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46 Cards in this Set

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Explain the history of the region of Rioja
Name comes from Río Oja, a tributary of the Ebro. There were vineyards there in Roman times. Mordern history began when a lot of Bordeaux merchants, winemakers, grapegrowes moved here because of the the destruction of their vineyards by phylloxera. That's why the trade was based, until recently, around merchants and their brand names, rather than around vineyards and their growers. More recently the liberation of Spain from the Franco era led to renaissance of the trade, with a number of new companies being established. This led to a move away fom wines that aged long in casks to wines longer aged in bottles
Explain the recent changes/moves
A move away fom wines that aged long in casks to wines longer aged in bottles. In spite of this, the ageing still exceeds the minimum requirements.
A decided move towards wines produced by single estate, even single named vineyards, than by blending in the merchants' cellars.
Explain training in Rioja
generally bush vines, wire-training only permitted for experimental purposes only.
Explain production in Rioja (R/W/R)
75 % of production is red, 15 % rosé, 10 %white.
Which varieties are permitted in Rioja?
All traditional varieties : Tempranillo, with smaller components of Graciano and Mazuelo for the more expensive reds, Garnacha for less expensive vino joven wines and rosados, and Viura and Malvasia for Whites (Garnacha Blanca also permitted)
Capital of province Rioja?
Logroño
Three subregions of Rioja?
Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja
Explain terroir/wine of Rioja Alavesa
west of Logroño, north bank of Ebro. Climate influenced by Atlantic, comparatively cool, highest rainfall of subregions. Soil is very chalky, wines are lightest of Rioja but most finesse. Predominant variety is Tempranillo.
Explain terroir/wine of Rioja Alta
west of Logroño, south of the Ebro. Soils largely of clay (best for white from Viura), many reddish (iron)soil (best for reds from Tempranillo. Alluvial river valley soil suits Malvasia. Climate is warmer tan in the Alavesa but still largely maritime. Many large bodegas based in Logroño or Haro/
Explain terroir/wine of Rioja Baja
East of Logro=no, south bank of Ebro. Contintal climate, hotter summers, more severe winters. Soils largely heavy clay, dominant grape Garnacha. Most of the Vino Joven of Rioja comes from here.
Compare traditional and modern red Rioja
Traditional Reserva and Gran Reserva : long period of oak-aging, resulting in some controlled oxidation, development of savoury aromas of meat and caramel underpinning the sweet, soft, strawberry fruit, often relatively pale brick-red with distinct browning at the rim.
More modern style seeks to preserve the fruit, generally darker, show more of the tinned strawberry and plum fruit of the Tempranillo, less extended oxidative ageing to allow evolution and integration of the fruit and oak components. Modern Crianzas and Reservas sometimes show obvious oak, and aromas of vanilla, coconut and toast.
Compare traditional and modern white Rioja
Traditionally white wines were aged very long in American oak and developped a deep golden colour and savoury, nutty flavours, a unique but acquired taste.
Modern white wines are often fermented at low temperature, stored in stainless steel, bottled when young to preserve the maximum amount of fruit. When they use oak now, it is French oak!
Explain Navarra history concerning wines
historically, Navarra's reputation was for its rosé wines (made from Garnacha, + 15 % abv, oxidise early, no taste for modern drinkers, they changed into other direction : production of quality red wines. The nowadays lighter and fresher rosés are still important.
Navarra vineyards, where + climate
Downstream from Rioja, extend from the valley floor to foothills of the Pyrenees, result : broad variations in soil and climate.
Compare traditional vs. modern Navarra?
Vineyards have traditionally been planted with same varieties as Rioja, Garnacha predominating, now also permitted : Cabernet Sauvingnon and Merlot for red wines, Chardonnay and Moscatel for whites. Now small oak barrels are being used more widely, temperature controlled tanks for whites and rosés give better results. Traditional wines are similar in style to Rioja,though many reds gain more colour and aromatic blackberry fruit from Cabernet or Merlot. There are also varietal wines made from traditional and international varieties.
Somontano : where, climate, grapes, wines?
Lies in the foothills of the Pyrenees to the north of Zaragoza; cool climate, plenty of rain; broad range of international varieties is planted : Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer and Chenin Blanc. Modern wines generally sold under varietal names, more whites than reds, replacing traditional reds and rosados from local varieties.
Key wines of Catalunya
Catalunya DO, Penedés DO, Costers del Segre DO, Tarragonna DO, Priorat DOC
Why did Catalunya become a DO?
Is recently created DO, to enable blending of wines from the various areas to create the possibility of putting large quantities of the same wine on the market under a single name.
What are the "big three" Cava varieties?
Macabéo, Parellada, Xarel-lo
Penedés : where, climate and grapes
Was until recently dominant appellation for Catalan still wines, vineyards lie to south-west from Barcelona from the Mediterranean coast up into the hills. Result : three distinct climatic zones. Hottest is the coastal plain, climate is Mediterranean, hot dry summers, producing mainly full-bodied red wines from Garnacha and Monastrell. Inland, in the valleys, climate is more temperate, vineyards supplying much of the white wine used for production Cava. Further into the hills (vineyards up to 800 m above sea level). Climate is cool and international varieties such as Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir are grown.
Explain training in Penedés
Traditionally pruned "en vaso", form of bush training. wire-training is becoming more common, more particularly for French and German varieties.
