Venturing into new territory-Spain

2006 Dehesa de Rubiales Alaia Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon
Red Wine; Red Blend; Other Spain;
Add to Cart
With The Wine House’s emphasis on French wines with forays into Italy, Argentina, Germany, Austria, and of course, local wines, there is precious little time to explore Spain’s offerings. Customers often ask if we carry any Spanish wines, which we do from time to time, but it’s obvious from this example that we need to delve in deeper! Now, as I’ve intimated, I am no expert on Spanish wines but I know what tastes good. I was browsing through one of my favorite wholesaler’s pricebook when the name Alaia popped on the page. The name conjured up images of tight strips of fabric snuggly hugging 80’s Supermodels courtesy of fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa. No relation here, but still I was determined to taste the 2006 Alaia from Dehesa de Rubiales. I’m glad I did. It’s always satisfying to find a wine that has character, depth and, well, is reasonably priced. I ordered the wine for the store, mostly to satisfy my own selfish craving for a new taste sensation. After relishing in several bottles, it finally dawned on me that I had it all wrong. What was I thinking hoarding this wine all to myself? I work in wine retail precisely for opportunities like these: to get delicious, quality wine into the hands of many, making life-long friends along the way. Even my kindergartener knows SHARING IS CARING!
The 2006 Alaia is a blend of Prieto Picudo and Tempranillo with a smidgeon of Merlot. The wine comes from the region of Castilla y León in northern Spain. The terrain is described as harsh with extreme climate. Summers are hot but short with nighttime temperatures dipping low. I’m guessing Prieto Picudo is a varietal that can persevere in this environment. My wine library came up empty with good information about this grape, hence relying on intuition (maybe not a good thing!). What I do know for certain is that the aromas of blackberries and notes of spicy black licorice captivated my senses like the gentle wind that stirs up the scent of drying blackberries and oily Eucalyptus leaves on my walks to pick up my daughter at school in the late summer heat. What came next was a warm stew of red fruits laden with spice. Not unlike a very toned-down Zinfandel. The flavors are vivid and persist through the finish. The last time I opened up a bottle was at home with a ho-hum dinner. The meal was probably leftovers, definitely unmemorable, but the wine was not. I kept hounding my husband urging him to take one more whiff of wine out of my glass, as if his was somehow less aromatic. “Isn’t this great? Don’t you just love it?” Even though I could tell he was getting a tad irritated at my enthusiasm, he was in complete agreement. I’d love to serve this next time with a piece of meat seasoned with Spanish Pimentón. I think the smoky paprika would compliment the spice and fruit-driven Alaia nicely. There’s a whole wide world of wine to explore. The 2006 Alaia is a welcome addition to the Wine House line-up. Anya Balistreri
2006 Dehesa de Rubiales Alaia Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon
Red Wine; Red Blend; Other Spain;
Add to Cart

Leave a comment

Filed under Anya Balistreri

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s