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Bruno Michel "Blanche" Brut Champagne $34.99One of our best non-vintage Champagnes, this organically grown blend of half each Chardonnay and Meunier comes entirely from Bruno Michel's estate. It has been aged for six years on the lees and shows wonderful natural toasty quality as well as incredible vibrance! This was the big hit of our most recent staff Champagne tasting and we think you will love it too.

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Entries in Spain (41)

Friday
Jun082012

Spanish & Portuguese Wine News: Tales from Ribera, Part Two

Roman Aqueduct, Segovia

K&L staff member Sarah Covey is on location in Ribera del Duero! Follow her adventures on Uncorked!

Ribera Del Duero is broken down into 4 main provinces of Castilla y Leon: Burgos, Segovia, Soria and Valladolid. Our first stop after the Madrid airport was Segovia. Segovia is a tiny town with multiple churches, monuments, and most importantly- the town's famous specialty: Cochinillo. After wandering the town, we hit up the restaurant where we had our little cochinillo- which I quickly learned meant roasted suckling pig. 

Jose Maria Restaurant

There was nothing that could quite prepare me for the sight of my little roasted piggies for lunch, but thankfully there was an appetizer of deep fried piggies which preceded it, accompanied by my first Ribera Del Duero wine in country: the Pago de Carraovejas 2011. Not officially classified as a Cosecha, or Joven, wine because it had not been in bottle long enough, it was made by the owners of the restaurant specifically for use in the restaurant. Delicious and just what our jet-lagged selves were needing!

Then, with much fanfare, they brought out the little roasted piggies, which had been roaming around Segovia not 2 days before...

Cochinillo

The cochinillo were then ceremoniously whacked over their little noggins and down their spines with a ceramic plate, and then the plate was thrown onto the floor to break so as to prove to us at the table that there was no steel in the plate- the piggies were just that crispy and juicy. Quite a show!

From Segovia we drove to our home base for the week- Penafiel, where we have been staying in the hotel owned and operated by the famous Ribera winemaker Alejandro Fernandez of Tinto Pesquera. His family runs the hotel in addition to other parts of his winemaking business. The hotel is a beautiful interpretation of the classic architecture of the town and the more modern Spanish architecture, with stylistic accents which are similar to the Tinto Pesquera bottle labels.

 

 

 

The view from our hotel of the Castille de Penafiel is an incredible backdrop to ponder our experiences in the region...

 

Next up: our first days with wineries in the region. Stay tuned! In the mean time, give this classic Ribera del Duero from Tinto Pesquera a try, in stock now at K&L:

91 ST: "Deep, bright violet. Blackberry, cherry-vanilla and licorice on the oak-spiced nose. Deep, sweet and pliant, but with very good juicy character and spicy lift to its dark fruit preserve and licorice flavors. Finishes velvety and long, with fine-grained tannins, a repeating notes of licorice and impressive clarity."

 

 

Salud!

-Sarah

***

Sarah C. Covey

Wine Sales Professional

K&L Wine Merchants - Redwood City

sarahcovey@klwines.com

Need wine advice? Check out my wine reviews on KLWines.com

Wednesday
Jun062012

Spanish & Portuguese Wine News: Tales from Ribera, Part One

K&L staff member Sarah Covey is on location and blogging LIVE from Ribera del Duero! Follow her in her adventures on as she keeps us updated on Uncorked!

Saturday morning, I watched the sun rise over San Francisco. Sunday morning, I watched the sun rise over Madrid. Enjoying a cafe con leche in the balmy morning light, myself and three international wine professionals waited for the rest of our colleagues to arrive from the United States. 18 of us from all over the country were invited by the "Drink Ribera. Drink Spain" campaign to participate in a week long passport trip to Ribera Del Duero. 

Ribera Del Duero is located in Spain's northern plateau, about 2 hours north of Madrid. Officially, the Denominacion de Origen (D.O.) of Ribera Del Duero was founded in 1982, by a group of wine producers and growers who were committed to the promotion of standards of quality for their wines. Historically, wine has been made in Ribera since the Roman times, falling in and out of practice with Spain's complicated history, but only in the last 30 years has there been an explosion in the incredible quality of the region's wines. Today, Ribera Del Duero provides a benchmark for Spanish wines in the global market. 

