I thought I would share some of the wines we picked up at the show with you and our overall experience of being back at the Wine Festival.
We arrived about 45 mins to show time and there was little to no lineup when we got there. By the time 7 pm came about, there was maybe 100 people in line, but we all got into the show with little to no delay. They were handing out free wine glasses for us to take home and keep from the show, when we were going though the doors, which was pretty cool. We grabbed a book of all the wineries and wines that were represented and began our tasting. It was hard to pick where to start first, so we just went to each winery booth, saw what they had to offer and if we hadn’t tried it or own it in our cellar, we tried what they had to offer.
Most of the wines we tried were excellent and some stood out more than others. This year the plan was to only bring home what we really loved, so we were to try to limit it to one case. In the end we brought home almost 2 cases of wine.
There were a lot of people there, but everyone was having fun and got to speak with quite a few people that either recognized me from weddings that I shot, or met new friends at the show and shared and spoke of our experiences at various booths, what was good and what was excellent.
Here are the wines we brought home with us from the show.
Birds & Bees We bought the Sweet White and the Sweet Malbec. This wine comes from the San Martin region in Argentina from the Trivento Bodegas Vineyard.
This is a very sweet wine, similar to that of a Late Harvest style wine. It is a great wine to sit and relax on a hot summer day or to have for desert instead of desert. The bouquet is of jasmine, pear, cut peaches. It tastes like mangoes, pear, and a hint of green apples. It is a light easy to drink wine and low in alcohol content.
This is a deep red wine with a ton of flavour and sweetness to it. It is again in the style of a Late Harvest wine. On the nose, the bouquet is of orange blossom, honeysuckle and has a deep ripe red fruit taste to it. Both wines are to be served cold.
We picked up two amazing wines from the vineyard. We purchased the 2016 Pinot Noir and the 2016 Pinot Blanc. They are located in the Rheinhassen part of Germany. They are both a sweet and light wine, great for summer times on the deck.
2016 Pinot Noir
This a deep red wine, with the smell of dark fruit, dried black cherry. It is a sweeter tasting Pinot Noir with light undertones or deep ripe red fruit, blackberry, ripe cherries and raspberries.
2016 Pinot Blanc
This a a light straw coloured wine, light to medium body with the bouquet of pear, apples, wet limestone. It is a sweeter tasting wine than most Pinot Blancs, but it does come from Germany, and most German wines are on the sweeter side. The taste of the wine has hints of pear, apple, lemon zest, green almond and crushed gravel.
We picked up three pretty cool wines from the Wine Festival. These are sweet wines that are meant to be served very cold. They are located in Aragon, Spain.
Lolea No 1. Red Sparkling
Traditional tasting notes begin by talking about colour and appearance. Here there are no surprises a light cherry red tone, clean, bright and attractive with a slight effervescence of fine, steady bubbles. Next is the olfactory phase.
Here, Lolea sets itself apart from all other sangrias that we have tasted so far. It smells like a fresh, young wine! And of cherry, orange peel, lemon drops, cinnamon and sour strawberry. Its intense, pleasant aromas are married with crisps nuances of grapes and sweet fruit. But the best has yet to come. Full-bodied and ample on the palate, Lolea confirms all the olfactory suspicions, following them with the experience of a wide array of ripe red berries and blue flowers, where you appreciate the noblest part of the wine and tannins.
It has a very silky carbonic composition and slightly bitter finish that invites you to enjoy it.
Lolea No. 2 White Sparkling
This Clarea boasts its own special personality. An aromatic Mediterranean grape is used for the wine base and a subtle hint of vanilla blends with essential citrus aromas of lemon and orange, without losing freshness. The result is a very balanced and elegant Clarea, more sophisticated and chic than its red wine twin but equally fine with a persistent flavour and fragrance, hints of jasmine, apricot and loquat, and a great balance between acidity and sweetness.
Lolea No. 5 Frizzante Rose
A sophisticated and stylish take on Sangria crafted with a blend of frizz ante rose made from Garnacha and Tempranillo grapes, with hibiscus flower and refreshing ginger natural flavors. This fashionable rose displays an attractive pale pink color in the glass, with a slightly sweet and floral bouquet. On the palate it offers generous fruit flavors balanced by subtle floral notes of the hibiscus and an enticing warmth of ginger, with a refreshingly gentle effervescent finish.
We picked up this very cool wine at the show. It comes from the Bodegas Vineyard in Alicante Spain. The bouquet is of fruity, floral notes, lightly sweet, well-mineralised beneath the fruit with a fine persistent bubble. Drink as an aperitif or with a simple fruit dessert.
Daringa Cellars Mead
Mead is one of the oldest beverages known to man. In Greek Mythology it was known as Ambrosia “The Nectar of the Gods”. Because of its legendary qualities as an aphrodisiac it became known as the honey moon drink. It is naturally fermented from Australian honey and does not contain any added alcohol. It comes from McLaren Vale in Southern Australia.
