This week in wine school Jordan Mackay, James Beard-award winning author, took us on a tour of Spain. We traveled to Cataluna – home of Cava, Rias Baixas – home of Albarino, Rueda – home of Verdejo, Navarra – home of Garnacha, Rioja – home of Tempranillo, Ribera del Duero – another Tempranillo hotspot, and Priorat – famed for Garnacha, Carignan, Cab Sauv, Merlot, and Syrah. From value wines to coveted classics and newcomers, Spain runs the gamut. The Cava, Albarino, and Verdejo were all refreshing, lively and costing around $20 or less. The 1993 White Rioja was super complex, with Sherry-like notes and a creaminess that was very unique. One of our storage members, Shirley, brought a 2005 Rioja to share, and we compared this with the 2004 Muga in our lineup. Muga is a more traditional producer and they use mostly French oak, whereas the Remirez de Ganuza that Shirley brought was a more modern style, more fruit-forward with heavy American oak. The last two wines were very special, high-end wines from Ribera del Duero and Priorat. They had a complexity and finesse that was noticeable, and the class loved these wines. Personally the Bodegas Emilio Moro Malleolus Valderramiso 2007 from Ribera del Duero was my favorite!
1. Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad Cava
2. Fillaboa Albariño 2009 – Rias Baixas
3. Condesa Eylo Verdejo 2008 – Rueda
4. R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia White Rioja 1993
5. El Chaparral de Vega Sondoa Garnacha 2009 – Navarra
6. Muga Prado Enea Gran Reserva Rioja 2004
Bonus: Remirez de Ganuza Rioja 2005
7. Bodegas Emilio Moro Malleolus Valderramiso 2007 – Ribera del Duero
8. Dits del Terra Priorat 2005 – Garnacha & Carignan
Thanks to Jordan for a great class, to Shirley for contributing her wine, and to the students for attending!