Wine Talk

Snooth User: spikedc

Spanish Trip

Posted by spikedc, May 26, 2012.

Off to Northern Spain on Monday morning, starting in Madrid and Spending some time in Lerma, Burgos, Leon, La Coruna and ending in Santiago de Compostela but more importantly travelling through the heart of Rioja.

Looking forward to sampling as much wine as I can and reporting back to you guys. Hopefully I can find some surprises. Tried a  Bierzo at a tasting the other night and I was impressed and looks like we will be very close to the Bierzo region.

Happy days ahead !!

Replies

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Reply by dmcker, May 26, 2012.

Doing the reverse pilgrim route, it would seem! And how long in each area?

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Reply by spikedc, May 26, 2012.

Hi D, spending a couple nights in each area, staying at various Paradores on the way.

Luck has it we are in the middle of a heat wave here, looks like it's going to be hotter in UK, than the North of Spain.

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Reply by JonDerry, May 26, 2012.

Sounds great Spike, looking forward to hearing about your findings.

Any chance at a stop by CVNE?

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Reply by spikedc, Jun 6, 2012.

Hi guys, back from my hols around Northern Spain and what a fantastic trip it was. Met some great people, stayed at lovely hotels, weather was good and drank some superb wines.

Travelled the Pilgrim route (The way of Saint James) but we cheated by driving the route as we only had 9 days to complete it. Surprised at how many pilgrims we saw on route there must of been hundreds along the way.

Started in the Ribera del Duero region staying at Leon and Burgos, drank quite a bit of Castilla de Silo 2001 Rioja which in the local bars was very cheap 1 Euro per glass (around $1.25). other notable wines were Emilio Moro, Protos, Pingus also some fabulous Tapas to accompany them

In La rioja, we avoided the larger Bodegas although we did pass by the impressive Muga and CVNE (for another time) and concentrated on the more smaller family run wineries which were a lot easier to view without appointments. Couldn't believe how many Bodegas there are everywhere you turned you saw one.

 

One that made us especially welcome was Bodega Ramirez de la Piscina which was a father and son run business.

Here they took time to show us around in detail and ending with a lovely tasting which included their 2001 Gran Reserva which was stunning.

Could have stayed in Rioja longer and will definately go back and just stya in the area, so much to see so little time.

Other highlights of the pilgrim route was tasting great Bierzo's and lots of other Mencia based wines found a lovely Ribeira Sacra also( Regina Viarum) in a bar which was new to me ended up buying a couple from the bar owner to bring home.

Didn't try many whites although we did have some Albillo, Rias Baixas, Viura, Verdejo all very nice.

Great holiday, great wines and Tapas everywhere and ridulously cheap. back for more, yes please !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reply by EMark, Jun 6, 2012.

Great sounding trip, Spike, and great pics.  Thank you, very much.  Of course, you have also made me very jealous.

Being the part-time foodie, can you tell me what tapas are in the first and last pics?  The first one looks like calamari and the last one looks like sardines or anchovies.

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Reply by spikedc, Jun 6, 2012.

Hi EMark,

Both excellent tapas first one is Chipirones baby squid in almond and garlic sauce with fried peppers. Last picture is deep fried Whitebait and of course both washed down with a good glass of Rioja.

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Reply by dmcker, Jun 6, 2012.

"Couldn't believe how many Bodegas there are everywhere you turned you saw one."

Great pun with that photo of the crossroads!  ;-)

 

Looks like a great trip, Spike. And that final tapas photo with the whitebait looks like something I could run into over here in Japan.

Would love to hear anything more you can share about the wines. Will keep my eyes peeled for the Bodega Ramirez del la Piscina GR over here, but frankly I'm not holding my breath in expectation of actually finding a bottle on the local markets...

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jun 6, 2012.

Someone fill me in:  Other than Francis Coppola's odd bottle, I've never seen that fishnet kind of thing on a non-Spanish bottle, but I see it on lots of them, mostly from Rioja.  What's the significance?

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Reply by spikedc, Jun 6, 2012.

Hi D,

The Ramirez de la Piscina Gran Reserva was real old school Rioja earthy and rustic, it had a creamy Vanilla oaky taste which i loved. Bought a couple of bottles to bring home but finished them before getting anywhere near the airport, great on it's own or with food.

You could tell that the family were really proud of this wine and i think they every right to be. Not sure everyone at the tasting were as enthusiastic as me but i really liked it, up there with the best wines I tasted on this trip. I paid 12 Euro's a bottle, worth every cent.

 

 

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Reply by EMark, Jun 6, 2012.

I sure hope somebody can address Foxall's question about the wire net.  I find it an iteresting curiosity.  I may be wrong, but I think I've only seen it on Gran Reserva Riojas.

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Reply by Richard Foxall, Jun 6, 2012.

I'm pretty sure that's the only place I've noticed them, but I haven't been paying quite enough attention to say for sure.

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Reply by Lucha Vino, Jun 6, 2012.

I just enjoyed this Gran Reserva from Valdepenas last night.  100% Tempranillo Dark currant & cherry with some smoky spice notes of clove and menthol with some hints of dark licorice.  I have only seen the wire "bondage gear" on Spanish wines (and the Coppolas like Foxall said).

 

 

I also have a Bodegas Lozano Gran Reserva from La Mancha in my cellar that has the same wire net.

So, maybe it is on Gran Reservas regardless of the region.

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Reply by spikedc, Jun 7, 2012.

This sounds plausible, http://bordeaux-undiscovered.co.uk/blog/2012/01/gilded-in-gold-old-practice-resurfaces-in-bordeaux/ not sure what source but have read similar after googling

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Reply by EMark, Jun 7, 2012.

Agree, Spike, that explanation sounds perfectly plausible.  Thanks for the legwork.

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Reply by spikedc, Jun 8, 2012.

Another plus from our trip was trying new wines. I knew the Rioja's would be good  (some of them were stunning) but i was suprised how much I enjoyed wines from the Galicia region especially those made from the Mencia grape, Bierzo's and Ribeira Sacra. (mainly Mencia usually up to 85% blended with Garnacha and some other local grapes)

The Sacra (Ribeira Sacra Regina Viarum 2010) we tried at a local bar and i was taken back by how good it was, it wasn't special or expensive around 6 or 7 Euros a bottle but  it was drunk and enjoyed by the locals, when we left the bar after lunch and a few glasses the owner actually gave us a bottle to take home.

Above in the picture was the bottle given to us by the bar owner, the Bierzo was another local wine that we bought at a bar after having a glass or two. When I get around to drinking them I'm sure it will bring back pleasant memories.

I should mention that  the actual holiday was brilliant as well stunning views, beautiful cities,towns and Cathedrals especially Santiago de Compostela which actually took my breath away.

Oh did I say that the wines were pretty good as well !!

 

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Reply by spikedc, Jun 10, 2012.

Just another quick thought about the trip, didn't see many screwcap bottles almost all that i drank or saw if not all (can't remember exactly) were cork bottles.

Even mentioned it to one or two of the Bodega owners and they were horrified, one even saying with great delight he leaves that to the Australians and South Africans. Still seems very traditional, especially in the areas we visited.


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