I (briefly) attended a “Wines from Spain” wine tasting today. I enjoy these tastings as they provide me with the opportunity to continue my palate training. But given how busy I have been lately I went today primarily to see a friend I have not had the chance to see for a few months.
Shortly after arriving my friend lamented that he did not care for any of the wines he had tasted thus far. Too big, fruit forward and in his opinion lacking structure. Having not yet tasted any of the wines I agreed with him that I had seen a trend of younger winemakers making wine in a more fruit-forward & extracted style.
To take one step back I must admit here, as I admitted to my friend, that I once very much enjoyed these BIG, fruit forward wines. At the time I very much liked the way the big fruit gave the perception of sweetness, almost as if I were taking a big bite out of a handful of blackberries. However, as my palate has evolved, I am presently a bit more into restrained wines whose fruit are (in my opinion) in better balance in the wine.
SO, we went to a few tables and tasted some wines. I did come across an old style Rioja – an earthy wine wine with some age and restraint – one that is definitely not fruit forward. In general, good interesting wines, but maybe too little fruit??? I also came across some of the aforementioned fruit bombs – big heavily extracted, almost Australian Shiraz style wines – not my thing these days. BUT, I also did find some wines that possessed fruit, but the fruit seemed well integrated. No, these are not the wines people often think of when thinking of classic Spanish wines, but it is a style that has become popular and that sells. And these wineries do need to consider the bottom line.
So, whether you like earthy, subtle Spanish Rioja’s, big fruit forward new world style wines, or some combination of the two, taste wines when possible and you will find a wine from Spain that will suit your unique taste preference.
Happy (whatever style you like) Spanish wine tasting!