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With the summer heat in full swing, we are excited to offer you fantastic new Spanish wines that will quench your thirst while satisfying your palate and interest!
The first wine is a great and affordable rosé from Bodegas Ponce 2017 "Las Cañadas". Established in 2005 in Manchuela, a D.O. (Denominación de Origen) close to Valencia, Juan Antonio Ponce focuses on the local grape Bobal. With vines planted in 1965 at around 600m altitude, on clay calcarious soils, Juan Antonio practices organic and biodynamic farming. A proponent of minimal intervention, Juan Antonio harvests by hand, uses native yeast, only adds minimal amount of sulfur at bottling, and does not fine or filter his wines. The results are wines of precise structure and mineral elegance with an easiness and approachability. Las Cañadas is a fresh and textural rosé, with a light bouquet of orange and stone fruit and spice undertones, the wine is perfect by itself or with a summery salad.
The second wine, Marenas 2017 Montepilas, is a wine that really impressed and intrigued us. José Miguel Márquez is the winemaker for Marenas Viñedo y Bodega in Andalucia (in the D.O. of Montila-Moriles near Cordoba). Using no filtration or additives, José Miguel Márquez wants his wines to be as authentic as possible, representing the true characteristics of the terroir and grapes. With six hectares of vines planted on Albariza soil (the limestone soil most known for Sherry wines, characterized by its extreme white color during the summer), at an altitude ranging between 350m and 450m above sea level, José Miguel is reviving the obscure grape Montepilas and also using the classic grapes Pedro Ximénez and Monastrell. Though at first sight and taste, you might think that Marenas 2017 Montepilas is an orange wine, it is a traditional direct press, like most white wines; it takes its orange color from the skins of Montepilas, which become quite dark when ripe. Reminiscent of Jura wines, the wine has a touch of oxidative almond notes mingled with beautiful orchard fruit, with good acidity and superb texture - the wine is exciting and lively in the mouth. Bring this wine to summer parties and it will be the "talk of the town"!
Dominio Del Urogallo 2016 Fanfarria Tinto, a wine made mostly of Mencía with a little bit of Albarín Negro (an indigenous grape of Asturias), comes from a dynamic 14-hectare estate owned by Nicolás Marcos in the region around Cangas Del Narcea. While the region suffered from bad farming practices in the past, it has now been subject to a bright resurgence thanks to young, talented winemakers like Nicolás. With steep slopes and great soils, the region offers fantastic opportunities for making beautiful wines. Nicolás, a proponent of 'less is more', has been farming biodynamically since he established himself there. In the cellar, Nicolás does not filter or fine nor does he add sulfur, creating wines that are expressive and vibrant. Dominio del Urogallo 2016 Fanfarria Tinto is a fantastic, fresh red wine, with beautiful minerality thanks to the mix of slate, quartz and anthracite soils. With crisp acidity and a lively bouquet of ripe dark berry, tart red cherry and savory notes, the wine is the perfect red for the summer. Drink it slightly chilled on its own, or with a variety of fares, such as roasted chicken or tuna steak.
The last wine of this summer selection is Saó del Coster 2017 Pim Pam Poom from the D.O. of Priorat. Working biodynamically and in harmony with nature and animals, the team behind Saó del Coster believes in traditional methods with little intervention and no use of chemicals. They farm two plots they own (called Planassos and Lapujada, both located in Gratallops) and a few rented plots. The results are Priorat wines with an energy and liveliness unique to the region. Pim Pam Poom is 100% Grenache from vines planted on granite soils. Full of vibrancy for a Priorat wine, Pim Pam Poom shows a pretty bouquet of red and dark berry and cherry, with mint, pepper and floral undertones, lifted by precise minerality and bright acidity. Chill this wine slightly for a summery delight!
