Sunday, January 9, 2011
The Spanish natural wine scene
So far French wines have dominated this blog simply because they are more readily available in the UK and I spend more time in France than anywhere else. I was also under the impression that there wasn't much interest in natural winemaking in Spain but I was obviously wrong.
According to Jancis Robinson’s exemplary website there are some exciting wines emerging including her wine of the week this week, Picarana from Bodega Marañones. She also highlights a number from Indigo Wine in a feature which is only available to subscribers so I’m not going to queer her pitch by referring to the wines or tasting notes. You’ll have to subscribe (which I strongly recommend) - or wait till I’ve had a chance to taste them - to get some feedback from me.
The only wine I’ve tasted recently - apart from the Rioja I tried with Kate Thal - which really falls under the scope of this blog is Los Pinos 0% (above) from Dominio Los Pinos in Valencia which has been organic for some 20 years. It’s a dark, slightly tarry blend of Garnacha (20%) Monastrell (40%) and Syrah (40%) with, as the name suggests, no added sulphur. It’s on the rustic side with smoky bonfire aromas and firm, slightly stalky tannins - a wine that really needs food (wild boar comes to mind) to kick it into touch. Well made - It certainly didn’t suffer from the lack of sulphur - but for me it lacked the edgy excitment of some of the natural wines I’ve tasted from France lately.
Another winemaker Fabio Bartolomei of Vinos Ambiz also spotted that there was no links section for natural Spanish wines so I’ve remedied that. Unfortunately the blogs and sites of the producers he mentions are all, barring his, in Spanish but if you speak the language check them out:
You can find more on the Vino Naturales site - again in Spanish - here
He also drew my attention to this very interesting map which shows that there are more artisanal producers (not sure how that is defined) in the south west corner of France than in any region of Spain. But obviously that’s changing. If you know of any I should try please let me know.