Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Finca Hispana Representing Spain's Rich and Diverse Wine Culture

Spain's wine culture is as rich and diverse as any country and one brand attempting to capture this complete image is Finca Hispana. They produce wines from indigenous varieties grown in ten unique regions from Rioja to Priorat and from Cava to Sherry. And the varieties include Tempranillo, Garnacha, Cariñena, Monastrell (Mourvedre) and Garnacha Blanca. Each Finca Hispana wine showcases not only the region and grape variety, but also the winemakers - who are displayed proudly on each label.  In 2015 these wines started arriving in the United States and are priced very modestly at $15. I recently received a care package and here are the highlights.

FH Garnacha-Carignan-Syrah - The blend consists of 40% Garnacha, 40% Carignan, 20% Syrah all from vines aged between 30-60 years old in DO Monsant - the center of Catalonia and surrounding DOQ Priorat. This complex but approachable wine is produced by Eugènia Guasch López.

FH Garnacha Barrica, 2011 D.O. Carinena - José Maria Valero tends 100 year old vines in Cariñena, situated on the high plains of the ancient Kingdom of Aragon in northern Spain. The wine starts with a creamy mouthful of dark cherries which leads to mild acids and easy tannins. My favorite.

FH Castrijo Joven, 2012 DOC Rioja - José Ayala Salazar began working in his father’s vineyard at the age of six. Now he works 40-80 years old vines in the Labastida region, the highest and most northern area in Rioja. The wine stresses bright berry fruit followed by a creamy texture and subtle tannins.

FH Castrijo Joven 2014 Rioja Tempranillo - Also located in Labastida, this family vineyard is now tended by Aintxane Prieto Uriarte and her husband. This is a vibrant wine; mint and chocolate, easy tannins and very approachable.

FH Cuvee 2012 Jumilla Monastrell - José Floreal Jimeniz Joulie was born during the the Spanish civil war and tended vineyards because he couldn't attend school. 70 years later he still works every day in Jumilla's desert like conditions. His vines are nearly 100 years old and survive on less than 10 inches of rain per year in the southeast corner of Spain. This is a big spicy wine; it needs to breathe; to allow the textured tannins to settle down.

FH Monastrell Joven, 2012 D.O. Jumilla - Another wine from Jumilla this one produced by Daniel Guerrero Cruz. It is also a full bodied wine, but not as big as the Cuvee. Instead, there's more jaminess and ripe fruit.

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