Winery: Located in the Cariñena region of northern Spain, the San Valero Cooperative was founded in 1944 [making it the oldest winery in Cariñena] by 60 growers who at the time were producing bulk wines. Today the cooperative consists of more than 700 members that cultivate 3500 hectares of vineyards located between the rivers Huerva and Jalón. They focus on producing high quality wines using modern technology.
Winemaking: Grapes are from vines more than 25 years old. Aged for at least 6 months in French oak.
Tasting Notes: Red-violet in colour with aromas of black cherry, plum, black pepper and a wisp of sweet smoky earth. Dense, dark fruits are dusted with crushed black peppercorn. Velvety tannins and a trace of menthol supplement the rich, plush texture. Baking chocolate and a drop of espresso compliment the fruity finish. Engaging and expressive, fantastic on its own or with a wide variety of dishes.
Estate Bottled by Bodegas San Valero S. Coop
$10 [average price]
Rated 85 points and a “Best Buy” by Wine Enthusiast
Sample submitted for review purpose.
Estate: Grandes Vinos y Viñedos is located in the heart of Cariñena, the vineyards are spread across 14 towns in the region at the bottom of the Algairén and Pecos mountain ranges. The estate is “committed to combining environmental protection with the best quality possible of wine production”. Environmental preservation methods as rainfall irrigation and solar energy have led them to become a leader in the region for environmental research and innovation.
Philosophy: The “wines are produced based on three fundamental aspects that form the essence of each one of them: the land, the climate and the variety”.
Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from old vine, high elevation vineyards, aged for 4 months in French oak barrels.
Tasting Notes: Garnet in colour with aromas of wild berries, black cherry, cinnamon, anise and a hint of vanilla. Abounding with all the cherries, plus red currant and cozy baking spices. Wooly tannins and a streak of granite minerality highlight crushed black peppercorn on the dry, fruity finish. Super food friendly, and great on its own.
Produced & Bottled by Grandes Vinos y Viñedos
$11 [average price]
Sample submitted for review purpose.
Estate: Bodegas Paniza is located at the foot of the Sistema Ibérico in northeastern Spain. Paniza has a total of 4760 hectares of land, 2500 of which are vineyards, 76 hectares contain vines that are 50 to over 100 years old. Encompassing a wide variety of microclimates, the vineyards move seamlessly between the bottom of the mountains and the mountainsides.
Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from vineyards with schist, chalk, loams and red clay soils, located in hilly terrain at the base of the Iberian Mountains.
Tasting Notes: Cherry red in colour with aromas of pomegranate, green tea and white pepper. Bursting with strawberry, raspberry and watermelon, with a subtle hint of violets. Silky smooth tannins compliment the dry, lightly spiced finish. Thirst quenching and vibrant, this drinks more like a light red.
Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Ideal with seafood, pastas and poultry.
Bottled by Bodegas Paniza
$12 [average price]
Rated 85 points and a ‘Best Buy’ by Wine Enthusiast
Sample submitted fro review purpose.
Brand: Gotham Project is a collaboration between Charles Bieler [of Bieler Pere et Fils, Charles & Charles and Three Thieves fame] and Bruce Schneider [of Schneider Vineyards, Schneider Selections and Onabay Vineyard]. The duo has pioneered wine on tap in the US, beginning in 2009 with their inaugural release of Finger Lakes Riesling from Seneca Lake, NY. They are the leading producer of wines on tap in the States, and “the only vertically integrated wine-on-tap company in the United States. Their wine ‘filling station’ is just a few miles from the #1 port for imported wines in the U.S., ensuring all wines remain as fresh as their first day of life until they hit your glass.” Their portfolio of tap wines feature wines from all over the world, from New York to Greece to New Zealand, and can be found in hip, progressive wine bars and restaurants. Boom Box Rosé is their first wine to be available for enjoyment at home.
Philosophy: “A BETTER GLASS OF WINE!”
Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from dry-farmed, old-vine [80+ years] vineyards in Bullas, Spain. [Bullas is known for its light reds and rosés made from Monastrell.] Grapes were picked “on the early edge of ripeness and made direct to press”.
Tasting Notes: Sunset orange-pink in colour with aromas of peach, watermelon, cherry and tomato leaf. Predominately savoury and spicy notes, complimented by cherry and strawberry. Pink grapefruit and herbs on the dry finish add to its refreshing, off the beaten path character.
100% Monastrell [Mourvèdre]
Cellared and packed by Gotham Project NY
$25 [3L box equivalent to 4 750ML bottles]
Estate: Bodegas Ateca was founded in 2005 and is a joint project between the Gil Family Estates group and passionate, pioneering wine importer Jorge Ordonez. Gil Family Estates is a collection of small, family estates located throughout Spain. The wines express the different characteristics of their respective regions; all are made with indigenous grapes, are high in quality and priced budget friendly.
Tasting Notes: Pale straw yellow in colour with heady aromas of honeysuckle pineapple, honey, herbs and a trace of wet rocks. Tasting very similar to the aromas with bright lemon, pineapple, honeysuckle balanced by a refreshing acidity, citrus zest compliments the dry finish. Easy drinking on its own or with a wide variety of fresh, summer dishes.
Verdejo [I could not verify varietal percentage; previous vintages have included Sauvignon Blanc.]
Bottled for Bodegas Ateca by Bodegas y Viñedos Shaya