Spain

Spain is the second largest producer of wine in the world, the largest being France and the third Italy. The best known Spanish wine is probably Sherry, which is produced in Jerez. The country’s three most important red wine regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero, and Penedes.

In Rioja, the law permits the use of four red grape varieties. Tempranillo is the primary grape used, followed by Garnacha (also known as Grenache), Graciano and Mazuelo. The latter two are excellent but difficult to grow varieties. Crianza wines are those that have been aged for two years, Reservas are aged three years, and Gran Reservas (also known as Reserva Especial) are aged at least five years.

Ribera del Duero lacks the long history of Rioja and was recognized as an official wine region in 1982. Penedes produces both red and white wines. The largest Spanish wine brand name, Torres, is a major producer there.

Quality



Until about 25 years ago, Spanish red wines were generally of mediocre quality. Many were aged too long in wood, overpowering their freshness and fruit character. However, quality has risen to the point that they compete successfully in the international market. Very high quality Spanish wines have recently become “trendy” in some circles.

Wine critic Robert M. Parker, Jr. has identified the following as Spain`s greatest estates: Artadi, Clos Erasmus, Alvaro Palacios, Tinto Pesquera, Dominio de Pingus, and Bodega Vega Sicilia.

Mas La Plana 1970 (then known as `Gran Coronas Black Label`) received first place in the important Cabernet blend category of the Wine Olympics.

Appellation



Denominación de Origen is an appellation primarily for Spanish wines, but also other foodstuffs. It is parallel with the hierarchical system of France (1935) and Italy (1966) although Rioja (1925) and Sherry (1933) preceded the full system. As of 2006, 72 wine regions have EU QWPSR (Quality Wine Produced in Specific Regions) status:

3 Denominación de Pago (DO de Pago): Individual single-estates with an international reputation

2 Denominación de Origen Calificada/Qualificada (DOCa/DOQ - Denominació d`Origen Qualificada in Catalan): Regions with (allegedly) a track record of consistent quality

62 Denominación de Origen (Denominació d\\\\\\\'Origen in Catalan - DO): mainstream quality-wine regions

5 Vino de Calidad Producido en Región Determinada (VCPRD): a `starter home` for wine regions climbing the quality ladder.

There are also some 55 country wine areas (Vinos de la Tierra - VdlT) which do not have EU QWPSR status but which may use a regional name.

The 72 recognized wine producing regions in Spain grow a wide diversity of grapes, mostly of native origin. The great variety of wines with unfamiliar names causes confusion among many consumers.

Wine regions



Spain`s major wine producing areas are:

Almansa
Calatayud
Cariñena
Jerez
Jumilla
La Mancha
Rias Baixas
Ribera del Duero
Rioja
Toro
Utiel-Requena
Valencia

This article is based entirely or in part on the Spain wikipedia article and is licenced under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licence.


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Freixinet Brut Rose NV Spain

[read on...]


£9.15  

A B V: 12% Vintage: non-vintag Color: unspecifie Country: Spain Region: Barcelona Code: 27

Protos Gran Reserva 2001

Round and velvety in the mouth, it has the mildness characteristic of its category. Its after taste is elegant, leaving you a memory that won't be easy to forget. [read on...]


£43.60  

Vintage: 2001 Color: red Code: 73354

Protos Gran Reserva 2009

Someone referred to this wine as a 'little gem'. Gem certainly but little not. Grapes produced from 60 year old vines, 24 months in cask and at least a further 36 month in bottle before being released has produced a deep black cherry colour, a bouquet of black fruits (cherry, mulberry, cassis) with appealing toasted tones, and comple elegant bouquet. The ageing in cask and bottle has given the mouthfeel a velvety sensation with a long aftertaste. [read on...]


£45.00  

A B V: 14.5% Vintage: 2009 Color: red Country: Spain Code: 81260

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