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Lenn Thompson

Tag Archives: Denominacion de Origen Spain

Cavatast 2007

What is it about a jam packed weekend of activity that can create such a deep feeling of satisfaction inside me? Granted, spending time around the house can be equally fulfilling, but hiking to the summit of Montserrat Mountain called Sant Jeroni standing 1,236 meters (4,055 feet) above sea-level on Saturday, followed by a Cava Tasting in heart of Cava country on Sunday, produced an intense sensation of achievement. I think part of the reason for my sense of accomplishment is because we don’t have a car, a scooter or basically anything containing two or more wheels. Hence, every time we leave our little city, we have to dedicate an entire morning to organizing which public transportation option is the […]

2005 Meritxell Palleja Nita

They say that August and September are our rainy seasons in Catalunya, but after the past four days of continual rain, I’m guessing that October will give the weather forecasters a run for their money. The mornings have brought waves upon waves of thick heavy clouds rolling over the mountains, a tidal wave of humidity. It’s breathtaking in the morning, and a bit humbling, recognizing how majestic and uncontrollable nature is. By the afternoon, the clouds have built upon themselves forming a thick suffocating white blanket over your head, and by 3pm, truck loads of water begin to fall, creating a melancholy feeling in our house. I love rain. I love the cozy, comfortable feeling it brings, but when deciding […]

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 Ignacio Marín – DO Cariñena

DO Cariñena, located just west of Catalunya in northeastern Spain, is not only one of the largest and oldest regions in Aragon, but also the first to have been demarcated in 1932. And if the name sounds familiar, it should, because it is the namesake of the grape varietal Cariñena, Manzuelo in other Northern regions of Spain, an Carignon in France. Over the years, however, this emblematic indigenous varietal has been tossed to the wayside for Garnacha, a sturdier and better suited varietal for the arid growing conditions regions in Aragon. Until the 1980′s, most of the wines from the regions were red, renowned for being big, chewy and typically sold in bulk as a blend with lighter, more delicate […]

Iberian Harvest Report

Last week, we sent out an email to both Portuguese and Spanish wineries asking for a brief quote in English about their region. Interestingly, we’ve received several quotes from Quintas around Portugal, but very few from Bodegas in Spain. However, considering the harvest has commenced as early as August in some regions, and as late as November in others, we felt an ongoing commentary might be worthwhile. Therefore, every Friday, we will post all the updates we’ve received throughout the week, and if we haven’t covered a specific region that sparks your interest, please don’t hesitate to ask. PORTUGAL Ribatejo José Monteiro de Matos – Quinta Monteiro de Matos “Harvest is delayed around 1 week, but the treatments were made […]

Bodega Profile – Viñedos de Ithaca – DOC Priorato

When was the last time you picked up a copy of Odyssey by Homer and read it from cover to cover? In curious wonder, you scratch you head thinking, “I know I read it, but for the life of me, I can’t remember the details.” I too went through the same mental gymnastics routine, finally recalling how I: hated my teacher for making us study the ridiculously difficult language, loved the book when curled up in our hammock in my brother’s sweatshirt smelling the the rich and crisp aroma of fall, and felt mystified by a culture that seemed so different from my own. Greek mythology sucked me in like a good thriller should, filling my imagination with adventure, romance […]

Go native! Wine Blogging Wednesday #37 – Indigenous Grape varieties

Generously hosted by Dr. Vino, this month’s Wine Blog Wednesday asks us to taste a wine made from a native varietal, such as the 250 available to us in Spain. Additional recognition would be given to those fortunate enough to taste the wine in the land where the grape is native, while extra accolades will go to those who compare a grape from two growing areas, such as its ancestral home and its new swanky home. To be honest, living in a peninsula that contains over 500 plus native grape varietals to choose from, we feel like this assignment is like taking candy from a baby. While many of you may need to look high and low for a grape […]

Salmos – Our Excitement and Our Disappointment

Marketing is not an easy task. Those who succeed develop an idea so profoundly ingenious and/or addictive that you find yourself sucked into it without even knowing it hit you. If we take a moment to make a quick inventory as to what physically surrounds your computer alone, or what you’ve bookmarked in your computer, I guarantee you, you’ll be amazed as how marketing has shaped your life. When marketing plays into the world of wine, we can look towards both Lancers and Mateus for their pioneering spirit. Using the idea of “different is good”, they shaped their bottles to separate themselves from the pack. The squat, heavy bottles were easy to recognize and were versatile as common household objects […]

Chardonnay in Chardonnay

So often Chardonnay gets a bad rap. ABC, anything but Chardonnay, is a common mantra in many blogs and wine websites. When done right Chardonnay can make some of the most beautiful wines, and so in tribute to what is a sometimes an overly hyped and sometimes overly criticized grape I post this photo! Taken this past Tuesday at Milmanda vineyards of the Torres winery. The winein the glass is Milmanda Chardonnay and the grape is from the vines that this wine is made from. and here’s my tasting note. Milmanda 2005White wine produced by Bodegas Torres in CONCA DE BARBERÁ, SpainNote: Light pale golden in color with a nose that has mushroom notes, followed by lime, fresh pineapple, and […]

Wine Blog Wednesday – Naked Chardonnay

Although we have promised you a complete month of Portuguese wine, we will be taking a quick break today as a result of Wine Blog Wednesday. The theme, unoaked Chardonnay, is a subject we would have loved to have covered with a Portuguese wine, but unfortunately we don’t have one at hand. While in Portugal, we had shipped close to 100 bottles of Portuguese wine containing both oaked and unoaked Chardonnays, but unfortunately, the shipment still hasn’t arrived. If you look on Google Maps, you may even be able to see Ryan’s head peering out over our balcony singing Fado while waiting forlorn for our wines. So instead, we have brought you an unoaked Chardonnay from the heart of Cava […]