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Trabanco Poma Aurea Sparkling Cider 2013
Trabanco's cider house is located in the town of Gijón. In it can be found an incredible array of old chestnut barrels dating back to the beginning of the 20th century, with some large enough to hold up to 20,000 liters. The enormous square presses are made of wood and are just as old as the barrels. Trabanco has also incorporated some modern approaches to widen its array of natural apple products, introducing new items from cider vinegar to apple juice to the Poma Áurea, a sparkling apple cider.
Of Trabanco's ciders, the more traditionally styled is the Cosecha Propia. This cider is unique among those produced in Asturias, as it is made from estate-grown apples of numerous native varietals that have been approved by the Asturian Association of Cider Apple Growers. The juice is fermented with indigenous yeasts and in accordance with the guidelines for "Sidra Naturala," producing a low-alcohol cider that is tart and lacks carbonation.
Trabanco's second cider is an innovative sparkling project made from a selection of apples from the best orchards within the denomination. These apples are meticulously hand sorted and pressed using the old wooden presses. The must is transferred to select old barrels where it is fermented with indigenous yeast, and once fermentation is complete, the cider is placed in stainless steel tanks for secondary fermentation. The attractive result is named Poma Áurea for its special golden color.
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.
End a great meal on a sweet note, dessert and fortified wines come in an impressive array of styles and sweetness levels. Many wines in this category—including Port, Sherry, and Madeira—are fortified with neutral spirits to increase the level of alcohol, and, depending on the final style of wine desired, often to arrest fermentation while some (or a lot of) residual sugar remains. Others, like Sauternes and Tokaji, are produced by leaving the grapes on the vine long after the rest of the harvest has been processed in order to accumulate very high sugar levels. Often, a form of “noble” rot called botrytis plays a role, desiccating the grape until only the very flavorful solids and sugars remain. These late-picked wines are, accordingly, often referred to as late-harvest wines. In colder climates, the grapes may be allowed to freeze on the vine for the production of ice wine.