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Tag Archives: Bierzo

Spotlight on Mencía

The first clue that a relatively under-the-radar grape variety is becoming popular is when you see it on the wine list of a gastropub in a trendy area of London. I was pleasantly surprised to see a Mencía listed at dinner last night, in fact the Descendientes de J. Palacios, Pétalos is a wine I also had on the list when I was a sommelier. If you saw a Mencía on the list, would you go for it? Let’s take a little look at this grape and the wines it makes, to give you a better idea what to expect if you did. The first thing to know is that it comes from Spain, but you may have guessed that […]

Red Grape Varieties of the Mediterranean Deserving More Attention

Ever wondered why the same small bunch of grape varieties bobs up so frequently from wine regions around the world? There are many hundreds of different grapes out there, but only a small handful of them have managed to become widely grown and internationally known. Mostly grapes have to settle for limited local fame on their home turf. As far as red wines and black grapes are concerned the core range of grapes grown worldwide is really only Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Pinot Noir. I know some of you will take issue and say that I have ignored Malbec, Zinfandel or Pinotage – or something else that is dear to your heart, but really apart from the four I […]

The Gastronomical Bounty in Castilla y León: Asados, Embutidos, Quesos and More

My entire life has been surrounded by food. The rich smell of simmering meat and the pop of an uncorked wine bottle take me back to family gatherings spent huddled in the kitchen listening to heartfelt laughter among people I love. I equate food to family, to history and to culture. Here in Spain, I have been blessed with a bounty of incredible ingredients, most of which are picked fresh and harvested locally. And although most ingredients are relatively the same throughout the peninsula, each region expresses their own cultural uniqueness by the way in which they prepare, serve and consume each dish. Last week, I spent 4 days visiting Castilla y León, and despite its relatively small size in […]

A 4 Day Whirlwind Wine Adventure Through Castilla y León

Having just walked in the door from a rather intense 4 day tour through Castilla y León, or Castile y León, I’m teetering a precarious line between feeling a surge of passionate energy to share everything I’ve seen and experienced on this trip and feeling utterly drained from going on an average of 5 hours of sleep per night. Not to mention the long stretches spent zooming past the stark meseta landscape in a bus, the 3 hour meals filled with delectable regional treats, the time spent  bantering away with fellow Circle of Wine Writer members on everything from the definition to quality wine education to the way in which suckling lamb is cooked, and of course, the amazing time […]

Iberian Links Around the Web

Why is it that every time I write this post, I feel like I am announcing the title for a marvel comics series. In a deep echoing voice, I imagine myself with a cape and megaphone, shouting “Liiiinks Aroouuund theee Weeeeeb!!” while keeping my right hand raised high with a clenched fist as if to pronounce my power. Maybe I’m just overly excited after the lengthy conversations on Twitter among fellow wine bloggers to form a Wine Blogger Magazine? This is an idea that Ryan and I have been chatting about for quite some time, and to see the conversation finally begin, especially when considering the larger audience it could attract, is great. With the combined efforts of Wine Bloggers […]

Bodega Profile – Bodega del Abad – DO Bierzo

El Bierzo, has been referred to as ‘the gateway to Galicia’ for its lush green valley that gently guides you between two ominous mountains into DO Valdeorras in the southwestern corner of Galicia. Although I’ve only seen small glimpses of Galicia, I can only imagine how stunning this vision must be. But beyond its fertile planes and lush forests, Bierzo is also known for both its successful mining industry and its fertile vineyards planted primarily with both the red Mencia grape and its lighter, greener counterpart, Godello. Both of these indigenous grapes tend to make incredible wine when coupled with good winemaking techniques, but Mencia, considered one of the top four Spanish red varietals, has carved quite a name out […]

Bodega Profile – Bodegas Peique SL – DO Bierzo

Bodegas Peique was created by a handful of family members who were dedicated to cultivating and elaborating quality red wine. The family has been intimately familiar with winemaking for generations, having not only lived in region of the bodega their entire lives, but having also owned, cultivated and elaborated wines for centuries. The name of the Bodega is a reflection of both the family name and their character. Their wines carry the familiar mark, Peique, accompanied by the name “Spiritual”, each one baptized as if part of the family.

Spanish Bodega Profile – Dominio de Tares – DO Bierzo

Founded in 2000, the Bodega was created with the philosophy of elaborating wines from the native varietial, Mencía, using 40 to 100 year old vines which express the complete terroir of Bierzo. Our philosophy is very different than the Château concept where one only uses grapes located from the vineyards surrounding the Bodega, whereas we rescue and revive the old vineyards throughout the Bierzo to elaborate the single variety (Mencía).

Rooftop Virtual Tasting – Mencia from the Spanish Wine Region of Bierzo!

Ok so it’s been awhile since our last Rooftop Tasting, but we’re back. I’m still not a fan of editing, so if any of you out there want to help with that send us a note. We’d love to have some help with it. Otherwise, in this episode we taste a couple of wines from Dominio de Tares for our Virtual Tasting of Bierzo! Hope you enjoy it and the Haikus…Big props for comments in Haiku form! Cheers, Ryan Opaz My notes on the wines we tasted. 2004 Dominio de Tares Bierzo Bembibre – Spain, Castilla y León, Bierzo (6/11/2007)Very dark adn inky in color. The nose at first is very tight and concentrated with big notes of black pepper […]

June’s Virtual Wine Tasting: DO Bierzo

The end of May’s Virtual Wine Tasting of the Albariño varietal ended yesterday with some fantastic contributions from both people who have been commenting quite regularly like Richard, Bill, Sonadora and Dr. Debs to newcomers like Huevosconvino and John. To all of you who are participating, Ryan and I would like to throw out a big Thank You and hope you will continue tasting with us in June. And speaking of June’s Virtual Wine Tasting, we have chosen the region of DO Bierzo. Therefore, if you all will be heading out to your favorite wine shop to look for some Bierzo wines, you may want to know a thing or two about the region. Although the Denominacion de Origen is […]