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What to Drink Now: Spain

Gloria Collell with Ferrer Family Wine

An intimate reception was held last night for Gloria Collell, Winemakers’ Ambassador for Ferrer Family Wine Estates, which included a tasting of the  Heredad Collection of wines.  One of the oldest family run wine organizations, best known for their Freixenet Cava, the Ferrer Family began expanding their portfolio to include select still wines that really highlight the special terrior of Spain, with the flavors of their beautiful vineyards shining through each glass.  The Heredad Collection accentuates the vast differences in the wine regions of Spain through ultra-premium, high quality selections, which we tried throughout the evening including the hot Spanish white wine varietal, Albarino from Rias Baixas; two Tempranillo, one from Rioja and one from Ribera del Duero, which clearly show how terrior can change the flavors in a wine as they are completely different; and a stunning Garnacha, Carinena and Cabernet Sauvignon from Priorat.  Each of these selections will also be tasted at Veritas tonight as they hold a free tasting of the Heredad Collection including an opportunity to meet Gloria.  Follow the jump for notes on each of the wines to be tasted.

It is easy to see why Albarino is so popular these days when you taste Vionta Albarino from Rias Baixas.  Bright lemon peel and grapefruit mixed with ripe melon and slight floral notes.  Though there is good acidity, typical in Albarino, this one has a much rounder palate than some, making it a great wine to be enjoyed on its own or with anything from shellfish to curry.

Vaza Cosecha Rioja is a classic version of what you would typically think of Spanish Tempranillo tasting like, with big fruit forward flavors of strawberry, raspberry and red plums with balanced acidity and subtle tannins finishing with subtle spice notes.  An approachable red that will suit many palates and should be enjoyed young, when the freshness of the wine is at its peak.

On the other side of the spectrum comes the Valdubon Crianza Tempranillo from Ribero del Duero.  Locally known as Tinto del Pais, this Tempranillo is intense with earthy, hearty aromas of licorice, black fruit, tobacco and vanilla with black plum, blackberry, clove and cocoa flavors.  Complex flavors with personality that can pair well with big beefy flavors like grilled lamb, steaks and game like wild boar or grilled buffalo.

For many, Priorat is considered the best region in Spain for interesting, significant and representative wines, of which the majority stay within the country to be enjoyed by the locals.  Sipping the Morlanda blend of predominantly Garnacha with Carinena and just a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is easy to see why wine from the area is so popular.  A powerful, yet elegant full-bodied wine with cherry, currant and spice on the nose with flavors of ripe cherry, licorice, toasted nuts and roasted coffee.

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