I’ve been lucky to drink some really fabulous wine from all over this year. I’ve discovered the magic of Moroccan gris, the grapefruity lushness of South American Sauvignon Blancs, and all the while Spanish wine just keeps on getting better. It suits me I guess: I like big, expressive flavours and generally opulent wines, which, if we’re going to generalise, is often what you get with Spanish wines. The sun ensures ripe, rich fruit that translate smoothly into a glass, and the varied terroir means lots of character.
Here then, are some old favourites and some of my newest discoveries when it comes to wine to splash out on.
Llopart Microcosmos Brut Nature: A lovely, 100 percent natural wine made to biodynamic methods and with bags of character. The colour of raspberries, soft early-autumn fruits in the mouth, a hint of pepperiness and the kind of irresistible mousse (bubbles) that champagne is so famous for. A gentle acidity keeps it fresh and zingy, great for food, but also the kind of pink you can drink, and drink, and drink…
Jean Leon Pago Chardonnay: Chardonnay has suffered a bit of a character bashing the past few years, but when it’s made well it really is the queen of white grapes. Jean Leon was the first to plant it in Spain and experience shows in nicely structured and stylish wine. Rich gold in the glass, brimming with tropical fruits on the nose, mellowing to ripe pears, cream and a touch of spice in the mouth. Perfect with Christmas turkey.
Tres Picos Borsao Garnacha 2005: A big, fruit-forward red that looks gorgeous in the glass. The sweetness of dark cherries followed by just a hint of spice, chocolate, smokiness and coffee, suppleness and a silky texture make it a real crowd-pleaser. It is rather dominant for food and definitely not something to put with cheese, though I suspect it would hold its own rather well with a British Christmas pud or a mince pie. For me though this is what you’d sip on as you relax with your feet up after an enormous dinner.