and ended with none other than Ribera del Duero.

My favorite wine of the night?

Flor de Pingus 2001 – Ribera del Duero

Just like a female gymnast, this wine is a powerhouse of both intensity and eloquent beauty with its inky opacity and aromas of black plum, black cherry, cedar, iodine, and slightly burnt rubber.  It’s full body and well integrated tannins are perfectly partnered with the wine’s subsequent acidity and flavor characteristics of black pepper, chili powder, serious minerality, and toasted hazelnut on the finish just to remind you of the oak used.

-Julie Albin

Wine List

  1. Alvear Fino En Rama 2006 Pedro Ximenez Sherry – Montilla Moriles
  2. Raventos i Blanc de Nit Rosé Cava 2009 – Penedes
  3. Montecillo Verdemar Albarino 2009 – Rias Baixas
  4. Jose Pariente Verdejo 2010 – Rueda
  5. Vina Godeval Cosecha Godello 2010 – Valdeorras
  6. Dominio de Tares Bierzo Tares P.3   2006 – Mencia
  7. El Seque 1999 – Alicante
  8. Abadia Retuerta Rivola 2001 – Castilla Y Leon
  9. Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial Cosecha 2004 – Rioja
  10. Flor de Pingus 2001 – Ribera del Duero

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