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Wines of Spain
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Spanish wine production methods and expansion rate have moved forward considerably since Alexander Hadleigh Wine Merchants first started buying and selling Iberian Wines over 40 years ago. The drive to improving quality has been equally matched by the ever increasing officially designated wine regions of Spain. No other European wine country comes any where near this phenomenal and certainly successful expansion and diversification.
Alexander Hadleigh Wine Merchants of Southampton, Hampshire, UK are committed followers of Spanish Wines and specialise in SEVEN of the major and authoritatively designated wine regions.
These regions being FIRST Rioja…..a region of 3 subzones, namely Rioja Baja, Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. All three producing red and white wines of varying styles and qualities to suit the various markets they specialise in, many growers will be producing good quality wines to match the average person's budget, while others will focusing on the top end of the market where fine Rioja Wines will be commanding prices in excess of thirty pounds a bottle. Many followers of Spanish Wines in the UK are probably more familiar with Rioja Wines than any other Spanish Wines, because of Rioja's massive exposure in the many hotels and restaurants around the Spanish Mediterranean Coastline.
Our SECOND region is the equally famous Ribera del Duero located just South of Rioja and Navarra. Ribera del Duero is highly respected by many and many see the region as Spain's most prestigious wine growing area……. it conjures up names like Pingus, Pesquera and Vega Sicilia, all great wines that command World wide respect. In reality Ribera del Duero produces great wines and fine quality wines to suit most budgets.
The THIRD region we cover is Rias Bais, an area quite different from Rioja and Ribera del Duero…..seafood is king in Galicia and so are the white wines of Rias Baixas. Much greener and damper, this landscape is not like most other parts of Spain and consequently so are the wines which are dominated by the white Albarino grape and the wine known of the same name is now found in most seafood restaurants in Spain and also the UK.
Staying towards the North of Spain our FOURTH region listed is Navarra, maybe a wine province that needs a little more publicity. There is certainly a wrong perception that wines of Navarra are of lesser standing than its close neighbours Rioja and Ribera del Duero…..not true….since Navarra produces many big lucious red wines from blends of Spanish and French grapes (yes French grapes) with some wonderful labels such as Ochoa and Chivite whose wines grace many a fine table in Europe.
Catalunya is our FIFTH listing and the wider region supports two of the well known appellations in Penedes and the distinguished Priorato wine. One could say Penedes wines are for everyday drinking and Priorato for special occasions, although there are exceptions.Castilla Y Leon is our SIXTH region which includes three ever improving subzones of Toro, Rueda and Cigales. Rueda is producing white wines of class, Toro who claim a unique Version of the Tempranillo grape produce red wines that can match most qualities in Spain. For summer drinking the light fruity wines from Cigales are perfect.
Castilla La Mancha famed for many reasons in Spain's history is the SEVENTH region of Spain where the interest of Alexander Hadleigh Wine Merchants extends. This huge central plateaux is home to many assorted grape varieties including Garnache and Tempranillo and is by far the largest single area for wine production in Spain. Careful selection will be rewarded with excellent value wines.
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Castillo del Rey Tempranillo is dark red in colour with purple hues. The wine has interesting aromas of rich dark fruit, including blackberries and blackcurrants. On the palate, there are flavours of cherries mixing well with supple tannins and hints of vanilla.
El Coto Blanco Half Bottle Rioja is produced from carefully harvested Viura grapes and fermented at low temperatures to maximise the fresh, crisp flavours of this indigenous grape. Zesty and aromatic with lively citric fruit and an elegant and refreshing taste.
Familia Castano Monastrell DO Yecla has a shiny cherry-red colour with violet reflections with intense aromas, ripe blueberries and raspberries. This monastrell is silky, well-structured and balanced. Though rich, it is fresh and pleasantly fruity on the palate with a lifted finish.
Torres San Valentin Catalunya is clear pale yellow in colour, Torres San Valentin has enticing aromas of fresh grapes, together with other fruits (ripe bananas, quince) and flowers (acacia with hints of roses and rosemary). Voluptuous and slightly sweet on the palate. The Parellada grape, the best traditional white variety found in some of the highest vineyards, produces fruity, aromatic wines with moderate alcoholic strength
Monte Llano Tempranillo, Ramon Bilbao, Rioja shows aromas of ripe grapes, red currants, blackberries, fresh with flavours of preserved fruit.
El Coto Rosado, Rioja, has been produced from Tempranillo and Garnacha grapes. It has a lovely salmon pink colour as a result of a short skin maceration and has been fermented at low temperatures to maximise the strawberry and red currant aromas. On the palate the wine is powerful with fresh aromas and ripe fruit.
Duquesa de Valladolid Verdejo Ruedo is pale straw yellow in colour with youthful green hues. On the nose, it has tropical aromas of pineapple accompanied by fresh white flowers. On the palate, it has crisp acidity, characteristic of the Verdejo
Medium bodied, dry red, easy drinking
Bodegas Olarra is located on the outskirts of Logrono in the heart of the Rioja region. Since its establishment in 1973, Olarra has been noted for the beauty and complexity of its unique premises, thanks to its Y shaped ground plan and 111 hexagonal domes. It is commonly known as the Catherdral of Rioja
Familia Castano \"Hecula\" Monastrell DO Yecla is a deep purple colour in the glass, exuding rich and elegant aromas of blueberries, ripe raspberries and liquorice with a subtle floral touch. On the palate, it is full-bodied, with an inviting richness and soft fruit that is integrated with oak notes in this extremely well balanced red.
Medium to full bodied dry red with complexity and finesse
Torres Gran Coronas Reserva, Cabernet Sauvignon,Penedes shows jammy aromas over a toasty background, elegant density, full bodied, matured in American and French oak casks for one year.
El Circo Garnacha Tinto is ruby red incolour with purple hues. It has intense aromas of ripe red fruit such as cherries and strawberries followed by a touch of warm soft spice. On the palate, it has smooth, firm tannins with good acidity and a very fruity finish.