Menu for march
Bodegas O Afordado 2005 Albariño 18.99
Rias Baixas is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Spectacular green hills, lovely ocean views and people who seem more Irish than Spanish. O Afordado is located in the town of Eiras, across the river from Portugal. The wine is just made for the fresh fish and shellfish that are caught in the region. Full of juicy peach flavors with tangy tangerine and lime elements, this is a wine you’ll return to again and again.
Castilla la Vieja 2005 Verdejo Espadana 11.99
I really excited about these wines from the José Pastor. This Verdejo from the Rueda region of Spain is sensational. Made from twenty five year old vines, the wine exhibits all the characteristics I love in wines from the region. Crisp, tangy, grapefruit flavors along with subtle tender green herbs…basil and tarragon. Kim has been interested in using whole fish lately and she prepared a dish the other night with some beautiful fresh, grilled whole mackerel and served it with Italian butter beans with piquillo peppers, lots of olive oil, lemon and herbs. The Espadana would be a perfect accompaniment to this dish or as an early spring aperitif.
Juan Gil 2004 Jumilla 15.99
Tasting the wines imported by Jorge Ordoñez is a walk down memory lane. I was on his Spanish tour in 2000, also know as the Death March because of it’s fanatical pace. I have never been so tired in my entire life, but the amount of Spanish history and food and wine culture Jorge shared was staggering. Juan Gil is a lusty little wine from Jorge’s portfolio with characteristics of rich, extracted fruit, a lush, sexy mouth feel and a flavor profile of black fruits…currants, cherries and berries. If you’ve succumbed to the winter blues and need a wine that is satisfying but not stupid, try this affordable wine from Jumilla.
“A serious effort, the 2004 Juan Gil is fashioned from 45-year-old Mourvedre vines and is aged for 12 months in American and French oak. This rich, full-bodied, inky/purple-tinged cuvee exhibits aromas of scorched earth, blueberries, licorice, and pepper, a savory, layered texture, and remarkable opulence for a Mourvedre.” 90 points Wine Advocate Issue 166
Cellar Can Blau 2005 Can Blau Montsant 16.99
Montsant is what Robert Parker termed the “frugal person’s Priorat”. That’s good news for us, because as much as we love the cult wines from Priorat, Clos Mogador, Finca Dofi, Clos Erasmus, but the 70.00 plus price tags make my credit card quake. Thank the wine goddess for this compelling and affordable Cariñena, Syrah and Garnacha blend. Oodles of rich blueberry fruit along with a structure and minerality, make this my late winter “go to” wine.
Mas Doix 2004 Salanques 39.99
Now, you probably think I’m fickle in one breath saying I can’t afford expensive Priorat wines and in the next breath offer a somewhat expensive wine from the region. It’s so good I could not pass it by. A blend of 60% Garnacha, 20% Cariñena and 20% Merlot it is as elegant as it is powerful. One sip and the sweet raspberry fruit and crushed stone minerality grabs your attention. Next follows darker fruits and silky tannins that the Cariñena and Merlot provide. If you’ve never tasted a wine from the Priorat, here’s your chance to taste something affordable, but hardly entry level.
Finca Luzon 2004 Altos de Luzon 16.99
Henry, my youngest son, is turning two the 22nd of March. Unlike my Pisces friends, this little boy waited just long enough past his due date to be born under the sign of Aries, an astrological sign more appropriate to his personality. “Aries is a bundle of energy and dynamism, kind of like a Pied Piper, leading people along with its charm and charisma. The dawning of a new day -- and all of its possibilities -- is pure bliss to an Aries.” From www.astrology.com. Obviously, they know my little Henry. He’s an unabashed showoff to anyone who will pay attention and in our household, that’s just about everyone. Altos de Luzon, a 50% blend of old vine Monastrell with equal additions of Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo, is a showoff, charismatic sort of wine. With flavors of dark cherry infused fruit and elements of wood smoke. With the Altos de Luzon, as with Henry, you get much more than you expect and it is all very, very good.
Colet Cava A Priori 15.99
The Xampanyerias (cava bars) in Barcelona are well known for their chic décor and cutting edge tapas. Cava flows freely at these late night haunts and pairs beautifully with delicious small plates. One might encounter house-cured anchovies, locally made chorizo, cheeses and just about every type of fish or shellfish imaginable. This is new, cava for us from the Jose Pastor collection that the Colet family produces biodynamically as they have for many years. It’s an eclectic blend of 50% Macabeo, 30% Chardonnay, 10% Riesling, 7% Gewurztraminer and 3% Muscat that’s lively, delightful and absolutely charming. Buy a bottle to celebrate the coming of spring or if you’re like me, you’ll buy a case to celebrate a plethora of March birthdays.
Tomas Cusine 2004 Vilosell 15.99
If the region, Costers del Segre sounds a little familiar, it’s because of Castell del Remei Gotim Bru, an inexpensive, delicious wine we’ve served over the years at the restaurant. Tomas Cusine made the wines at his family’s estate. Now he runs his own winery and Vilosell is a blend of 50% Tempranillo, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Garnacha and 8% Merlot that is aged nine months in French oak. Chock full of raspberry fruit, this medium-bodied wine is one of Spain’s greatest values.
Las Rocas de San Alejandro 2004 Garnacha Vina Viejas 14.99
This bottling from Las Rocas is from vines over one hundred years old. When I first opened the bottle the smell was a bit funky and reductive, but after an hour or so, the wine became a gorgeous version of pure Grenache fruit. Dark fruit flavors with a big, cozy mouth feel. It is one of those hedonistic pleasures that are extremely satisfying. You do not have to think about it. It’s just seductive and yummy. I had this bottle open for a few days and it seemed to taste even better.
Artadi 2004 Rioja Viñas de Gain 27.99
Although the entry level Rioja from Artadi, this little beauty is produced from 40-50 year old Tempranillo vines. Visionary winemaker/owner Juan Carlos Lopez de la Calle crafts a wine that is elegant and ephemeral, having more in common with Burgundy than the ever present “international style” of Rioja. Gorgeous red fruit, sweet red cherries and raspberry characteristics along with stony minerality. Now this is what I call wine perfection.