Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Boston Wine Expo: Wines of Spain

Last year at the Boston Wine Expo, I was pleased to visit the booth of Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana, a Spanish Sherry bodega which now also makes still wines. Back in 2010, I visited this winery in Sanlúcar de Barrameda and it was one of the highlights of my visit to the Sherry region. They produce some amazing Sherries from Manzanilla to VORS Palo Cortado, and I highly recommend you enjoy any of their Sherries. Please read my previous article, Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana: Manzanilla Mecca, for background information about this winery and see my Expo post from last year for reviews for some of their wines.

This year, while speaking to the Hidalgo La Gitana representatives, they mentioned that they have been improving the quality in their vineyards, noting that the grapes are more important than some other wineries seem to consider, who see the solera method as the most important aspect of wine making. Hidalgo La Gitana have also been trying to make improvements in the cellar, in the solera process used to make their sherries. In addition, they are now making their own whiskey, which has currently aged for about eight years, and will be aged in Pedro Ximenez barrels and then finished in Oloroso Sherry barrels. I look forward to when they eventually release this whiskey.

My Top Favorite Wine of the Boston Wine Expo was their Wellington Palo Cortado VOS, which is an average of 20 years old. This is an amazing wine, complex and compelling, intriguing and delicious. The melange of aromas and flavors found in this Sherry will tantalize your senses, including roasted nuts, caramel, vanilla, and a briny element. It is elegant and ethereal, very food friendly, and the finish lingers and lingers within your mouth, making you crave another sip. Sherry is so under appreciated in the U.S. but this is the type of Sherry that would convert any wine lover. Highly recommended!

Quixotes's Wines imports Spanish wines from the region of Castilla-La Mancha and presented wines from several different wineries at the Expo. I stopped at the booth for Bodegas Villavid as they had a couple wines made with the Bobal grape. Bodegas Villavid, a cooperative that was founded over 50 years ago, is located in the Manchuela D.O.. It has more than 600 members, working on over 1600 hectares of vineyards. About 70% of the vineyards have Bobal, which once was used mainly as a blending grape. Though Bobal is indigenous to the region of Utiel-Requena, it is grown in a few other regions, such as Manchuela. Bobal derives its name from the Latin term "bovale" which refers to the shape of a bull’s head.

The Bodegas Villavid Rosado is made from 100% Bobal, and the wine spent 6-8 hours macerating on the skins. With pleasing red fruit aromas, this is a dry and more full bodied Rosé with rich flavors of cherry and raspberry. With a crisp acidity, there is also a subtle hint of spice, especially on the moderately long finish. Very food friendly and just plain delicious. Highly recommended.

The 2014 Bodegas Villavid Roble Bobal, made from 100% Bobal, spent 3 months in American oak. It is smooth and easy drinking, with bright cherry and strawberry flavors, enhanced by subtle spice notes. It is medium-bodied, with good acidity and a moderately long finish. A perfect burger and pizza wine as well as an everyday quaffer sure to please.

Did you taste any compelling Spanish wines at the Boston Wine Expo?  

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