I am very passionate about the wines of Spain as they truly express the flavor of their beautiful country and are among the world’s best values. The fruit, acid and oak (the trinity of wine) are all deftly balanced while letting the grapes personality shine.
The wines are very unique, from the white wine grapes Albariño, Godello and Verdejo to the fabulous red grapes of Garnacha, Monastrell and Tempranillo. American wine lovers are catching on to these gems from Spain as imports have increased 75 percent over the past five years.
I have selected two wines from different wine growing regions in Spain that I believe everyone will enjoy this summer. Both are made from non-mainstream grapes, see no oak and over-deliver in quality for their price.
Here is your summer white, the 2009 Shaya Verdejo ($13.49), which is stunning. Legendary Spanish importer Jorge Ordoñez calls this wine “the best white wine ever produced in Rueda.” Wow!
You may not be familiar with the Verdejo grape as it has languished in obscurity until recently. Native to northwest Spain, it is boldly aromatic, with scents of fresh cut flowers, orange blossom and white peaches. The mouthfeel is very creamy and has a luxurious, long finish. The Shaya would be perfect with Parmesan-crusted chicken with a garlic cream sauce.
As we are smack in the middle of barbecue season, we need a medium bodied, fruit-forward red where the dry tannins take a backseat. The 2009 Tarima Monastrell ($8.49) from Jumilla fits the bill.
The Tarima is 100 percent Monastrell grown on the Mediterranean coast and loaded with jammy black fruit with subtle hints of chocolate and licorice. This is the first vintage of this wine made in collaboration with Jorge Ordoñez and the Gil winemaking family, and they have hit a home run! Please chill for twenty minutes to enjoy this wine at its best.
Both of these wines are available at Seville’s Wine Shoppe. Stop in and make friends with them!
Seville Quarter, 130 E. Government St., Pensacola. 434-6211, or visit www.sevillequarter.com.