We all dream of a place in the sun, but if you’re not jetting off to the Costa del Sol or Barcelona, a tasting flight of modern Spanish wines and a few bites of tapas will bring you one step closer to the sunshine coast.
So, to lay the foundations for building your own bodega, here are some vinos that have the charm and staying power to make you feel like it’s fiesta time... even though your feet haven’t left the ground.
Sendero das Meigas Godello 2009
Godello is a white grape from Galicia in north-west Spain and worth seeking out if you’re fond of a rich, fresh style with delightful honey and apricot flavours. Opening with apricot and honeyed notes, the silky, soft palate is concentrated with bright, citrus flavours and the lush finish is balanced by good minerality. Delicious with scallops and crab.
Bodegas Muga Rioja Blanco 2014
White Rioja can sometimes be overlooked, not so with this blend of 90 per cent viura with a splash of malvasia to add a little fat and richness. With a good use of oak, balance and freshness, the expressive bouquet of honey, orange blossom and sweet vanilla notes leads to apple and subtle pineapple flavours. Try with shrimp, serrano ham and manchego cheese.
Codorniu Cuvee Barcelona Brut
Catalonia in north-eastern Spain is the home of cava (meaning cellar) and Codorniu produces some of Spain’s best bubbly. Made using the traditional method, this latest release is inspired by the city’s modernist architecture and the embossed label certainly looks the part. A blend of three cava grapes – macabeo, xarel.lo and parellada – the tiny beads of bubbles have an attractive creamy texture with a delightful flowery nose and well-balanced fruit. Enjoy with seafood, fried fish, assorted cheeses and cold meats.
El Patito Feo Graciano 2009
(£6.49, from £8.99, www.virginwines.co.uk)
It’s important to decant this wine (a carafe will do), to aerate it and leave the sediment standing at the bottom of the bottle, not your glass. This inky black beauty from the Navarra wine region (Rioja’s next door neighbour) is intense, spicy and fragrant. Pungent with blackberries and forest fruits on the nose, it spends six months in oak and the smooth velvety flavours are rich with a twist of black pepper on the finish. Perfect with cured sausage.
Vent del Mar Garnacha Negra Syrah 2011
With a growing fan base, garnacha is the rich, vibrant red we all want to chew on when it’s in the hands of a talented winemaker. This little gem from Terra Alta delivers a wine with a fresh, minerally character, so the violet aromas, rich raspberry and cherry fruits with ripples of cassis, have a juicy freshness to the bright berry notes.
Vina Real Rioja Crianza 2011
An excellent vintage from historic producer CVNE, this Crianza has a little bit of ageing in American and French oak, along with bottle ageing, and is drinking beautifully now. Elegant and ripe, it’s tempranillo dominant with a small proportion of garnacha, graciano and mazuela. Pair with rump steak and pork meatballs.