TN: An interesting Spanish wine

2002 Bodegas y Viñedos Ángel Sánchez Redondo Macabeo - Spain, Extremadura, Vino de la Tierra Extremadura (6/2/2012)

I’m sitting in a beautiful Parador in Trujillo, Spain sipping on this aged Macabeo. We stopped at the winery this morning and had a nice visit with the owner. This is a beautiful boutique operation, but with all the bells and whistles of modern wine making. They make and sell only Cabernet Sauvignon (with a touch of Merlot in the low-end bottling). The wines were very nice indeed, and I bought a bottle of each of the three different cabs.

The owner pulled this bottle of Macabeo from his private stash for us to try (it’s good to have attractive women with you); no label or anything. He was pretty sure it was from 2002.

Nutty on the nose with some oxidized discoloration. The nuttiness follows through on the palate with a good hit of acidity, this is a treat to drink, though it’s not for everyone. You have to appreciate the off-beat a bit.

Tasting at Spanish wineries has been a bit of a challenge. The industry is not yet wine geek/individual consumer friendly (this bodega was an inspiring exception). It may be that wine gets poured at every place you eat for no charge, and much of it is not particularly good, so folks aren’t motivated to look for more. I don’t know what the reason is, but Napa it isn’t for the wine lover who wants to taste his/her way through a region.

I think you are making a gross generalization about Spanish wineries not being conducive to wine lovers. Extremadura winery facilities are generally considered to be not as developed and as advanced, relative to, say, Rioja and Castilla-Leon.
I’ve had very pleasant, much more pleasant than more-than-few Napa/Sonoma experiences, at Rioja, Castilla-Leon and Priorat, granted that I’ve only been to few wineries in the 2-3 times that I’ve visited the regions.

Jim – What regions were you tasting in? I would guess they get many fewer tourists than in the French and Italian wine regions. In the mid-80s when I first went to Bordeaux, apart from Mouton, the chateaux were not really expecting tourist traffic. That was certainly true in the Rhone, too, for a long time after that, at least in the north.

Burgundy was always different because of its proximity to Paris, Belgium and Switzerland. Likewise, the Tuscans were used to a flood of Americans, Brits and Germans. Since most of the top Spanish areas outside Catalonia are some distance from Madrid and Barcelona, it wouldn’t surprise me that they aren’t as visitor-friendly.

I guess I should have conditioned my comments. We were mainly in the Ribera del Duero region. We knew that we needed reservations at the big wineries, like Vega-Sicilia. But we had been led to believe by locals that the smaller bodegas would be flexible and welcoming. Perhaps they simply did not know.

Ramon, I wasn’t trying to smear Spanish wineries, but was just commenting on our experiences, albeit limited to one major region.

I’m sure you’re having a blast Jimbo. I’m jealous. Enough about the wine, how’s the food???

Go to Abadía de Acón near Burgos. Good wine and probably the most tourist-friendly in Ribera. Also go to Protos - they’re the biggest and oldest and they’ll show you around a huge cavernous underground cellar.

Most of the producers in the region aren’t big enough to encourage a lot of tourists.