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Pirineos Somontano Montesierra Macabeo Blanco 2001

Other White Blends from Spain
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    Pirineos

    Bodega Pirineos

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    Bodega Pirineos, Spain
    Somontano is located in the ancient Aragones kingdom of Sobrarbe in the province of Huesca. It is an isolated, well-defined viticultural region in a protected amphitheater at the base of the Pyrenees-high enough to escape the Mediterranean climate of the Ebro River Valley below.

    The registered vineyard area of the Somontano is small- only 4,200 acres. The soils are well-drained chalk and sand. Glacial runoff provides moisture during summer drought while the Pyrenees provide north winds. Viticultural reorganization is currently in full swing, as plantings are mixed and of advanced age. Increasing investment, both from the government of Aragon and elsewhere, is backing experiments with French grape varieties and increasing plantations of the Tempranillo in an effort to join the elite of Europe's quality wine regions.

    Varietal experimentation, however, only serves to cloud Somontano's most alluring story - the existence of and indigenous, high quality red grape called Moristel. It is a natural product of its mountain climate, being loose-bunched, delicate of skin, bright of flavor and low in oxidative enzymes. Although capable of aging, the young wine from this grape is simply delicious, with a velvety and tender texture, vibrant loganberry aroma and most importantly, individuality.

    Known for bold reds, crisp whites, and distinctive sparkling and fortified wines, Spain has embraced international varieties and wine styles while continuing to place the primary emphasis upon its own native grapes. Though the country’s climate is diverse, it is generally warm to hot. In the center of the country lies a vast, dry plateau known as the Meseta Central, characterized by extremely hot summers and frequent drought. Because of its location on the Iberian Peninsula, many of Spain’s wine regions are located on or near the milder coast, either of the Bay of Biscay to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the northwest, or the Mediterranean sea to the south and east. Each of these regions has its own unique soil, climate, and topography, as well as principal grape varieties.

    In the cool, damp northwest region of Galicia, refreshing white Albariño and Verdejo dominate, though elsewhere the most popular wines are generally red. Rioja is Spain’s best-known region, where earthy, age-worthy reds are made from Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache), as well as rich, nutty whites from Viura. Ribera del Duero produces opulent, fruity, top-quality wines from almost exclusively Tempranillo. Priorat, a sub-region of Catalonia, blends Garnacha with Cariñena (Carignan) to make bold, full-bodied wines with a hint of earthiness. Catalonia is also home to Cava, a sparkling wine made in the traditional method but from indigenous varieties. Sherry, Spain’s famous fortified wine, is produced in a wide range of styles from dry to lusciously sweet at the country’s southern tip in Jerez. Since the 1990s, international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc have been steadily increasing in importance in several regions.

    Other White Blends

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    With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

    WWH363MMPB2_2001 Item# 55205