112 Wines for 2012
David Seijas was El Bulli’s sommelier until it shut last year, a ‘nariz de oro’ (golden nose) winner in 2006, and he also picked up a couple of prizes for gastronomic writing.
Yet, his approach to wine is accessible, enthusiastic and easy to get, unlike so many wine guides that comprise a lengthy list of wines without giving you any real idea as to whether you might like it or not. Think of him, if you like, as the Jamie Oliver of Spanish wine.
112 Vinos Para El 2012 (Grijalbo publishing) is the third in a series that gives a solid overview of the best wines to be drinking over the next year. Most of it is Spanish with the odd nod to French, Italian and a handful of new world offerings that come with clear explanations as to what the wine tastes like and who might like it. One of his champagne recommendations—David Léclapart L’Amateur—for example, Seijas says isn’t for beginners, but is a "little jewel" for aficionados. Meanwhile his cheap and cheerful suggestions would please most palettes (and, for that matter, budgets) like the well-established Can Feixes Blanc Selecció 2010 (a favourite of mine right back when I first arrived in Barcelona) and less well-known bottles like Valdelosfrailes Vendimia Seleccionada 2005 from the D.O.Cigales.
The book is split into 14 categories, which range from day-to-day wines, curiosities, barbecue suggestions, gifts for wine lovers, fizz and sweet wines, covering pretty much everything else in between. His choices cover well-established wineries to more obscure, boutique bodegas and a useful appendix gives an average price for each bottle. Of the full selection, there were 15 or so that I knew and rate just as highly. Suffice to say I’ll be investigating the remaining 97 over the coming year.
Cheers then friends, and here’s wishing you all a happy and prosperous 2012.