The Naturalist & Gastronomist: A Tale of Two Spaniards
The wine club is long overdue for some Spanish wine. Time to show the love and share these very unique bottles.
Each wing of the club will receive wines from two Spanish winemakers in Jose Pastor’s progressive, yet traditional portfolio. The two growers in the spotlight are Luis Rodriguez of Ribeiro (Galicia) and Rafa Bernabe of Alicante (The Levant). Both gentlemen work very minimally in the cellar, with no additives and native yeast fermentation. They also cultivate and farm indigenous (and sometimes rare) varieties organically or lutte raisonee.
2011 Rafa Bernabe Tinajas de la Mata (Merseguera and Moscatel) – The grapes in this orange wine come from two different parcels within La Mata National Park, grown on sand and fossilized seashells! 15 days of skin contact and aged in clay tinajas (amphora).
2012 Rafa Bernabe Los Cipreses de Usaldon (Garnacha Peluda)- Made from the local “hairy Grenache”, a grape much like Grenache but with hairy leaves and more natural acidity. Whole cluster fermentation and partial carbonic bring a floral/herbal quality to this otherwise complex and spicy red.
2011 Luis Rodriguez A Torno Dos Pasos Tinto (Ferrol, Brancellao, Caino Longo, Caino Redondo)- An interesting blend of Ribeiro’s native grapes. A wine that screams of Spain with black pepper, red fruit, food-friendly body and acidity.
2012 Rafa Bernabe Tragolargo (Monastrell) – Partial carbonic maceration and whole cluster fermentation. Tragolargo means long drink, the winemaker’s answer to French glou glou wines. Best served in abundance with a little chill on it and a side of smoky meats.
Photos courtesy Jose Pastor Selections
The Naturalist: Roagna
The Roagna family has been making wine in Barbaresco since the 19th century. Thirty-four year old Luca Roagna now runs the show, working very traditionally, but with an eye on the future. The Roagna wines are special because they are complex without being complicated and always a fantastic value for the quality. The Langhe Bianco and Rosso are their entry level bottlings, offering more bang for your buck and wines that you can drink now. Their vineyards are farmed organically and fermentations are natural.
2012 Roagna Langhe Bianco (90% Chardonnay, 10% Nebbiolo) – A unique blend! A wine with some curve and texture aged for 1.5 years in large oak botti.
2008 Roagna Langhe Rosso – Like a baby Barbaresco. The Nebbiolo for this wine comes from younger vines in Paje and Pira.
The Gastronomist: France meets USA
We’ve got two domestic winemakers influenced and inspired by the wines of France for your September drinking pleasure. Mike Roth left his post at Martian Vineyards to start his own label, Lo-Fi, in Buellton. Scott and Dana Frank of Bow & Arrow make Loire-esque wine in Willamette Valley, Oregon. Both are of the same ethos: to create wines that are pure, fresh, light, young, affordable and food-friendly.
2013 Lo-Fi 33 1/2 (Counoise/Cinsault/Syrah)
2013 Bow & Arrow “Rhinestones” (Gamay/Pinot Noir)
Photo credits 1 and 2