Gaintza Txacoli 2014 Getariako Txakolina, Spain You wouldn't wish to drink this everyday for your dentistry bills would be through the roof but this is good Txacoli considering it is a 2014. Maybe it is the added beef of the Gros Manseng that lends this weight, or maybe Txacoli does age well? Has anybody done a tasting? Maybe we should, or maybe we shouldn't and preserve our tooth enamel and disdain for light, bright, deliciously made local wines from little known grapes in favour of over-oaked, boozy Ribena with little or no identity. Find yourself a bottle of this and the freshest fish you can lay your hands on. Then shut the curtains. July 2016

Vinos la Zorra 8 Virgenes 201? Sierra de Salamanca, Spain I can't spot the vintage on the label. This is a delectable, leesy and peppery sexmonster of a wine with a richness that defies it moderate alcohol levels. July 2013

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AuthorWine Badger
CategoriesSpanish Wine

Sereno Solera Vi Generos Sec Garnatxa Roja 2009 Emporda, Spain Wow, get this down your trouser. Do you find nutmeg, vanilla and the heady scent of furniture polish totally delectable? I do. And this absolute nostril smasher of a wine delivers it in spades. After my stern assessment of Celler de Roures Vermell this is a wine that highlights everything that the Vermell lacked. Bite, energy, poise. Produced from oxidized Garnacha from a solera begun in 2009 the flavour explosion continues on the palate recalling a fruit bowl that has been left in the sun whilst you went away on your summer hols. Though this may sound totally rank, fill that same fruit bowl with 15.5% alcohol and and 100% sex appeal and you may get some way to being where I am with this wine, which is captivated. May 2016 

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AuthorWine Badger
CategoriesSpanish Wine

Several years ago I was stumbling my way through Ribera del Duero when I ventured upon Bodegas Arzuaga. Despite the rather grandiose nature of the place, added to which I recall some bizarre eccentricities (I was encouraged to hug a lucky tree) it displayed some great potential. Whilst many of the wines were marked by oak, what really impressed was the fellow making the stuff - Jorge Monzon. A young man with an impressive CV; DRC, Vega Sicilia etc... however, that could all be irrelevant. Like one of those pretenders on a vapid reality cooking show who has The Fat Duck on his CV only for it to be discovered that all he did for The Fat Duck was to polish Heston's enormous, shiny, planet-like noggin. I do not know what Jorge did for either of his previous employers, but I do know this. He is a charming chap who made terrific wine and now he is making utterly spellbinding wine, the kind of wine that can lift an entire region and grape to another level. There are some old tricks employed (the adding of white grapes to the ubiquitous Tinto Fino to add acidity) but the wines are vibrant and modern, but not in a big, thick, inky, okay sort of way - does that make them post-modern? Added to which I recently learned that Jorge also operates a microbrewery using only local ingredients. Perhaps he also once hugged a lucky tree.

Dominio del Aguila Picaro del Aguila 2013 Ribera del Duero, Spain This , I suggest, and hope, may well be the benchmark for new-wave Ribera. Classic blackberry fruit, with liquorice but so creamy, so pure, so precise. Impeccably balanced. Almost too perfect, but there is an edge that gives this wine genuine character. If you enjoy the wines of Ribera then I implore you to track this beauty down. September 2015

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AuthorWine Badger
CategoriesSpanish Wine

In case you you were sitting at home this evening wondering what fifteen year old Verdejo tastes like (and I know your were) The Badger is on hand to enlighten you. Belondrade y Lurton were one of the Bodegas to put oaked Rueda Verdejo on the map. What baffles me however is how some of the very best producers still find the balance between oak and fruit such a challenge. 

Belondrade y Lurton Verdejo 2000 Rueda, Spain A deep, orange colour, which may well offer a grim premonition of tomorrow morning's trip to the lavatory. Over-ripe apricots, butter, green tea and furniture polish. This is mega-tasty in a way and still kicking at fifteen years of age, but the overwhelming sensation of oak means it could be anything from anywhere. Deliciously pointless. July 2015

Pesquera Reserva 1998 Ribera del Duero, Spain The Pesquera Reserva 98 opens with a dazzling array of aromatics that highlight the magical symbiosis between top notch wood and top notch fruit, when in the right hands. Sandalwood, incense, blackberries, woodsmoke, new leather, roses, coffee beans - if only I could bottle that aroma and spread it liberally upon the hind quarters of Mrs. Badger. Starts to fade a touch with extended time in the glass but very smooth, bright and sumptuous. An utter joy, at the peak of it's powers . What a wine to share with a friend, who, by the time I write this would have already deserted these shores. July 2015