The New York Times: vinos (españoles) para quedarse en casa

Seis vinos españoles, un tinto, un fino, dos blancos y dos cavas, forman parte de las recomendaciones “para quedarse en casa bebiendo” que se venden en Estados Unidos por debajo de 14 euros (15 Wines Under $15 Inexpensive Bottles for Stay-at-Home Drinking). La selección ha sido realizada por Eric Asimov crítico de The New York Times. 

El autor del artículo define a estas marcas como deliciosas y asegura que tienen una excelente relación calidad-precio. Todas las que aparecen en la lista, que no está ordenada, tienen la virtud de hacer disfrutar. Y también, conseguir que algunas comidas y algunos momentos resulten mejores. Hasta es posible -concluye- que consigan dibujar una sonrisa en alguien que la necesite. 

Loxarel Amaltea Penedès Cava Brut Nature 2016
This is fresh, dry sparkling wine, appropriately herbal and citrus-flavored, but with unexpected depth and a toasty, yeasty undertone. Loxarel uses only the traditional cava grapes, xarello (Loxarel is an anagram), macabeu and parellada, grown biodynamically or organically. There’s a lot of mediocre cava around, but this superb bottle stands out. 

Bohigas Cava Rosat NV
It’s nice to have a rosé sparkler as well, and this copper-colored example from Bohigas is excellent, rounder and a bit fruitier than the Loxarel, with which it offers a nice contrast. This rosat, the Catalonian form of rosado, which itself is the Castilian word for rosé, is made from trapat, an indigenous Catalonian grape, with a touch of pinot noir. It’s refreshing, and you could drink it as an aperitif, but it would go well with food, too. 

Alta Alella Alella PB 2018
PB stands for pansa blanca, which in Catalonia is another name for xarello, the leading grape in good cava. But this white gives an idea of how good xarello can be in still wines. It’s got appetizing aromas and flavors of grasses, herbs and orchard fruits. Alta Alella is just outside Barcelona, and almost adjacent to the Mediterranean.

Benito Santos Rías Baixas Albariño Igrexario de Saiar 2018
A lot of insipid albariño is out there. Those wines tend to be slightly sweet, with flavors of tropical fruits. This one from Benito Santos, made with organic grapes, is not one of them. It’s tense, alive and vibrant, floral and saline with a lively citrus tinge. When I drink this, I find myself craving oysters and clams on the half-shell.

Bodegas Ponce Manchuela Clos Lojen Bobal 2018
Of the three red grapes that have dominated wine production in southeastern Spain forever, two are now found all over the world, garnacha and monastrell. The third, bobal, stayed home as primarily the basis for indifferent wines sold in bulk. But its champions, like Bodegas Ponce, have demonstrated how good bobal can be when grown and made with care. Clos Lojen is Ponce’s entry-level wine, but it’s lively and fresh with earthy, red berry flavors. 

Pérez Barquero Verbenera Montilla-Moriles Fino NV
This wine raises several questions. Montilla-Moriles? It’s a region in the Andalucia region of Spain, not far from Jerez, and the wines are reminiscent of sherry, though the operative grape is Pedro Ximénez, not palomino, and the wines achieve 15 percent alcohol without fortification. Verbenera? It’s an imprint of Pérez Barquero, one of the region’s best producers. This wine is a superb value, dry with almond and mineral flavors, a little richer than a Jerez fino, but delicious nonetheless.
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