95% of the wine in Ribera is made from Tempranillo, known locally as Tinto Fino or Tinto del Pais. The clone of Tinto Fino used here is specific to Ribera, and the wines are deeply expressive of this place. This is not your Tempranillo from Rioja or from Southern Spain! The Duero River Valley provides soil as diverse as those in Burgundy, with each little village producing incredibly varied expressions of this one grape. There are 8,356 growers and 270 wineries here, producing a mere 1/2 million litres of wine a year. Ribera is at high elevation (2,500 to 2,800 feet), and though the climate is very extreme- snow in the winter and blistering heat in the summer- it is perfect for quality winemaking.

Tinto Fino

The Consejo Regulador de la Denominacion de Origen Ribera Del Duero is the govering body that oversees all aspects of the viticultural and winemaking process for all of the wines in the DO. They dictate where the grapes originate, the varieties and percentages used, vineyard practices (including pruning, density, and yields), winemaking procedures, alcohol levels and labeling. Though this sounds terribly restrictive, it provides a fantastic structure in which producers are able to create truly outstanding wines. 

The Consejo Building

The schedule for the week is pretty incredible. We've got a lecture from the Consejo to start, 30 wineries to meet who would like to be represented in the United States, 11 wineries to visit which vary in history, winemaking and style, and many, many tapas to sample along the way. 

Salud & stay tuned!

-Sarah

 

Wednesday
May302012

Spanish & Portuguese Wine News 5/29/12: Miguel Merino is Coming to Town! 

By: Joe Manekin | K&L Spanish & Portuguese Wine Buyer

Greetings Iberiophiles,

Very exciting news:  On Tuesday June 19th and Wednesday June 20th, we will be hosting Mr. Miguel Merino, of the eponymously named bodega in Briones, La Rioja, Spain.  Many of you may know that Miguel Merino represents our first official foray into directly imported wines from Spain.  If you have tried these wines, then you should know that they are absolutely a reflection of the man:  gregarious and loads of fun, yet well informed and just old school enough to know that you are certainly dealing with The Real Deal.  Whether you want to enhance your knowledge of Rioja, discuss the minutiae of converting a 15th century farmhouse into a functioning bodega, or simply would like to sample some first rate wines with one of the friendliest and most entertaining folks I've ever met in the business, you really ought to come  to one (or both) of these events.  We will be hosting an in-store tasting in Redwood City and a very small, intimate dinner at Contigo in San Francisco.  Details below:

In-store tasting with Miguel Merino in Redwood City, Tuesday June 19th (5-6:30pm) Come and taste our full line-up of Miguel Merino wines with the owner himself.  Learn about the various terroirs of Briones, the origin of Merino's graciano plants, Miguel's very thorough, three tiered selection process, where to find the best foie gras tapa in Haro, amongst many other topics to be sure. $5 to taste.

http://www.facebook.com/events/473883769295261/?context=create  invite friends!

Very intimate wine dinner with Miguel Merino at Contigo in SF, Wednesday June 20th at 8:30pm Join Miguel and me and enjoy his wines with Brett Emerson's wonderful Catalan inspired cuisine at Contigo in Noe Valley.  We will be pouring the following wines (as well as a few special surprises): 

2008 Miguel Merino "Viñas Jovenes" Crianza Rioja

2009 Miguel Merino Mazuelo de Quinta Cruz Rioja

2005 Miguel Merino Reserva Rioja

2004 Miguel Merino Gran Reserva Rioja

2008 Miguel Merino "Unnum" Rioja

When I say intimate, I do mean intimate. Only 15 spots are available, first come, first served. We have reserved the outdoor (heated) patio, which is perfect for this amount of people.  There will be five courses served.  Please respond to this email if you are interested, or feel free to call us at 650.364-8544 to order your ticket.  Cost is $100 (wine, gratuity and tax all included)

Un saludo,

Joe

---

Joe Manekin

Spanish, Portuguese, Latin American Wine Buyer

K&L Wine Merchants

Ph: 877.559.4637 ext. 2748

joemanekin@klwines.com

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