It has a bouquet of strong cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and apple cider. The taste is amazing. There are tons of sweet red apples, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel, honey with a mellow sweet finish.
Here are some of the wines I took photos of at their booths.
To get ready for this weekend’s Winnipeg Wine Festival, which features Wines from Spain, I thought it might be fun to learn a bit about Spanish wines, it’s regions and the grape varieties that make up their wines.
When it comes to learning about Spanish wine, it is important to get to know the different grape varieties that are grown in Spain as well as their geographic distribution.
In Spain, wines are classified into different wine regions, each with their own set of wine laws and quality standards. Currently, Spain has 69 major wine regions, the more correct term being “Designation of Origin” (D.O.).
You are most likely familiar with at least a few of them. Some of the most well-known wine regions of Spain are Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Penedés, Navarra, Rueda, Cava, Rias Baixas, Jeréz, & La Mancha.
Be careful not to mix up the name of the grape with the name of the wine region. It is quite common for people to confuse them. You should know that when asking for a “Rioja” you are referring to the Designation of Origin. However, if you order an “Albariño” wine, for example, you are naming the grape variety. The wine region is called Rias Baixas.
Let’s look at some grape varieties that come from Spain. Most people around the world would not necessarily recognize these names but they are the main force of traditional Spanish wine.
Grape names are not much used in Spain. In most restaurants or wine shops, wines are classified according to their origin. Spanish wine regulations limit regions, which means that in order to understand how a wine will be you should know something about that particular region! More and more producers do however include the name of the grape in their labels. We will list here the most important and common Spanish grape varietals.
Red varieties grapes
Tempranillo is the best known quality Red Wine Grape in Spain. “Temprano” means early in Spanish, and the name Tempranillo refers to the early time the grape has been traditionally harvested. Tempranillo is also known as Tinto Fino in Ribera del Duero, Cencibel in La Mancha and Ull de Llebre in Catalonia. Its home is however La Rioja. Tempranillo produces fresh and fruit young red wines but it shows its best when oak aged.
A grape of Spanish origin despite most people associate it with the Rohne valley in France. This grape can be found in nearly all wine countries around the world. In Spain, it is found in the Northeast area, La Rioja, Navarra, Aragón and Cataluña. In Rioja it is normally blended with Tempranillo. This grape can produce fruity wines, with raspberry aromas.
Found mainly in Valencia, Bobal wines are full bodied and colourful. Their quality has witnessed a very important increase in the last years.
It is the typical grape of Murcia and the south of Valencia. It produces powerful wines with great structure and a strength somewhat higher than normal. A few years ago, these wines were very successful in Anglo-Saxon countries.
You are right, this is not a Spanish grape varietal! The increasing demand for varietal wines in importing countries has made many Spanish plant cabernet. As cabernet grows well nearly everywhere, the results have been very good in Spain. As Cabernet is fairly tannic it is often blended with other grapes to produce more complex wines. You will find Cabernet wines in different regions in Spain (La Mancha, Catalonia, Navarra, etc.)
Yet again another French grape variety in Spain. Merlot has also been quiet successful (though to a lesser extent than Cabernet) in Spain and can be found in many different regions.
Syrah has become relatively popular in Spain, mainly in La Mancha and in the Mediterranean areas. In Spain you will find a very different Syrah to the Rhone or Australian Syrah. Spanish Syrah wines are normally full bodied, high in alcohol.
Tinta de Toro is of the Tempranillo grape family and is most typically grown in Zamora.
The Cariñena and Garnacha grape varieties are both widespread in different regions of Spain and in other wine-producing countries around the world.
There are many more red wine grape varieties: Manto Negro from the Balearic islands, Negramoll and Listán Negro from the Canary islands, Prieto Picudo from León, Brancellaoand Caíño from Galicia. Also, in Galicia, Alicante, and Albacete, we can find the interesting grape variety called Garnacha Tintorera, the only variety of red grape whose pulp is also purple.
White grapes varieties
Typical grape of the D.O. Rueda. Wine from this grape have gained lots of commercial strength in the recent past. Verdejo wines are aromatic (with a tropical character), with body. Some producers opt for oak aging, and the results have been very good.
Sometimes this Spanish grape varietal is thought to be the name of the appellation of origin where the wines are produced (Rias Baixas in the Northwest of Spain, in Galicia) Albariño wines are aromatic, crispy and with a distinctive aroma. It produces acid wines, but also with high glycerine that gives them a silky texture.
Another grape from the Northwest of Spain, Godello is a high quality grape that produces very aromatic wines.
Used mainly for Fino production in the South of Spain.
Xareló, Parellada and Macabeo (or Viura)
These are the 3 grapes tradionally used to produce Cava.
Though unknown to many people, this Spanish white varietal is the world’s most planted grape in the world. The grape was traditionally used for the production of alcohol that served as the base for Brandy.
