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Odd-ball Grapes

Something I have a discovered since I have been in Spain is the wide variety of grape varietals to be discovered. Not only do you have up and coming grapes like “mencia” or “verdejo”, but a whole host of grapes that one wine maker or another wants to see as the “next big grape”. While some of them have only been for blending in the past, many of these dark horses are slowly making an impression on the landscape of Spanish wine. Below is a description of a few of these taken from Jancis Robinson’s Guide to Wine Grapes, and accompanied by recent notes of my own.

Graciano
“is a richly coloured, perfumed variety once widely grown in Rioja in northern Spain. It has fallen from favour because of it’s inconveniently low yields, thereby depriving modern Rioja of an important flarvour ingredient. It is still planted in Rioja (on about half a percent of available vineyard) and is being encouraged in Navarreâ€Â¦.”

After reading this, I knew I needed to try some. The first note is from [FENAVIN->http://www.fenavin.org/entrada.php], the big Spanish wine trade show I attended a month ago, while the second note was from a bottle I found in the back of a shop in [Haro->http://www.haro.org/], located in [La Rioja->http://www.twis.info/wineregion.php?ID=252]. Both were very interesting and I look forward to trying more.

Prieto Picudo
“…unusually musky grpae grwon in a large aea totalling about 6,700 ha/16,700 acres, mainly around the city of Leon in north central Spain. Wines are light in colour but very distinctive, even if they are not officially embraced by the DO system.”

I stumbled across a couple of examples and while I won’t search them out, I think they could have some fun attributes under the right conditions. I also need to look a little further into what traditional pairings have been in terms of food. I assume that’s bright fruit flavors might play a nice foil to the sweet chorizo’s.

ListanNegro
“…recently appreciated grape which dominates wine production on the Spanish island of [Tenerife->http://www.tenerife.com/], planted on more than 5,000 ha/ 12,400 acres. [Carbonic maceration->http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbonic_maceration] has managed to coax exceptional aroms out of this medium bodied wine…”
Listan Blanco
-synynom for [Palomino->http://twis.info/grape.php?ID=324&select=p]
Negra Mole
“…undistinguished Iberian dark-skinned variety. See [Tinta Negra Mole->http://www.madeirawine.com/html/tinta_data.html].”

A fun blend from the [Canary Islands->@wikipedia]. Unfortunatly my roommate brought this back when they she was there, rather than having made a trip there myself. I actually liked this though I wouldn’t say that I had tasted anything like it before. I look forward to another bottle she has stashed of a similar blend from a different producer!

All notes posted from CellarTracker!

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