I always think it is such a pity that most supermarkets and wine shops seem to think that Spanish wine stops and starts with Rioja. This makes most consumers think that Spanish wine is all about Rioja. It is apparently now very hard to sell Spanish wines in the UK that do not have the word Rioja on the label.
So, imagine how excited I was when putting together a Spanish wine tasting session for a wine club recently to find this splendid wine, it is interesting and different as it comes from an area not historically associated with wine, but an estate in Toledo that has its own D.O. – indeed it was the first of the 7 Vinos de Pago to be created, what is more it is easily available, great value for money and is rather good.
Marqués de Griñon Caliza 2005
D.O. Dominio de Valdepusa
This is an accomplished wine, the colour is opaque with deep black fruit hues, and the nose is full of raspberry, black cherry, smoky, cinnamon spice and earthy, rocky notes.
In the mouth it is full-bodied and mouth-filling, but still elegant with touches of fresh acidity. The rich dark fruit tastes lively and is supported by gentle spice, well integrated oak and smooth tannins on a long finish.
At first the wine seems quite tight, but appears to emerge from a shell by the mid palate, rather like a Minstrel chocolate, so countering the front loaded feel that so many fruity wines seem to have.
The only thing I have against the wine is the rather odd label, I realise that it is supposed to be an arty stone, but it looks more like an outline of Greenland!
I showed this as a finale at the tasting and it really did impress, especially when they heard the price.
Available from Marks & Spencers @ £9.99