Two Not-To-Be-Missed Spanish Wine Bargains

by artfuldiner on October 15, 2018

in Artful Diner Mini Review, Breaking News, Opinion, Wine

Nessa Albarino 2017ADEGAS GRAN VINUM – 2017 Nessa Albariño: Adegas Gran Vinum is a second generation, family owned winery that has been producing Albariño since the 1980s, prior to the creation of the Denomination of Origin Rías Baixas. The winery has 3.2 hectares (8 acres) of its own vineyards; the remainder of its grapes are purchased from several growers.

Albariño is a low-yielding, high-quality white wine grape grown in Spain’s Galicia region, as well as Portugal’s Vinho Verde, where it is called Alvarinho. Although reasonably productive, the grapes are so thick-skinned that only a small amount of juice can be extracted. Although Albariño wines are highly prized in both Spain and Portugal, the grape varietal is rarely cultivated elsewhere.

Over the past 15 years, Albariño has blossomed into Spain’s most notable white wine and has also become exceedingly popular with American wine lovers. Why? For starters, the grape produces a highly approachable wine with a mix of floral, oceanic and citrus aromas. On the palate, a good Albariño is racy but not at all sharp, exhibiting a touch of minerality that is derived from the granite bedrock that exits throughout the Rías Baixas region. Secondly, Albariño is a marvelously food-friendly wine that pairs particularly well with seafood such as shellfish, lobster and grilled fish.

One of the consequences of Albariño’s increased popularity is the fact that it is becoming more and more difficult to lay your hands on an acceptable bottle priced in the mid-teens. Fortunately, the 2017 Nessa Albariño is a marvelous exception to the general rule. This lovely wine is rife with subtle floral aromas that lead to ripe peach flavors and an incredibly satisfying citrus acidity. The best part, of course, is the price. The 2017 Nessa is available from Pennsylvania State Stores for a mere $16.99.


Can Blau 2015CELLERS CAN BLAU – 2015 Can Blau: Celler Can Blau is located in the Donominació d’Origen Montsant, a wine region in Catalonia, northern Spain. Vines were first introduced to the area by the Romans thousands of years ago; and Catholic monks continued the viticultural tradition during the Middle Ages. Montsant has earned a reputation for its high-quality red wines, particularly those based on old Garnacha and Carignan vines.

Cellers Can Blau is part of the Gil Family Estates, which has brought together ten different artisanal vineyards from across Spain’s major wine regions. The increased exposure of these small estates has seen them receive consistently high ratings from international critics that belie their consistently accessible price points. This makes Gil Family wines an enological rarity: small-production wines that are both exceptionally good values and also extremely rewarding.

And the 2015 Can Blau, which recently received an impressive 93 points (100-point scale) from wine critic James Suckling, is a first-rate example of a reasonably priced vintage that over-delivers on the palate. This wine is a Rhone Red blend of 40% Mazuelo (Carignan), 40% Syrah, and 20% Garnacha. With its high yields, Carignan produces more red wine that any other grape variety – most of it quite ordinary. The grape is noted for its deep purple color, high tannins, and high alcohol. At its best, it produces wines that are fruity and quite spicy. Carignan is most often blended with wines from softer grapes, primarily Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah.

The 2015 Can Blau, exhibits a great deal of sweet spicy oak, chocolate and vibrant red fruits… yet is remains soft and fluid on the palate… And the price is quite fluid as well; a mere $13.99 and readily available through PA State Stores.

Both the 2017 Nessa Albariño and 2015 Can Blau are exceptional wines at exceptional price points and are well worth seeking out.



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