Thursday, October 11, 2012
It's week 8 of my Wines of the World class and this evening I did indeed partake of the wines of Spain. Tonight's tasting was a straight forward affair. The 24 Spanish wines selected for my oenological tour of Spain - a country which has more land under vine than anywhere else in the world and is yet only ranked third by production volume - ran the gamut from light, dry white wines to heavy, alcoholic reds. And then there was the sherry flight.
My favourite amongst the whites was a Condes de Albarei, 2010 Albariño (DO Rias Baixas) and amongst the reds an Artazuri, 2008 Garnacha (DO Navarra). My fellow classmates generally seemed to be happy with the selection of DOC Riojas, no doubt due to the liberal use of oak, whilst in that particular flight I preferred a 100% Tempranillo from the Ribero del Duero DO.
The sherry flight, comprised of 6 wines, was eye-opening: these were not my grandmother's chosen Christmas tipple of Harveys Bristol Cream. Ranging from pale, fruity, crisp and dry - a Lustau Manzanilla - to tawny, smooth, nutty and superbly balanced - a Lustau East India Solera - these wines were, above anything else, highly aromatic. I have to confess, I would never have thought to try a glass of sherry of my own volition, so I'll always have this class to thank for broadening my horizons. Of course, like the rest of me, my palate may just be maturing.