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  1. Wine Regions

  2. Classification of Spanish quality wines • DOCa Denominación de Origen CalificadaThis category originated in 1991 and is the highest quality category for Spanish wine. Only Rioja and recently also the Priorat wine region received DOCa status. The wines must be bottled in the wine region. • DO Denominación de OrigenThe second category for Spanish wine is DO, similar to the French AOC, which includes the most well-known classical Spanish wines. The wines have to meet the requirements of the Consejo Regulador (Supervision of the individual wine regions), who then decides if a wine-maker is entitled to use the DO label for his wine. • DO Pago Stays for a single property. The wine is made in one property in one small area. • Classification of table wines • Wines from regions with no DO status as yet, but with an identifiable regional character. • VC Vino ComarcalAreas that have no great claims on quality. • VdM Vino de MesaVino de Mesa is wine made from grapes from unclassified areas or blended from different classified areas. Usually without vintage. • Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva • Crianza • Total stored 24 months, al least 6 months in oak • Reserva • Total stored 36 months, al least 12 months in oak • Gran Reserva • Total stored 60 months, al least 24 months in oak "He who loves not wine, women and song remains a fool his whole life long "Johann Heinrich Voss

  3. Freixenet • Cordon Negro Brut is crisp, clean and well balanced. The dosage is very dry, but the acidity is lower than most champagnes for a softer, smoother flavor. It is medium-bodied with apple, pear and bright citrus flavors and a moderately long and crisp, clean finish. $13.32 "One of the disadvantages of wine is that it makes a man mistake words for thoughts."Samuel Johnson

  4. Torres Sangre de Toro 2006 • Region: Catalunya • Varietal: Garnacha and Carinena • . Deep ruby color with a hint of ochre. Rich complex Mediterranean aromas with exuberant notes of spices and blackberries. Velvety tannins are noted on the palate with elegant flavors of licorice and small dark forest fruits (blueberries and blackcurrants). $17.98 "A hard drinker, being at the table, was offered grapes for dessert. 'Thank you,' said he, pushing the dish away from him, 'but I am not in the habit of taking my wine in pills.'"Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, "The Physiology of Taste"

  5. Armantes Old Bush Vine Garnacha 2007 • Region: Calatayud • Made from 50+ y.o. vines, 20% of the wine aged in oak, was deep garnet red with a fresh aromatic nose of raspberries and minerals along with a touch of savoury complexity to the bouquet. Medium-full in body, this had warm raspberryish fruit framed within a firm, well-extracted structure. Savoury earth notes and a little alcohol heat came through, but this has good drive and length. This will drink well over the next 3-5 years.  RC May 10 $17.82 • 14.5% alc "By comparing what we know today with what the ancients appear to have known we can guess at the kinds of wine they drank."Alec Waugh

  6. Telmo Rodriguez A1 Muvedere 2007 Monastrell • Region: Alicante • 100% bush vine Monastrell, wild yeast fermentation and given no oak maturation, this was light red with garnet hues on edge. A soft, plump wine with ripe, warm-climate flavours, juicy and jammy, this showed a little oxidation flatness. Tannin content was low, enabling instant accessibility. • 13.5% alc $17.66 "Wine is wont to show the mind of man."Theogenis

  7. Arte de Vivir Rebera Del Duero 2007 • Review: The El Arte de Vivir, 2007, from Ribera del Duero, Spain, is made from 100% tempranillo sourced from vines over 60 years old. 60- to 80-year-old vines. It was aged for six months in French and American oak, and comes in at a modest 13% alcohol.In the glass, it shows as a very deep, dusty red. Aromas are rich of black cherry with a dusting of oak, not shy, but also not exploding from the glass.On the first sip, you notice a husky, balanced, deep red blend. Full throttle black cherry and black currant touch the top of your palate. That is followed by a slightly spicy follow-on of sweet, deep red fruit onto your tongue. Acids perk up your gums, and husky tannins give the finish a stretch. $23.59 "Where there is no wine there is no love."Euripides

  8. Paso Paso Tempranillo 2008 • Region: La Mancha • "The 2008 Paso a Paso Tinto is 100% Tempranillo that spent six months in French oak. A glass-coating opaque purple, the nose offers up aromas of chalky minerality, violets, incense, and black cherry. Medium-bodied, it has a smooth texture, ripe, spicy, savory flavors, and enough structure to evolve for 1-2 years. It is an exceptional value for drinking over the next three years." -Jay Miller • 13.5% Alc $19.99 "When a man drinks wine at dinner, he begins to be better pleased with himself."Plato

  9. Beronia Rioja 2006Crianza • Region: Rioja • Grapes: Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mazuelo • Description: Ruby red with bluish tones. Clean and brilliant. Medium-to-high intensity. A vanilla aroma over wild fruits, raspberry, blackberry and a touch of cherry, with hints of toasted bread and green spices.The entry is fruity and transmits just the correct balance of wood. Well structured, with high-roast, spice and liquorice flavours remaining. $26.37 • 13.5% Alc "Away with you, water, destruction of wine!"Catullus

  10. Beronia Rioja 2005Reserva • Region: Rioja • Description: Cherry red with ruby sparkles, very intense, clean and brilliant. Balanced aroma, with fruit nuances, spiced with vanilla, tobacco and leather. Smooth on first contact, but persistent exit. This is a wine with velvety sensations, well balanced, with ripe fruit flavours combined with dry spices. This latter characteristic confers a certain balsamic touch. • 13.5% Alc $36.45 You have only so many bottles in your life, never drink a bad one."Len Evans

  11. Bodegas Primicia Gran DiezmoCrianza Manzuelo 1999 • By Willem-Jan on February 10, 2009Ruby Red with a beautiful brilliance. Aromas of roasted nuts and ripe red fruit. Juicy, sweet spices, balsamic and some fine wood. Ex Cellar $18.85 "When a man drinks wine at dinner, he begins to be better pleased with himself."Plato

  12. Gonzalez Nectar • Region: Jerez Andalucia • The ‘Nectar’ is made from 100% Pedro Ximinez Grapes sun-dried and partially fermented to 15.5% alc. and a sticky 370 g/l rs. It spends an average of 9 years in solera before release. An intense ebony in colour, this is a decadent, naturally sweet wine with complex flavours of caramel, dried fruits, figs, mocha and spices. Chilled, it will match chocolate, ice cream and sweet puddings. RC Oct 09 • 15.5% Alc $18.93/375ml • "If penicillin can cure those that are ill, Spanish sherry can bring the dead back to life." Sir Alexander Fleming

  13. Next Tasting Sept 10 • New Zealand Chardonnay