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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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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.
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.
Bago Amarelo Albarino is a bright yellow colour in the glass with glints of green. It has intense aromas of mango, citrus and ripe apple, as well as nuances of peach. A well structured palate, balanced and fresh, with a rich tropical character and a long lingering finish.
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
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.
Bodegas Arraez Vivir Sin Dormir Organic Monastrell has a very dark red colour in the glass with glints of purple. It has bright plum and cherry fruit on the nose. On the palate it is fruit forward and offers lovely black fruit flavours well integrated with smooth tannins.
Vetus \"Flor de Vetus\" Verdejo DO Rueda is bright yellow in colour with hints of green. On the nose it is intense and harmonious with a rich citrus and peach fruit character. On the palate, tropical notes with ripe lemon touches lead onto a long, lively and refreshing finish.
Medium to full bodied dry red with complexity and finesse
Marques de Caceres Crianza Tinto, Rioja is full-bodied, fragrant with some ageing in both French and American oak casks An expertly-crafted Rioja Crianza combining vibrant berry fruits with the merest seasoning of spicy oak. A popular blend of Tempranillo,Graciano and Garnacha grapes
Marques de Burgos Roble DO Ribera del Duero has an intense cherry colour with purple hues. Flavours of wild berries and hints of violets provide lovely perfume on the nose. Notes of liquorice, which is very typical of the Tempranillo grape variety, along with touches of cacao and vanilla persist on the palate and long finish.
Cien Y Pico \"En Vaso\" Bobal has a vibrant nose which shows abundant fruit, along with chocolate and coffee notes. Blackberries, blackcurrants and soft warm spices, along with cocoa and mulberry on the palate. It is soft with juicy tannins and an uplifting fruit finish.
Cien Y Pico \"Doble Pasta\" Garnacha Tintorera has perfumes of damsons, blueberries and cherries on the nose. The palate is intense and flavourful, supported by supple tannins and good acidity. The ripe powerful fruit character reverberates on the finish.
El Coto Blanco Verdejo, Rioja has been produced with grapes of the Verdejo variety from the highest altitude vineyard in the DOCa Rioja. Fermentation at a very low temperature makes it possible to extract tropical fruit, fennel and anise aromas. On the palate it is unctuous, lively and elkegant with a persistent freshness.