Spain located on the Iberian Peninsula, has over 2.9 million acres planted—making it the most widely planted wine producing nation but it is the third largest producer of wine in the world, the largest being France followed by Italy. This is due, in part, to the very low yields and wide spacing of the old vines planted on the dry, infertile soil found in many Spanish wine regions. The country has an abundance of native grape varieties, with over 400 varieties planted throughout Spain though 80 percent of the country's wine production is from only 20 grapes—including the reds Tempranillo, Garnacha, and Monastrell; the whites Albariño from Galicia, Palomino, Airen, and Macabeo; and the three cava grapes Parellada, Xarel·lo, and Macabeo. Major Spanish wine regions include the Rioja and Ribera del Duero which are known for their Tempranillo production; Valdepeñas, drunk by Unamuno and Hemingway, known for high quality tempranillo at low prices; Jerez, the home of the fortified wine Sherry; Rías Baixas in the northwest region of Galicia that is known for its white wines made from Albariño and Catalonia which includes the Cava and still wine producing regions of the Penedès as well the Priorat region. Spanish wine laws created the Denominación de Origen (DO) system in 1932 and were later revised in 1970. The system shares many similarities with the hierarchical Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) system of France, Portugal's Denominação de Origem Controlada (DOC) and Italy's Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) system.
- Item #: i_383406Bottle Size: 750mlJames Suckling: 94We have a new Spanish red that is so distinctive in relating its origins and winemaking style that we felt compelled to bring to your attention. It doesn't hurt that James Suckling rated it 94 points and it's only $16.98!
Coming from the Terra Alta region of Catalonia, the "Via Edetana" from Bodegas Edetaria is, above all, a wine about mouthfeel. Its aromas show resinous wood and subtle ripe berry, while in the mouth there is a cool and mellow quality with a mouth-filling mix of chalky and crushed velvet tannin, along with other skin extract, which seem to meld onto the palate. The flavors are dominated by restrained boysenberry and old mahogany wood, with a subtle licorice-like sensation. The tapered finish shows a glint of brightness before ending with the flavor of perfectly ripe fruit skins and a warming sensation. Overall, there is a firmness and restraint in this wine's character that sets it apart from some of its "internationally-styled" Catalonian neighbors. It's also an appetizing wine that can be chewed over, perhaps along with a New York strip or slow-cooked Lamb shank!
The winemaking is traditional with some modern improvements: the grapes are grown organically, then kept cold before being fermented with native yeast, and ageing takes place in medium-sized French oak barrels that are more appropriate for Garnacha.
The varieties that compose the wine are familiar throughout the Catalonian wine regions like Priorat and Montsant: Garnacha, Syrah, and Carignan. But there are actually two types of Garnacha at play here: the more common Garnacha "Fina" along with a type that evolved a fuzzy leaf-bottom, called Garnacha "Peluda." It's the latter that winemaker Joan Angel Liberia particularly likes to include in the family wines, as it brings a richer extract, brighter acidity, and lower alcohol to the mix.
Another key to this distinct wine is, of course, where it comes from in Spain: the southern Catalonian wine region of Terra Alta ("highland"), which encompasses foothills and valleys on the inland side of the small but dramatic mountain range that separates them from the Mediterranean Sea (the famous Priorat wine region is further up that range). This makes for a mostly Mediterranean climate with some extreme inland influence, which is particularly great for growing ripe but balanced Garnacha and Carinena grapes!
Try a bottle today and taste this dramatic landscape in liquid form!
JAMES SUCKLING 94 POINTS - "I love the licorice accents here, which work so well with the overtones of blueberries, citrus, boysenberries and brambles. Firm and tight on the taut palate, which is medium-bodied and so lithe and restrained. Clear-cut and precise. Drink now."
- Item #: i_382133Bottle Size: 750mlTASTING NOTES: Ruby-red. Intensely perfumed aromas of fresh dark berries, cherry compote and licorice develop a vanilla overtone as the wine opens up. Plush blackberry, cherry-vanilla, spicecake and floral pastille flavors show excellent clarity and a seamless texture, and a peppery flourish adds lift and bite. Fine-grained tannins build slowly and give shape to the impressively long, sweet finish, which leaves behind floral pastille and dark fruit liqueur notes.-- Josh Raynolds