Vina Arana Gran Reserva, La Rioja Alta
La Rioja Alta is one of the great names in the world of wine, making truly magnificent wines. Vina Arana was always made as a Reserva, but from the 2012 vintage, they have extended the ageing to elevate it to Gran Reserva. The result is impressive – very smooth and complex; drinking well now but will improve for decades to come!
‘O Rosal’, Terras Gauda
Terras Gauda was the first Galician winery to really make me think that World class wines could be produced here. Their vineyards are located in the subzone of O Rosal on the terraces that rise steeply above the river Miño which divides Spain from Portugal. This wine is a selective blend of the best Albariño grapes in the O Rosal subzone, mixed with the indigenous Loureira and Caiño Blanco, it is greenish-yellow, evoking white flowers and green plums on the nose and filling out on the palate with fresh grape and apple compote flavours as well as peach kernel. Edged with superb acidity and a bristling minerality this reminds me of a cross between really good Riesling and Premier Cru Chablis.The perfect wine for seafood, salads or simple fish dishes.
‘El Candado’ Pedro Ximenez Sherry, Valdespino
Valdespino is one of the oldest bodegas in Jerez, with a history of Sherry production going back six centuries. Back in 1264, Alfonso Valdespino was one of 24 knights who fought against the Arabs for the city of Jerez with King Alfonso X. As a reward for his efforts he was given land that formed the basis of the bodega. Today Valdespino belongs to the Estevez family, who purchased the bodega in 1999.This delicious Pedro Ximenez has a liquid Christmas cake character, great depth and a lovely flick of acidity on the finish which serves to emphasise the unctuous sweetness and flavours of dried fig and raisins.Great poured over vanilla ice cream, with mince pies, hard or blue cheese, or just on it's own after a meal