With something to satisfy all palates, especially at the €10-€12 price point, there is a pressing need to offer a diverse range of wines within your Spanish section
Apr 12 2012 By Fearghal O’Nuallain
“I need Spain” is the Spanish tourist board’s current slogan. It should be adopted by their wine board too. Spanish wines are fast becoming the preferred choice of Irish wine consumers. This is not surprising; the country offers quality and diversity at every price point. Spain’s diverse geography is reflected in its wines and with styles ranging from light and crisp whites in the cool Atlantic region of Galicia to heavy and full-bodied reds of the mountainous centre and the Mediterranean coast there’s something for all palates.
Two thirds of Spanish wine sold in Ireland is red, of which Rioja is the region of most renown. Tempranillo is Rioja’s celebrity grape - thick skinned and complex - it adds personality to the wines of the region when blended with others like Garnacha and Mazuelo. Look past Rioja and Tempranillo really comes into its own in the lesser-known regions. The dry climate of the Ribero de Duero and Toro produces wines of a rich and spicy character where the hot temperatures make for high alcohol contents and full-bodied juice. In up and coming regions, such as Mosant in the north-east next to Barcelona, excellent terroir is married with cutting edge technique to craft some impressive and accomplished wines. Regions like Mosant offer excellent value as energetic young wine makers commit to quality and innovation to get noticed in a crowded market.
Embracing modern techniques
Unlike some of their less progressive neighbours the Spanish are led by the export market, and have embraced modern winemaking and marketing techniques with gusto. Many blend international varietals like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay, grapes familiar to Irish consumers, with varieties to increase their commercial appeal by creating an international wine with regional character.
Spain isn’t just for red drinkers and it also exports some excellent whites. Albarino is a lively alternative to Sauvignon Blanc and holds sway in the Riaxas Biaxas area on the Northern Coast. Crisp and herbaceous it makes a perfect aperitif and a great accompaniment to fish and chicken dishes.
Marques de la Concordia Reserva Rioja
At the entry level reds are light and juicy and whites are simple and refreshing. Spain really comes into its own at the €10-€12 price point where it rivals offerings from the New World for quality and its old world neighbours for value and drinkability. Above €20, you’ll find a choice of well polished and sometimes quirky wines that equal some of the world’s iconic reds often at a fraction of the price.
Spain has more area under vine than any other wine producing country so you don’t have to search too hard to find what you’re looking for and with a wide variety of interesting, approachable and unusual wines, with the clean fruit and regional character it should be clear that “you need Spain” to drive your wine sales.
New World wines with old world terroir
The Marques de la Concordia range is one of the most exciting new developments to come out of Spain in the past few years, states distributor United Wine Merchants. Combining the best of New World style wine making and old world terroir the result is an award winning family of wines from the finest regions of Spain including Rioja and Rueda.
Made with only Spain’s noble grape, Tempranillo, Marques de la Concordia is the only brand to age its wines in a combination of new French and American oak barrels. Short ageing and ripened grapes enhance the fruitiness over the oak in order to deliver a flagship range of new Rioja wines, bold and fruit driven, in new world style using only the finest grapes.
One of the most popular wines in the range is the Marques de la Concordia Tempranillo. A ruby colour with berry aromas this wine matches particularly well with lamb, poultry and cured cheeses, making it an ideal consumer purchase for Easter.
There are two further wines available from the brand, which is distributed throughout Ireland by United Wine Merchants, the Marques de la Concordia Reserva and Vega de la Reina Cosecha. The Reserva, aged for 24 months boasts an intense aroma and will enhance any meal, while the Vega de la Reina Cosecha is perfect with fish and seafood dishes.
This range offers the consumer a good variety of high quality wines at an affordable price. For more information contact United Wine Merchants on 04838316555, email email@example.com
, or visit the website www.unitedwines.co.uk
El Coto Rioja
Recording noteworthy results
The new vintages of wine from El Coto continue to rise to new heights, says Mackenway Distributors. This is emphasised by very impressive scores in the recently published Penin Guide to Spanish Wine for 2011. The always delicious El Coto Crianza scored an outstanding 90 points and is a wonderful drop of Rioja. While the consistently improving El Coto Blanco and El Coto Rosado are also seriously note-worthy wines, both are very well balanced and offer great value at under €10 per bottle. The Coto de Imaz Reserva is like a consistently reliable friend. The new vintage has made a step forward and now has more of a modern touch, making it an increasingly rewarding wine.
El Coto has recently moved to a new area of production in Spain to the little known area of Cigales where it makes the Museum wines. These are fast becoming the new benchmark for quality Spanish wines in Ireland. This has been reinforced by the Museum Real Reserva being awarded the prestigious title of “Red Wine of the Year” for two years running at the NOffLA Irish Wine Show.
El Coto de Rioja and Museum wines are distributed in Ireland by Mackenway Distributors Limited.
Extensive offering for every taste
The Torres family has been linked with wine for more than three centuries, during which time they have produced the finest of wines to the highest of quality. Torres Wines, distributed by Findlater Wines and Spirits Group, continues to be both the number one Spanish and indeed old world wine brand in Ireland. The Torres portfolio is extensive and has an offering for every wine taste, from the hugely popular Torres Vina Sol and Torres Sangre de Toro wines of Catalunya, to the premium and super-premium wines of Torres Celeste from Ribera del Duero, Torres Salmos from Priorat, and most recently Torres Ibericos from Rioja.
Proof of the importance of the Torres brand are the awards that it receives on a regular basis. Miguel A. Torres recently collected a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the modernisation of the world of wine. He was a pioneer in the introduction of international varieties in Spain and has contributed decisively to the modernisation of the Spanish wine growing industry. Torres has also recently been awarded the distinction of "Green" Company of the Year. The Torres winery was rewarded for having demonstrated its commitment to the environment: improving its systems and procedures to reduce its carbon footprint, minimising the impact on its surroundings and promoting ecological awareness, both among its workers and also among its clients and consumers.
International distinctions for fresh and elegant choice
Marqués de Riscal is a leading and pioneering Spanish wine producer. As far back as 1858, Marqués de Riscal became the first winery in the Rioja to produce wines following the Bordeaux method and in 1972, it was the first winery to promote the Rueda Designation of Origin, where it produced its famous Marqués de Riscal white wines, such as Marqués de Riscal Sauvignon Blanc and Rueda. It is also famous for becoming the first Spanish winery that adopted the French system of wine classification.
Its outstanding winery in Elciego, is home not just to the oldest winery of Rioja, but also to the “City of Wine”, which comprises a hotel, a spa of wine therapy and an exclusive restaurant, all designed by the world renowned architect, Frank O. Gehry.
Marqués de Riscal sells its products in over 80 countries and its wines enjoy the highest international distinctions as well as numerous awards and mentions in the media. Its iconic Marqués de Riscal Reserva, is made from vines over 15 years old and with its distinctive gold netting and gold foil label, is a wine which captures the classic Rioja style: fresh, fine, elegant and very suitable for laying down for many years.