Spanish Wine - Rioja & Bierzo
Whilst holidaying with friends based in Spain in 2015, Tom enjoyed tasting wines from Bodegas Petralanda and, after establishing they didn't have an importer in the UK, we tentatively decided to ship some. Today, their Crianza is amongst our most popular listings; which is gratifying given that we specialise in French wines. It is made from a blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Mazuelo by Iñake Petralanda Uria Zearra who wanted to source a failsafe wine for his restaurants in Bilbao. He also makes an excellent Gran Reserva, from pure Tempranillo, that is aged for 2 years in oak barrels and 3 years in bottle before release. It has attracted critical acclaim with Henry Jeffrey's featuring it his 'Top Ten' Riojas for bbcgoodfood.com:
"Time has brought elegance and delicacy to this wine, think cooked strawberries and North African spices, with a classy finish."
Another excellent Iberian discovery has been the 'Encinas' Bierzo made as joint venture by Antoine Graillot and Raúl Pérez in north-west Spain from old-vine Mencía grown in the villages of Otero and Valtuille. It is made from whole-bunches of grapes that are fermented in concrete and then matured in a large oak vat before bottling. With aromas of violets, fennel and a savoury palate with bright red fruit flavours, notes of pepper and game, fresh acidity and youthful tannins, it drinks well from release and is best served lightly-chilled.