Summer in Spain (and especially here in Valencia) requires a bit of thought when it comes to matching wines with food. This is particularly the case when it comes to drinking red wines. This is because the red wines here are high in alcohol, at their best at normal room temperature and from June to September the ambient temperature is way above this! This affects the wines badly and they do not show at their best….chilling is no answer either as the drinker will lose much of the character of the wine.
VÍ Vid do not drink red wines generally during these months other than at formal tastings. We recommend that you consider rosé wines known in Spain as Rosados (especially Valencian Rosados) during this period.
It is interesting to note that the Valencians themselves are now beginning to see the values of these wines which for years were considered ‘dirty wines’, white blended with red.
But this is not the case. They are wines made from red grapes but the juice has a limited time in contact with the skins so that they produce a range of colour from pale salmon pink to strawberry red. Coming from red grapes, they have the body of a red wine but have the acidity of whites.
In our experience this makes them capable of matching any Valencian food from salads to the richest of seafood dishes and paellas, jamon, ibericos etc.
Here is a selection of 8 wines VÍ Vid have been drinking this Summer and recommend. Note that Cabernet Sauvignon wines are rare in Valencia, Monastrell wines will be found around Alicante and Castellon whilst Merlot and Bobal are more likely in Valencia.
1. Rosado, Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Bodegas Subarra, Castellon,13% ABV
Made at Bodegas Garcia Mayo in Vilafames by Jose Guillamon, this Rosado is from Cabernet Sauvignon. Pale strawberry colour, clean and bright. It has an intense fruity nose with hints of ripe grapes and red summer fruits. Fresh, dry, meaty on entry, with a balancing acidity and a long finish with lively fruit and good volume.
2. Merlot 2016, Bodegas Vegamar, DO Valencia, 12.5% ABV
From the Calles bodega which is increasingly winning awards for their wines (eg Grand d´Or in Brussels). Very pale pink, rose, in colour with long legs. On the nose light red fruit, fragrant with a hint of rose, well balanced in the mouth, well-integrated fruit and acidity with a long dry mineral finish. (Available from Vegamar Selección, Calle Colon)
3. Bodega Finca Collado Rosado 2016, Merlot/Monastrell, DO Alicante, 13% ABV
This vintage has 15% Monastrell in a blend. The Merlot as usual is pressed immediately to avoid too much colour but the Monastrell is free-run juice from the beginning of the maceration process, which is then fermented in oak with regular batonnage over 2 months.
Bright, strawberry pink, clean. Nice light raspberry fruit, boiled sweets, and raspberry and strawberry fruit in the mouth, well-balanced acidity with a mineral, slightly salty finish. Seductive. Recently matched with a cod and tomato salad, salmon mousse and paella. It is a versatile wine, which also goes well with white meats and seafood dishes.(Available from the bodega or La Sabor de la Vid in Valencia)
4. Terreta Rosado 2016 Monastrell, Edición Especial, BOCOPA, 13%ABV DO Alicante
From the Petrer bodega and vineyards in the Vinapólo around Sax and Salinas.
Darker in colour, ripe strawberry, clean and bright. On the nose ripe, red fruit, redcurrant and raspberry. Evolves in the glass. In the mouth, intense on entry, slightly sweet with mature red summer fruits, well balanced with a long intense finish, again with a hint of the minerals in the soils. This is perfect with Bollo de Requena and Clotxinas and spicy chicken wings as well as paellas and seafood dishes. Available from the On-line shop)
5. Rosado 2016, Bodega Clos d’esgarracordes, IGP Castellon 13% ABV
This is the new vintage of this Rosado, the blend of which changes from one year to another. This year it is a blend of just Monastrell with Garnacha.
Sergio and Mario (owner and winemaker respectively) have opted for the modern pale salmon pink colour after a couple of vintages of darker wines. Clean and bright. On the nose red fruits, intense, floral. In the mouth, good volume, easy entry, lots of red fruits, very round and a very long fruity finish. Available from Navarro Bodegueros, Cardenal Benlloch 100).
6. Parreño 2016, Rosado, Bobal, Latorre Bodegas, DO Utiel-Requena 12%ABV
This is an old favourite in our tasting group from this bodega in Venta del Moro. The new vintage is a midrange, rose and strawberry colour with good legs.
Intense mature fruit on the nose, typically Bobal nose with strawberry and raspberry and bubble gum. Fresh on entry, balanced with good volume, red fruit flavours and citric notes and a long finish. (Available on-line from the Bodega)
7. Al Vent 2016 Rosado, Bobal Coviñas DO Utiel-Requena 12.5% ABV
This 2016 is bright rose red, lively with violet tones and brilliant appearance.
Concentrated red fruits on the nose, fresh, aromatic, seductive. Fruity on entry, well
balanced, intense with a long fruity finish.( Available on-line from the bodega)
8. Alto Cuevas 2016 Rosado, Bobal, Covilor, DO Utiel-Requena, 12.5% ABV
Bodegas Covilor is a cooperative in the hamlet of Cuevas de Utiel. They have had a quiet time over the last four years but have suddenly bounced back with this prizewinning Bobal (Best in Proava 2017, selected by the DO for official events etc).
A darker deeper, ripe strawberry colour with good legs. Classic Bobal nose, raspberry, strawberry and bubble gum, this is nonetheless a more refined and elegant wine. In the mouth ‘chupachup’, strawberry and cream, with a long creamy finish. (Available on-line from the Bodega)
The wines will drink well throughout Autumn and into Winter.
This article was prepared by Riki Wigley and Marian Darás whose VÍ vid project promotes Valencian wine and Gastronomy. VÍVidBlog (http://vvidvinos.wordpress.com ) reports regularly on bodega visits, launches of new wines etc, and restaurant reviews.
Recent blogs have seen the publication of three reports covering the wines of Joan de la Casa, a bodega based in Benissa, (Alicante) , a restaurant review for Kiko Port in Oliva and a preview of upcoming Gastronomy competitions around the community.
VÍ Vid are also in Facebook, Twitter (@vividvinos) and Instagram (Vivid8402)…..have a look at our activities there for more information on Valencian wine and Food!