I have Spain on the mind, as our tasting group will hit the Iberian peninsula on April 28th. But the 28th will focus on the tempranillo grape, so I decided to go for some 'atypical' (i.e. not from Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Priorat, Toro) Spanish wines this evening. In that vein, the following two wines were chosen to pair with a hearty veal stew:
2001 Marques de Grinon Summa Varietalis (Castilla La Mancha)
2000 Capcanes Costers del Gravet (Montsant)
The 2001 Summa Varietalis by Marqués de Griñón is a blend of syrah, cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot from the Castilla La Mancha y Madrid region of Spain. A bright cherry red, the nose was gorgeous and complex. Strong vanilla and meaty scents were followed by black cherries, tobacco, leather, and subtle vegetal notes. Mmmm.... On the palate this wine was very smooth, with velvety tannins, big fruit and a soft, silky mouthfeel. A modern styled wine, it was soooo smooth, and so interesting. Ready now, but the Summa has the stuffing to keep for a few more years. I bought this on special order - I hope I can find it again. alcohol 14%
Price: C$37 (Opimian)
The 2000 Costers del Gravet is one of my favourite Spanish discoveries of all time. This blend of cabernet sauvignon, garnacha (grenache) and cariñena (carignan) was very different from the Summa. It was a lighter, brick red colour, and starting to express some of the plummy aromas that come with age. Very chocolatey on the nose, and supported by scents of strawberries, spring flowers, oak, and woodsy/undergrowth aromas. On the palate the Costers was drier and more tannic, with a very long finish. While this wine should improve with some more time in the cellar, it is very elegant and very well structured today. With a good, tannic, bite, this wine screams "BBQ Steak"! alcohol 14%
Price: C$28 (SAQ FYI-the 2001 is $3 less, but I think the 2000 is better)
A most satisfying evening of wine, and both wines paired very well with a veal stew. While not cheap, these Spanish gems were fantastic wines for the price. Cheers!