Penedés : compare historical + modern red & white wines + results
Historically, its reputation has been based upon white wines made from the local trio Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada. In recent years, the influential Torres company has led the way in planting many international varieties including Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc. Few of the white wines see ageing in casks, best display very expressive varietal fruit. Historically, powerfull oak-aged wines from Garnacha and Monastrell dominated red wine production, now also important plantings of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Pinot Noir. Because of this, local growers could improve the quality of their wines and enhance the reputation of the region. Off course broad spectrum of styles and qualities, and wide range of prices.
Costers del Segre : where, grapes + climate
Lies inland close to town of Lleida. Cordoníu invested heavily in vineyards and a winery and dominates production here. Climate is continental, low rainfall, but because vineyards are experimental, irrigation is permitted. Main plantings Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Chardonnay
Tarragona : what wines?
sweet dessert (and altar) wines (in the coastal plain) to wines rivalling Priorat in the hills
Priorat : soil?
The region of craggy hills as a unique soil, known as llicorella : layers of red slate + small particels of mica reflecting heat.
Priorat : compare traditional vs modern wines
Trad. monstrously alc. red wine from low-yealding old Gran. and Cariñena vines, long periods in oak, sometimes solera, developing "rancio" (well-hung game, mushroom) aroma's. The modern wines from CS, Syrah and PN, along with trad. Garnacha and Cariñena raised profile of the region => DOC status. In youth, modern style wines show very intens bramble fruit + flavours of new oak. Powerfull tannins and masive fruit give long ageing potential.
Duero Valley : climate
continental climate, can be very harsh. Altitude gives cool nights, ideal long, dry, ripening season for the grapes
Duero Valley : key wines
Toro, Rueda, Ribera del Duero
Toro : where, dominant grape, climate, influence on wine Joven, Reserva, Gran Reserva
First DO upstream from Port., dom. grape Tempranillo, extr. hot summers give wines high in alc (14,5 %) Wines are more full-bodied, richer than Rioja, but less ageing potential. In vino joven wines, generally some Garnacha. Reservas and Gran Reservas can be very full-coloured and tannic when young.
Rueda : where, climate, influence on the wine. Modern + traditional wine
South of Valladolid. Historically, sherry-style vinos, but in 1972 a winery from Rioja formed a winery to make light white wines. Soil is chalky, climate is continental, cool summer nights. Trad. grape = Verdejo (elegant wines). Cool evenings encourage aromatic flavours + retaining acidity in the grapes. SB + Viura also uses Modern wines (modern vinification techn. as harvesting at night, fermenting at low temp. under inert gas to prevent contact with air) preserve nat. aromatic fruit => wines are crisp, light, aromas of peaches and melons, best consumed when young. Sometimes (SB) barrel-aged.
Ribera del Duero : where, climate, soil
along both banks of the river. high altitudes (warm summer days, cool nights), limestone-rich soil.
Compare Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero to Rioja
RDD has thicker, darker skins, higher acidity. Wines are darker, more powerfull, astrigent tannins, much more dark fruity blackberry and plum caracter.
Best oak aged wines from R del D may be compared to?
Classic Growth Médoc
Plantings in R.del D.?
CS, Malbe, Merlot, Tempranillo, Garnacha. Most best wines (ex. Vega Sicilia) 100% Tempranillo
Vega Sicilia?
Wine from R.del D., aged for many years in small casks, oak vats or concrete tanks before bottling => wines of great complexity. For long time were Spains most prestigious and expensive wines (now contenders from Priorate and single vineyard Riojas)
North-West (Galicia) Climate, grape
damp climate of northern atlantic coast. Albariño
Rías Baixas : where, wine?
Galicia, Albariño : distinctive peachy flavour, high acidity, light body, sometimes little CO2 (ideal for regional seafood). Production often disrupted by bad weather => wine is never cheap (vintage vary widely in qual. and quant.)
The Levant, where? Known for? Grapes?
Mediterranean coast, south of Catalunya. Uncomplicated wines, simple red, white table wines. Hybrids, mostly local varieties. Now Tempr. and Macabeo, also experimented with int. varieties : CS and Ch., particularly in Utiel-Requena/
What local speciality in the Levant?
Moscatel de Valencia, highly perfumed, sweet wine (sometimes fortified)
South of the Levant, what wines?
DO red wines (Yecla and Jumilla) made from Monastrell (Mourvèdre) : deep black wines, full-bodied, high in alcohol, tarry black fruit aromas, sometimes hint of meat or licorice.
The Meseta : key wines, where
La Mancha DO, Valdepeñas DO, central plateau (half of Spains wine production)
La Mancha is home of?
Airén
Special about Airén?
Most widely planted white grape (is found in very few other places in the world and in Spain. It is mainly used for distillation to Brandy de Jerez.
La Mancha : climate, training, trad. storage
hot, dry, extremely continental. Vines planted far apart, low bush-trained, leaf canopy protects bunches of fruit, cools the surrounding ground (irrigation is permitted since 1996). Wine was stored in tinajas, monumental Ali Baba baskets ,buried till the neck.
La Mancha : changes?
Foreign buyers impose their will upon the cellars. Grapes are picked a fornight earlier (lower degree of alc. and fresh acidity) stainless steel in cellars, wines are more fruity. Financing comes from EU => broader range of varieties : Temp., CS and Syrah.
Valdepeñas : where? Means? Wines?
south of La Mancha. Valley of stones. Mainly red (Tempranillo) littel Airén is sometimes added. Tradition ageing in old American oak barrels, some young wines by carbonic maceration?