Wines of the week - Seasonal choice from Spain

by Alan Kingsbury - Monday December 5, 2016 1:12 pm

Let's kick off our Spanish Christmas with  Codorníu’s glamorously bottled sparkler, Cuvée Barcelona Brut Cava NV (£12.99 Waitrose).

Exuberantly decorated in  Art Nouveau style, Cuvée Barcelona employs regional grape varieties Macabeu, Xarel·lo and Parrellada brought to bubbling brilliance in the traditional method.

The bottle fermentation gives a full, strong mousse with the streams of small bubbles awash with flavours of orchard fruits, citrus notes and a dry, biscuity finish.

Anyone looking for a versatile, easy drinking red wine at a modest price this Christmas would do well to look at Castillo de Albai Tempranillo 2014 which is currently on offer for only £5.50 at Sainsbury's.

This youthful, vibrant Rioja, from makers Pagos del Rey, surprised us with its quality during our seasonal tastings. It is made without any oak ageing resulting in a fruity, cherry-packed palate which is well balanced with some yummy soft tannins.

Outside of Rioja, one of the most exciting areas of development for Spanish red wines is the Duero valley in Castilla y León.

From here comes Hacienda Zorita Natural Reserve Syrah 2011. Usually priced at £19.99, it is on offer at Ocado for £13.99 until January 3rd.

It's a deeply coloured and savoury wine which has been winning accolades around Europe.

This powerfully structured 100% Syrah revels in its dark red fruit character which is enveloped in warmly spiced tannins and a hefty 14.5% alcohol.

It's an ideal wine for the winter season, well suited to accompany gamey roasts and mature cheeses.

Finally, a little gem of a Spanish white from the granitic soils of Galicia’s Ribeiro region.

Unless you're lucky enough to find Alter White 2015 (9 euros Alter) on a restaurant wine list in the UK, it currently needs to be purchased direct from the producer.

Made with regional Treixadura and Godello grape varieties, this pale, freshly scented wine combines vivacity and delicacy in equal measure.

Flavours of green apple and hints of pineapple are given a twist of grapefruit for a refreshing acidic 'twang', while the dry minerality makes it a perfect partner to tapas dishes.

What characterises all of these wines is the delivery of traditional style with a modern edge; and that's what Spain is so good at today.

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