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Doug Frost MS/MW http://dougfrost.com

Catavino Makes a Quick Jaunt to Southeastern Spain’s Wine Country

Almansa Grapes 2007

Alicante and Muricia are currently in the midsts of harvesting their grapes. As the sun rises over the Mediterranean sea, casting pastel hues across the limestone rock faces dabbling the southern Spanish regions, grape pickers are out in the fields with stained hands and tanned faces loading baskets of ripe delicious grapes for pressing. The work is hard. Hours upon hours of bending over vines, clipping the bunches without damaging the grapes, and then running at full speed to catch up with the loading truck, is not for the weak spirited. Yet although the work is exhausting, the pickers dedication and skill is what aids in the success of the vintage. Coupled with the abnormally cool temperatures, which have resulted in grapes with greater complexity and greater aroma, the harvest has gotten off to a fabulous start!

Since Wednesday, I’ve had the unique privilege to experience a region of Spain that Ryan is already intimately familiar with. Coming home from previous trips and putting his luggage in front entry, he’s unloaded bottles from Alicante boasting of their fabulous quality and the intense beauty of region. Is it a traditional beauty? No. I would compare it more to the four corner region of the USA, where the dramatic landscapes intermingle with seductive desert aromas such as rosemary, thyme, lavender and basil. Add this to the warm glow and friendly handshake from the people, and you’ve described my experience of a beautiful region.

But enough for now. I’ll catch you up further upon our return back to Barcelona tomorrow. For now, I’ll leave you with a trivia question for the weekend. Considering where we are, can you guess what grape this is?

Good luck!

  • Jill

    gots to be da monastrell

  • Jeff Cleveland

    Is it Monastrell?

  • David j

    Probably- but it could be Bobal, also… (Bobal I *think* is not as deep-hued, though)

  • http://domaine547.com Jill

    gots to be da monastrell

  • http://vinomadic.blogspot.com David j

    Probably- but it could be Bobal, also…
    (Bobal I *think* is not as deep-hued, though)

  • Ryan

    None of the above….other guesses?

  • Gabriella

    You're on the right track but think outside the box.

  • http://www.catavino.net Ryan

    None of the above….other guesses?

  • http://www.catavino.net Gabriella

    You’re on the right track but think outside the box.

  • Jill

    garnacha tintorera; dark skin and red flesh.

  • Gabriella

    We've got a WINNER! Well done Jill! Your keen detective skills, picking up on the phrase "tinted hands", have made you our official Iberian Grape Guru!

  • http://domaine547.com Jill

    garnacha tintorera; dark skin and red flesh.

  • Jill

    actually, I remember Ryan having twittered this week about enjoying garnacha tintorera, and didn't even pick up on the "tinted" clue. So I may not deserve the official title as of yet! I also have to say, while I enjoy the GT grape and we have one in our inventory, nobody else seems to have any desire to try it…even though it's a bargain basement wine. Oh well!

  • http://www.catavino.net Gabriella

    We’ve got a WINNER! Well done Jill! Your keen detective skills, picking up on the phrase “tinted hands”, have made you our official Iberian Grape Guru!

  • http://domaine547.com Jill

    actually, I remember Ryan having twittered this week about enjoying garnacha tintorera, and didn’t even pick up on the “tinted” clue. So I may not deserve the official title as of yet! I also have to say, while I enjoy the GT grape and we have one in our inventory, nobody else seems to have any desire to try it…even though it’s a bargain basement wine. Oh well!

  • Ryan

    Jill maybe you just need to call it Alicante Bouschet? Same grape but better known. Look for more info on it in the coming days…Cheers, r

  • http://www.catavino.net Ryan

    Jill maybe you just need to call it Alicante Bouschet? Same grape but better known. Look for more info on it in the coming days…Cheers, r

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