In addition to the wines highlighted above, we have a fantastic Txakolina from Ulibarri Artazaiak, two super natural Pét-Nats Nieva York from MicroBio, and the new vintage of the delicious Pét-Nat Roig Boig from Celler La Salada. Enjoy! Caroline Coursant
The Ulibarri family has a long history in the Basque country, primarily as shepherds and cheesemakers (Artzaiak is the Basque word for shepherd). They also have vineyards planted to the traditional grape of the region - Hondarrabi Zuri - and have existed as a bodega since the 18th century. Farming is certified organic (extremely rare for the area – they might be the only ones!) and the sheep play a major role in the vineyards, handling weed control and providing natural fertilizer. In an area where winemakers harvest early and often inject the wines with CO2 to make them a bit fizzy (a characteristic associated with the wines – think Vinho Verde), the Ulibarri brothers harvest at full ripeness, allow indigenous yeast fermentation, and let the wines age on the lees. There is no filtration or stabilization - this is REAL Txakoli! The 2016 is fresh and even has the slightest tickle on the tongue from the natural acidity. A fantastic thirst-quenching white from a magical place! Eben Lillie
"Las Cañadas" is a blend of Bobal (90%) and Albilla (10%), planted in 1965 on clay calcarious soils. Established in Manchuela (a D.O. (Denominación de Origen) close to Valencia) since 2005, Juan Antonio Ponce practices organic and biodynamic farming. A proponent of minimal intervention, Juan Antiono harvests by hand and uses native yeast. The grapes are directly pressed in stainless steel and aged in 600L French oak barrels for six months. A minimal amount of sulfur is added at bottling and there is no fining or filtering. The result is a wine with mineral elegance and freshness, with a beautiful creamy texture, light bouquet of orange, clementine, strawberry and stone fruit with spice undertones - Las Cañadas is delicious! Drink this vibrant lovely rosé by itself, or with grilled octopus, tuna tartare, or any bright salad. Caroline Coursant
A fascinating white from José Miguel Márquez, winemaker at Marenas Viñedo y Bodega, in Andalucia. Montepilas is an indigenous grape, found only in the Montila-Moriles D.O. (Denominación de Origen). Though it very much looks and acts like an orange wine, it is in fact a direct press. The skins of Montepilas grapes get pretty dark when ripe, so all color comes naturally from the skins without maceration. Nice round orchard fruit and subtle texture reminscent of chamomile or verbena tea. No SO2 added. Eben Lillie
Vibrant and fresh, this wine is mostly Mencía with a small portion of Albarín Negro (an indigenous grape of Asturias), planted on slate, quartz, and anthracite soils. The grapes were farmed organically and biodynamically, and then fermented and aged in neutral oak for 18 months, with no addition of sulfur and no fining or filtering. The bouquet is lively with ripe dark berry and tart red cherry, with light herbal and savory notes. The palate is crisp but also smooth, with great acidity and light tannin. Enjoy this wine slightly chilled with vegetable earthy soups, roasted chicken or grilled fish. Caroline Coursant
Priorat is usually known for big, high in alcohol reds but Pim Pam Poom is not that Priorat! 100% Garnacha, fermented whole cluster and raised in stainless steel for four months, Pim Pam Poom is brimming with purple and red berry, ripe cherry, violet flowers, bright granitic minerality, and light mint and pepper notes. Enjoy this fresh and delicious Priorat with a slight chill with barbecued meat or grilled vegetables. Caroline Coursant
This fun and bright Pét-Nat is a blend of Sumoll, Roigenc, Mandó, Cannonnau, Monica, Torbat, Parellada and Xarello planted on calcareous-clay soils in 2006, in Penedes, the heart of Cava country. The grapes are organically and biodynamically farmed with little intervention. 90% is directly pressed while the remaining is macerated for 4 months, with no addition of sulfur. This is a thirst-quenching Pét-Nat, with lively bubbles, great acidity, and precise minerality, with a bouquet displaying flavors of tart raspberry, cranberry, and orange, notes of herbs de Provence and sun-warmed rocks. Drink this Pét-Nat on its own, or with fish tacos, shrimp and avocado salad, or grilled fish. Caroline Coursant
This is a fun, delicious Pét-Nat rosé from Ismael Gozalo, known for his superb Verdejo wines. For this Pét Nat, Isamel used the still wine of the 2017 Correcaminos rosé (a blend of Tempranillo and Verdejo). More ripe and intense than its predecessor due to the frost that affected most of Ismael's vineyards, the wine displays juicy flavors of dark and red berry fruit, stone fruit, and Maraschino cherry, with great minerality. Pair this sparkling wine with Asian cuisine, barbecued ribs, or drink it on its own! Caroline Coursant
Ismael Gozalo has again made a fantastic Pét-Nat with this vintage! Nieva York is a wine made exclusively for our market. 100% Verdejo, this sparkling wine displays aromas of ripe lemon, tangy stone fruit, sea salt, white florals, with herbal and chalky minerals. The mousse is fun and lively: a delicious Pét-Nat to enjoy without moderation! Caroline Coursant