The Only Rule With Spanish Wine: There Are No Rules

Wine-making regions abound throughout Spain, and each has its own leading players. The Rioja region serves up rock star reds, the Penedès terrior is home to effervescent cavas, and the Ribera del Duero turns out velvety Tempranillo.

But here’s what you really need to know: the first rule of Spanish wine is there are no rules. Spanish winemakers like to push boundaries, both in production and pairings. As with the food scene in Spain, there is a movement in the Spanish wine world stressing freedom. Think of these winemakers as trailblazers and trendsetters—as opposed to their “rigid” counterparts in France. When it comes to Spanish wine, you should mix it up, try new things and find what you love.

During Passport Spain, in addition to unprecedented classes with renowned Spanish winemakers such as Miguel Torres Jr., Javier Ybanez or Jorge Ordonez, Central Market is offering several Spanish wines for your tasting pleasure. Among the highlights:

Naveran Cava 2007. This vintage sparkling wine made from 85% Chardonnay and 15% Parellada grapes, rated 90 points by Robert Parker, is a Central Market exclusive. It’s broad on the palate with excellent volume and lingering flavors.

Blanc Copos 2010. This white wine from the Terra Alta region is made from white Garnacha cultivated on terraces and hand-picked. Because of its floral nuances, dry grass notes and balanced acidity, it’s great as an aperitif or with fish, cold meats and cheese.

Llicorella Priorat 2005. This Garnacha-based wine is light and crisp, yet has plenty of structure to power its raspberry, licorice and herb flavors. Another Central Market exclusive, it’s rated 91 points by Robert Parker and the best-rated Priorat under $40.

Evodia 2009. Produced with 100% Garnacha grapes, many from vineyards 100 years old, this wine is spicy with a cranberry bouquet and dark cherry flavors. Central Market has it first.

Palacios Remondo La Vendimia 2009. This wine from Rioja is made with 50% Garnacha and 50% Tempranillo grapes. La Vendimia, which signifies “the harvest,” represents the quality potential of Spanish jovens, or wines that have been aged for six months or less in oak. This gem is produced by one of the most famous winemakers in Spain, Alvaro Palacios.

We invite you to try one of these Spanish wines at home—and remember to experiment with your food pairings!
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