The first day of The Wine Academy of Spain’s course at Jaleo in the Crystal City started nice an early on Monday morning. Registration began at 8am, and by 9am, we were well on our way to learning about the Spanish Wine Market. We started with a 10-minute video that gave an overview of Spain before delving in the history of Spain and how it affected the development of the wine market. Whether it was during the time of the Romans (when wine thrived), the Barbarians (when winemaking came to a halt), the Visigoths (when winemaking made a comeback), the Muslims (when cultivation expanded, but winemaking itself slowed), or the Reconquest (when the religious community took over winemaking), each period of Spanish history noticeably impacted the winemaking culture of the country.
After covering the history, an in-depth look at the Spanish import/export market began. It should be no surprise that the amount of wine that is imported is fairly small. It also may be no surprise to some that Cava is the largest Spanish wine export, with Rioja and Sherry following close behind. But, did you know that the USA is the third largest importer of Spanish wines?
Once we finished looking at the Spanish wine market, we covered Aragón and Navarra…and then dove right into our first tasting.
40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 40% Tempranillo
Deep ruby color
Red plums, black currant, violets, and smokiness
Strong tannins, medium-to-full body, medium-to-long finish
2006 Magna Calcheta (winery) from Navarra
Vibrant deep purple with a ruby rim
Lots of fruit—Cherry, blackberry, fennel, smoke, vanilla, and a touch of spiciness
Good tannins, medium acid
Medium ruby with a garnet rim
Rose, black pepper, raspberry, strawberry, and perfume on the nose
Red Fruits, cedar, and spice in the mouth
Firm, but not aggressive tannins, nice complexity
Purple with ruby flecks
Strawberry, cherry, white pepper, and something floral on the nose
Very ripe red fruits and mineral finish in the mouth
Soft tannins, medium-to-high acidity, medium body
2006 Alto Moncayo Garnacha (snooth) from Campo de Borja (in Aragón)
Oak, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, white pepper, nutmeg, and cherries on the nose
Fruity up front and oaky on the back in the mouth…reminiscent of a Zinfandel
Good tannins, high acidity
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