THE ADVOCATE 53
VOL. 79 PART 1 JANUARY 2021
• Gran Reserva: for white and rosado, at least four years old with six
months in oak; for red, at least five years old with 18 months in
oak. In Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Navarra, it must be five years
old with a minimum of two years in wood and a minimum of three
years in bottle.
• Cava: a minimum of 15 months sitting on the lees.
The last piece is the grapes, some of which are well known either by their
Spanish or French names, and some of which are not. The most famous red
is Tempranillo, which, depending on which region grows it, goes by different
aliases (Ull de Llebre, Cencibel, Tinto Fino and Tinta del Pais in Spain
and Aragonez or Tinta Roriz in Portugal). Next come Monastrall (Mourvèdre
in France) and Garnacha (Grenache in France). Reds lesser known, but
worthy of consideration, are Bobal from the Utiel-Requena region of València,
and Cariñena or Mazuelo (Carignan in France). For whites, Albariño
from Galicia and Verdejo from Rueda are becoming popular, followed by
Viura (Macabeo) both as a table wine in Rioja and as part of the blend for
traditional Cava that is mixed with Parellada and Xarel-lo. Palomino plays
its part in sherry. The last I mention is Pedro Ximénez from Montilla-
Moriles, with its grapes dried on mats in the sun before fermentation and a
solera process akin to Jerez Dulce. It is marketed as a high-end dessert wine
with a price tag to match ($30–35 in the LDB).
Now that we have explored some Spanish wine regions, I provide a selection
of Spanish wines, with two additions of Okanagan wines from Spanish
varieties. My wife and I dusted off a book of Spanish tapa recipes to accompany
them, and I recommend that you too try them with tapas, even if it is
just to have on hand a good selection of cured meats, serrano ham, Spanish
cheese, nuts, olives and maybe some tinned sardines.
POEMA CAVA BRUT NV
D.O. Penedès, Spain #94250 $20.00 (approx.)
This Cava, made with the three traditional varieties, is forty per cent
Macabeo, forty per cent Xarel-lo and twenty per cent Parellada. It has lime,
green apple, gooseberry, bread dough and wet stone on both the nose and
its off-dry palate. Despite its having only 11.5 per cent alcohol, it finishes
long with a swell of bubbly mousse that cleanses the mouth. For those who
love them, oysters would pair perfectly. It will also go with a range of lighter
seafood or a sharp cheese like a Manchego. We tried prawns sautéed with
garlic and lime and a splash of sherry (gambas al ajillo) and a light tomato
and greens salad with capers and olives.