7 Types of Spanish Red Wine
Tasting Notes: Sour Cherry, Plum, Spicy Black Pepper and Bay Leaf
Average cost: $10–20
Regions: Rioja Crianza, Ribera del Duero Roble and Crianza, Valdepeñas, Tinto de Toro, La Mancha, Castilla-León, Extremadura
A juicy and spicy style of Tempranillo that typically receives less than a year of aging. Because wines are not aged long, they are spicy, fleshy, and tart. Most value-driven Tempranillo tastes lighter-bodied and lacks the complex flavors of brown spices from oak-aging.
Tasting Notes: Cherry, Dried Fig, Vanilla and Cedar
Bold high tannin wines that embellish Tempranillo’s best qualities that are aged for several years in oak and bottle. The aging of Tempranillo softens the variety’s spiciness and flavors become almost sweet and dried. The extended cost of aging explains why this style typically costs more. Keep your eyes peeled for wines labeled with Reserva and Gran Reserva.
Tasting Notes: Strawberry, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Hibiscus and Black Tea
Average cost: $12–18
Regions: Calatayud, Somotano, Navarra, Cariñena, Campo de Borja, La Mancha
Garnacha is known as Grenache in France, but the grape originated in Spain. This fresh and juicy style of Garnacha is a bouquet of sweet red fruit and a smooth iced tea like finish. You’ll find this style of Garnacha in Northern Spain close to the border of France in the encompassing regions of Aragon and Navarra. Young Garnacha typically makes a wonderfully candied red fruit flavored Sangria.
High-End Garnacha and blends
Tasting Notes: Grilled Plum, Red Licorice, Juniper and Crushed Gravel
Average cost: $25–35
Regions: Vinos de Madrid, Campo de Borja, Priorat, Méntrida
High-end Garnacha wines are bold and complex with high tannin and dark raspberry flavors. Wines are aged longer and typically come from old vines.
You can find single varietal Garnacha around Madrid, where old vines in high elevation vineyards produce concentrated wines. In Spain, the Priorat regionalso uses Garnacha blended with Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cariñena and delivers bolder styles with blackberry and licorice. Incredible stuff.
Tasting Notes: Blackberry Sauce, Chocolate, Potting Soil and Smoke
Average cost: $10–18
Regions: Jumilla, Alicante, Valencia, Bullas, La Mancha, Yecla
Monastrell is the same wine as Mourvèdre in France, but it’s actually a wine of Spanish origin. (Perhaps we should all be calling it Monastrell!)
Wines are intensely bold with high tannin, black plum, chocolate, and black pepper flavors. Monastrell is primarily produced in Central Spain.
Most wines are produced in affordable style and offer excellent value. Investigate the regions of Valencia, Alicante, Jumilla, Bullas and Yecla for amazing options.
Tasting Notes: Pomegranate, Black Licorice, Crushed Gravel and Graphite
Mencía (pronounced Men-THEE-ah) is a unique medium bodied wine that grows in Spain and Portugal. Wine collectors have likened Mencía it to Grand Cru Burgundy because of its’ layers red fruit, floral aromas and moderate mouth-drying tannins.
The wines are made in Northwest Spain around the encompassing region of Galicia and in Portugal in the Dão region.
Wines from Bierzo and Monterrei tend to be more full bodied and wines from Valdoerras tend to be lighter. The Monterrei and Ribeira Sacra regions sometimes blend Mencía with other local grapes including Bastardo.
Tasting Notes: Black Cherry, Dried Green Herbs, Violet and Cocoa Powder
Average cost: $15–18
Regions: Utiel-Requena, Manchuela
A relatively unknown grape outside of Spain due to the fact that very little exported. Still, Bobal is one of Spain’s most planted grapes. It grows mostly in Central Spain where it’s prized for its deep opaque purple colour, high tannins, and black fruit flavors.
Some producers have figured out how to manage the bold tannins in this wine and deliver smooth reds with blueberry notes.
Be sure to pair with a richly flavored meat, like carne asada.
Below are listed the Spanish wineries coming to this weekends event. I can’t wait to try some of these out and maybe add a few to my wine cellar.
Anciano 7-Year Old Gran Reserva Tempranillo
Anciano 10-Year Old Gran Reserva Tempranillo
Aniciano Clasico Garnacha
Aniciano Old Vine Garnacha
Araex Spanish Fine Wines
Villa Conchi Brut Seleccion Cava
Villa Conchi Brut Reserva Cava
Gran Sello Rose
Gran Sello Tempranillo Syrah
Bodegas Franco Espanolas
Rioja Bordon White
Rioja Bordon Reserva Red
Rioja Bordon Gran Reserva Red Finca el Encinal Crianza
Bodegas Gran Feudo
Baluarte Gran Feudo Verejo
Baluarte Gran Feudo Rosado
Baluarte Gran Feudo Roble Navarra
Baluarte Gran Feudo Roblw Ribera del Duero