Spanish wine has undergone a vast change in recent years, and it now produces a wide range of fashionable and affordable red, white and rosé wines. Chris Neeves, Head Sommelier at Donnington Valley Hotel and Spa, pops the cork on the delicious Spanish wine that he serves within the Hotel.
I have had a passion for Spanish wine since an early age. My first wine experience was with a white Marques de Murrieta that my father gave me a soupcon to try. I loved it and that is the time I first became interested in wine, much to my mother’s dismay as I was only about 10 or 11 at the time.
Here is a round-up of my top Spanish wines that we have on offer at the moment – I hope to see you soon in our restaurant so you too can experience these remarkable wines.
2013 José Pariente, Verdejo, Rueda, Spain
This wine is intense, with a strong aroma of fresh white fruits, citrus and passion fruit. Structured and persistent, it also has aromas of fennel and scrub and a balsamic back note of anise, expressing the elegant crispness of the Verdejo variety.
2011 Marqués de Riscal, Finca Montico, Rueda, Spain
The nose on this beautifully-perfumed wine has all the hallmarks of the Verdejo grape varietal with medium intensity and hints of fennel, herbs, white blossom, pear and peach. It has a fresh, unctuous, very smooth mouth-feel, with a long, round finish. Its good acidity together with a period of ageing on its finest lees helps to keep its fresh taste longer and preserves all its aromatic complexity. This wine does not aim to impress with a powerful nose, but rather reveals a more elegant, complex varietal character.
2012 A & A, Bodegas Martinez La Orden, Rioja, Spain
This wine is a straw colour, which could be quite misleading – the nose has rich tropical fruit and mineral aromas. Fresh and vibrant passionfruit and pineapple characters on the palate are followed by a dry finish and subtle oak notes. Delicious.
2012 Docetañidos Clarete, Lezcano Lacalle, Cigales, Spain
This is a rosé to remember. With a beautiful deep rose petal colour, the elegant nose has hints of violet and red fruits which lead to a full and fresh palate of alluring aromatics including red berries and rose petals. A long, dry finish.
2008 Bodegas Ondarre, Reserva, Rioja, Spain
This traditionally-made Rioja displays lots of leather and spice on the nose. It is smooth and subtle on the palate, with strawberries and vanilla ice cream sustained through to a long finish with well integrated tannins.
2011 Bodegas Proelio, Crianza, Rioja, Spain
Ruby red in colour with violet hues, thisi s a complex wine with a long finish. The elegant nose is dominated by red fruits and in the mouth it is complex and fresh. the palate has good acidity, round tannins and a taste of red fruits and sweet spices.
2007 Viña Cerrada, Rioja, Reserva
This wine is cherry red with brick red tones. There are intense, spicy, ripe cherry and plum aromas merged with notes of tobacco, toffee, vanilla and wood. On the palate, the body is full and fleshy with excellent balance.
2011 Tandem, Ars In Vitro, Valle de Yerri, Navarra, Spain £29.00
With a red cherry colour, this wine has intense floral aromas, leading to a mineral, fresh and long palate.
2008 Ondarre, Graciano, Rioja, Spain
With balsamic aromas of mint and aniseed accompanied by ripe fruit and hints of flower blossom and white pepper, this wine is medium to full bodied, rich but elegant. Blackfruits, coffee and sweet spice come to life on the palate, with a soft finish.
2006 Tandem, Mâcula, Valle de Yerri, Navarra, Spain
Complex nose with smoky, toasty hints on the nose and chocolate, cassis and balsamic notes on the palate. True to its terroir, this wine expresses the soils of the Yerri valley.
2005 Marqués de Riscal, Gran Reserva, Rioja, Spain
This wine has a deep, almost opaque black-cherry colour. It has a very elegant, complex nose, with aromas of black fruit and lots of spice. It is smooth and round in the mouth, with tannins that are firm, yet silky and very sweet and which envelop the whole palate. The finish is long, lingering, fresh and balanced with a hint of fine elegant tannins.