Sunday, March 15, 2015

Castilla-La Mancha Wines of Spain; On Don Quixote's Grape Trail

by Dwight Casimere

Spanish wines are on the move! The Castilla-La Mancha US Tour 2015 is currently underway, and it features some fantastic wines that are value priced and taste absolutely great.  The most amazing thing about the wines is that they are all priced between $8 and $20 and have a flavor profile that would command prices more than double were they from France or Napa. The wines are all food-friendly and should be served with light appetizers or a meal as is done in their native Spain.

The first wine tasted was the most intriguing, both visually and taste-wise. Bodegas Vidal Del Saz 2014 sparkling wine is made from 100% Macabeo grapes, the signature white grape for sparkling wines in Spain. What makes this wine different is the color and presentation. This is a low alcohol wine, perfect for a light brunch or afternoon garden party. With its distinctive gold or silver color and hints of silver flecks in the bottle, it makes for a stunning presentation. The flavor notes of crisp green apples, apricol and pear and its price point at just under $20 makes it doubly appealing. Try it with a bit of Spanish Machengo cheese and ripe pears and you'll see what I mean.

Bodegas Tierras De Orgaz 2013 is 100% Chardonnay and gives the French a run for their money in this category, yet it only costs around $14. Its bright golden color gives a clear hint as to what's inside the bottle; ripe citrus and candied apple notes with a light finish, make this the perfect pairing with scallops or sushi.

Among the reds, I went straight to the big ones; Bodegas Romero De A Vila Salcedo 2008 ($20), a blend of 70% Tempranillo, the flagship red grape of Spain, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Syrah, which gives the wine its international flair. This is a terrific wine with food. I had it with a slow-roasted London Broil, flavored with Mesquite and smoked Hungarian Paprika and healthy slices of garlic. Served with some roasted carrots and a side of broccoli and pan sauteed new potatoes, this is a meal that would have made Don Quixote give up his windmill quest for the night!
 Tom Hyland, author and photographer, who co-presented the wine tasting seminar (r) with wine producer Carlos Galdon, President Bodegas Tierras de Orgaz

 Nancy Sabatini-Wine Director, Mainstreet Wines-Countryside, Illinois

 The wines of  Castilla-La Mancha
 Tom Hyland with producer
Below: Tom Hyland leading the symposium and tasting

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