Saturday, December 15, 2007

Spanish Wines Get Dissed

I am disturbed. I am a major fan of Spanish wines, both of their inexpensive, high value wines, as well as their excellent higher-end wines. I have been to Spain, visited a number of wineries in five different wine regions, and was quite impressed with what I tasted. I have a good number of Spanish wines in my cellar, of all prices ranges.

I know my friends over at Catavino would agree with my sentiments. They know the high quality of numerous Spanish wines.

Yet I read an article today from someone who is not impressed at all with higher-end Spanish wines. In the Citizen's Voice, David Falchek wrote an article, "Spain’s wines fall short of potential." In this article, he explained his dislike for high-end Spanish wines.

David does have something positive to say about some Spanish wines. He stated: "The best wines, from a quality/value standpoint, were the $12 and under category where the wines were refreshing, enjoyable and unpretentious."

But he dislikes the more expensive wines. He thinks they are overpriced and the quality is not equal to comparably priced wines from other regions. He provides short reviews of five Spanish wines, only one costing over $20. Most of those wines do not fare well. He does claim to have "been to trade tastings where hundreds of Spanish wines are being poured..." And he was not impressed with the more expensive wines. Though he does not mention which higher-end wines he tasted.

I would like to know which high-end wines he has tasted. I have tasted a fair share of higher-end Spanish wines and have found plenty to impress me. I have reviews of many of them on my blog. I know plenty of others as well who have been impressed with such wines. To broadly dismiss an entire country's higher end wines seems to me to be an unjust generalization.

A quick look at some of his wine recommendations and articles from the Citizen's Voice seems to indicate a preference for wines under $20. Could he be biased against higher-end wines in general? If not, which higher-end wines does he think are worth the price?

I will keep supporting Spanish wines. I have met some of the winemakers that are creating wines I consider excellent, and worth their prices. I just posted earlier today about an exceptional Spanish dessert wine, well worth its high price. Taste the wines yourself. Give them a chance to show you their quality.

1 comment:

Ryan @ Catavino said...

"Many of the county’s 3 million acres of vineyards are old, unproductive and not very efficient. The industry is being modernized and recreated. Spain has the potential to make a more profound mark on the wine world than Australia had in the 1990s or Chile in this decade."

THis is hilarious, these type of statements were being made a decade ago. Maybe this guy only started reading the old news a while ago.

BTW his love of RedGuitar is fine, but RedGuitar by the owners own admission is attempting to be the Yellow Tail of Spain. I know the guy who sources the grapes for this and it's basically a big blend, made expressly for the American Palate and has no distribution here in Spain for that reason.

Finally for him to say "I’ve been to trade tastings where hundreds of Spanish wines are being poured and my impressions were confirmed. The best wines, from a quality/value standpoint, were the $12 and under category where the wines were refreshing, enjoyable and unpretentious."

and then
"The only wine I tried that came close to channeling the Bordeaux style so many strive to copy"

and then
"When buying Spanish wines, you may see the word “criança,” which means the wine was aged in oak. Some common grape varieties used in Spain include tempranillo, Spain’s answer to deep, rich cabernet sauvignon, and the lighter and fruitier garnacha (known as grenache elsewhere)."

First of, he must be not tasting a TON of wines. Second Tempranillo is NOT Spain's answer to Cabernet Sauvignon, it's laughable, we make Great Cab in addition to Tempranillo, a different beast all together. Oh and the "fruitier Grenacha statement makes it clear that he DOES NOT taste many spanish wines. Priorat and Calatayud with their deep inky dense wines, are far from light fruity creations.

Finally why the hell would we want to make wine like Bordeaux? We are Spain, leave Bordeaux wines in Bordeaux, and we'll make Spanish wines thank you that one day Bordeaux can aspire too.

Ignorance is a dangerous thing!