Just the Bottle

One woman's adventure in beer, food, wine and spirits

Filtering by Tag: Spanish Wine

Waiting for the Perfect Wine

Wines in Spain express such different stories and experiences. There's a lot there to take in if one is willing to put forth the effort to discover it. 

Toro has been a known wine making region in Spain about 40 miles west of Portugal for since early medieval times. The DO was officially recognized only in 1987 with less than 7 wineries in existence. The wines are known as big and expressive with hedonistic qualities. However, after sampling Matsu, I have seen how they can be shaped cautiously and strategically to exude more finesse. 

Matsu, which means "wait" in Japanese, pays homage to the viticulturists of generations past. This dedication to those of past and present is also on display on the Matsu labels. The line features real-life photos of viticulturists. 

The Matsu portfolio includes budget friendly wine as low as $13.99 with a surprising amount of character to the highest end being quite reasonable at $46.99 showcasing a rich intensity. These wines would be perfect as we are at the height of BBQ or cook out season. However, the El Recio 2015 was the real winner for me for value and taste. 

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Matsu El Recio 2015

This wine is 100% Tinta de Toro. The wine is sourced from a selection of 90 to 100 year vineyards in pool soil and cultivated biodynamically. Fermentation and maceration during 3 weeks utilizing natural yeasts. The wine is aged for 14 months in second use French oak barrels. What follows this labor of love is an award winning wine of intense ruby color, layers of chocolate and black fruit, with a silk smooth palate that leads to lingering finish with mineral notes.

Disclaimer: I received these wines as part of a sample from vintae.

Transparency at Portal del Montsant

"Don't follow trends" is part of the ethos of Portal del Montsant. Their story begins in 2003 after finding the perfect space that once housed the old Marcá wine cooperative. 

The majority  - 95% - of their wine production is Garnacha and Cariñena. Portal del Montsant sources from small plots of land they consider their "crus." The plots produce different expressions through their soil (clay, chalk, and sand), elevation (ranging from 700-800 meters), and age of vines (average of 60 years old). Generally, they practice organic winemaking and growing, but aren't certified. These factors among their desire to produce wines they would enjoy create something special. 

Portal del Montsant produces around 250,000 bottles per year with 85%-90% remaining within the Spanish market. 

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Santbru Vinyes Velles

The Portal del Montsant Santbru Vinyes Velles was one of the stand out wines to me that I also purchased. I sampled the 2013 within their gorgeous space and purchased the 2014 to bring home. The 2014 paired perfectly with the delicious lamb paella my significant other made upon my return. It recently received 90 point rating in Wine Enthusiast. There is an earthiness that is almost smoky to me that came through with spicy red fruit. 

These are not wines to sleep on especially considering the limited export market. If you do find the Santbru especially the very enjoyable 2014 vintage, perhaps have more restraint than me and allow it to age some. I can only imagine what this wine will taste like in the next 5 years, which perhaps leads me to planning my next trip to Spain again soon.