Spain’s Best Kept Secret
Wines from Spain are a personal love for me. I think everyone has had that one great taste of vino that makes them take a step back and go, ” Whoa! “.
For me, it was when I first sipped Petit Verdot. Petit Verdot, you say? For those of you not acclimated with this wonderful varietal, let me shed some light. Petit Verdot is one of the five “classic” Bordeaux grapes. When grown in perfect conditions, it gives off a beautiful bouquet of fresh blueberries, lavender and violet. It’s only problem is that it ripens very late, even more so than Cabernet Sauvignon, so it’s a particularly difficult character to master. This is not the case in Spain. With their extended growing seasons, light rainfall and dry, arid climate, it’s a match made in heaven. Some research has even shown that it is actually native to the regions of Tarragona, Aragon, Navarra and Rioja, and was brought to France by the Romans thousands of years ago. Other parts of the globe with similar conditions such as Argentina, Chile and Australia have seen an influx of Petit Verdot plantings in the past 20 years. But Spain in my opinion has shown just how amazing this grape can become when given proper care and attention.
Take Chapillon’s Cuvée Harmonie, rated 90 points by The Wine Advocate, for instance. Blended with 10 percent Tannat, this wine shows off scents of bright, dark berries, spicy floral components, and leaves you with a finish that seemingly lasts forever. For 15 bucks. For those of you interested in pairing ideas, all things pork are perfection, with cured meats such as Jamón ibérico being even better. Hard, nutty cheeses, preferably sheep’s milk, are fantastic as well. So do yourself a favor, put on some Spanish guitar and check out Petit Verdot. You will be more than happy you did.
Posted in: Wine News