Last month I attended a tasting of 10 wines from the Valencia region of Spain. The appellation is small in size with respect to other Spanish growing areas. One of the things that really stood out is the quality ratio to price. There were a few wines that were just flat out deals and selling for much less the going market for wines of the same quality. Spain is in search of new markets for their wines as they produce more than they consume or export. Temperanillo is the driving force here as well as through out all of Spain. Here are my thoughts on the wines tasted.
1) El Villar winery Ximo. Semillion stainless steel made with one month in oak 2011. A very simple example of Semillion with clean flavors and acidity. This is well price @ $14 but there is a lot of competition in the marketplace. Almost white Graves in style.
2) Bodegas Enguera "Blanc" a blend of Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Verdil 2011. This is an exciting wine with a blend of honey, plums and lemon on the nose. Partially Oak fermented and the color shows a bit of straw against the light. Wonderful flavors and body. At $16 it is a touch high but this is full retail. There is room for price adjustment.
3) El Villar Ximo Temperanillo 2010. Very well made and useful in so many ways around a dinner or lunch of lighter foods and cheeses. $14.
4) Cherubino Winery, Marques de Caro Temperanillo 2009. This is one of the winners of the tasting. It has lovely round fruit flavors with a grip of tannin which only releases more complex fruit when enjoyed with food. Retail is only $10 a bottle and it is such a grand wine at such a low price. This is a wine which retailers and restauranteurs would love by the palate load. The drinker gets a ton of wine at a most resonable price.
5) Turis winery, Luna de Mar Tinto 2009. Cabernet, Merlot, Temperanillo and Syrah. This wine is a heavy weight in both body and taste. Very dry and dark in color. Needs time. Retail $19 is fair considering the quality.
6) Anecoop Venta del Puerto #12 2010. Cabernet, Merlot, Temperanillo and Syrah for $12 retail. This is the outstanding dollar value of the tasting. Medium full body with graceful flavors that mix into a round rich palate coating wine. A long finish of berries and wood make this just a fantastic wine for all occasions. This would be on my list for Xmas presents to folks who want a first class introduction into Spanish wines. Total deal.
7) Bodegas Enguera, Megala 2010 Montrasell and Syrah. Retail $25 this wine is very big in style the Montrasell is dominant and the color is inky black. Very extracted and needs much time. Not for the feint of heart.
8) Cherubino Marques de Caro Crianza. Shiraz, Cabernet and Bobal 2009. $15 retail and once again an excellent Crianza that displays the benefit of one year in wood.
9) Anecoop Reymos Muscat sparkling wine 2011. This is so refreshing and clean on the palate. 7.5% alcohol this is the equal of any Asti Spumante I have ever had and less expensive. Delightful and so easy to drink. Floral orange blossom aromas followed by lime and lemon peel tang on the finish. At $12 retail this is another amazing value. Open your horizons and taste this super dollar value.
10) Baronia Turis, Dona Dolca. 2011. Made from Muscat of Alexandria with a touch of alcohol to stop the fermentation. Made to resemble a Muscat de Baume de Venise from France. I am afraid it does not make the mark. Very heavy and not balanced. The 15% alcohol is not matched with acidity to make the next glass more enjoyable. Not a bad wine but in the context of the others it does not shine. The price of $8 per half bottle is very reasonable but not money well spent in my opinion.
In summary look for the wines of Valencia they represent excellent quality. Many restaurants are curious and anxious to bring in these wines as they work wonders for the bottle and by the glass programs that generate large profits.