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This white Spanish wine is typically Galician: light, fresh, and crackling dry. Drinking temperature for Spanish wine 50-53.6°F (10-12°C).

The red Spanish wine is much rarer than the white but well worth the trouble of finding. Most of them are light and fruity but the better Crianza red possesses a wonderful nose of blackberry, plum, and liquorice, a superb cherry red colour, and a smooth, rich, and very pleasing taste. Drink this Spanish wine at 53.6-57.2°F (12-14°C).

 

Castilla y Leon

Castilla y Leon is an enormous Spanish wine-growing area in which a great deal of excellent quality table and country wine (equivalent to vin de table and vin de pays) is made such as Cebreros, Valdevimbre-Los Oteros, Fermoselle-Arribes del Duero, and Tierra del Vino de Zamora, plus superb DO wine from the localities of Bierzo, Cigales, Ribera del Duero, Toro, and Rueda. The last four of these are located around the town of Valladolid and the Duero and are dealt with in the following section. The DO Bierzo is the odd one out, located in the extreme north west of Castilla y Leon. In terms of its climate, Bierzo (Leon) has more in common with the other Spanish wines in this section than its four neighbours from Castilla.

 

Bierzo

This DO has officially existed since 1989 but it is only since 1991 that only grapes from within the designated area were permitted to be used. This last measure in particular has led to an improvement in quality of the Spanish wine from Bierzo area.

The Spanisch wine-growing now covers some 5,500 hectares. Bierzo is the only Castilla y Leon DO not directly situated on the river Duero. Instead it lies against the border with Galicia. Bierzo is regarded as a transition zone between the wine-making of Galicia, particularly nearby Valdeorras, and the area of the Duero valley. The Bierzo area lies in a valley surrounded by the mountains of the Cordillera Cantabrica and the Montes de Leon, which protect the valley from extremes of weather. The climate is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean (moisture and wind), but gets more hours of sunshine than Galicia.

This Spanish vineyards are on the sloping sides of the hills, which are composed of granite and clay. They produce good white Spanish wine from the Doña Blanca and Godello, rose and red wine from the Mencía with some use of Garnacha. Unfortunately white Spanish wines are also still encountered from the lower quality Palomino grape.

The white wine is less pronounced in its taste than those of Galicia. The tasty, light, and fresh dry wine is very enjoyable as an aperitif. Drinking temperature for this Spanish wine: 46.4- 50.0°F (8-10°C).

The rose Spanish wine made with Garnacha is of excellent quality, especially when it is aged in oak when it is fullyflavoured, aromatic, and powerful. Drink this rose Spanish wine at 50-53.6°F (10-12°C).

I consider the red wine from Bierzo to be the best from this area. Most Spanish wine from here is made to be drunk when young. They are light, fresh, and fruity, with floral undertones. The better Spanish wines are aged in oak and are sold as Reserva. These are more full-bodied, robust, and grown-up. Finally there are Gran Reservas, which promise much for the future. Most red Bierzo Spanish wines have a distinctive nose of red fruit, plum, dates, or sultanas, occasionally with a hint of liquorice and celery or fennel. Drinking temperature for this Spanish wine: 53.6-60.8°F (12-16°C); but 60.8 °F (16°C) for the Gran Reservas.

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