I attended the New York Wine Expo this Weekend. Most of the major wine regions of the world were represented; some regions really came out in force. One of these was Spain which had quite an array of producers present. I found a couple that I really liked. One that stood out was Villavid Winery. The New York Wine Expo featured breakout sessions each day. These presentations took place in a classroom like setting and allowed a producer to spend a nice chunk of time explaining their wines and having them tasted in a quieter atmosphere than the main tasting floor. This method allows for more give and take between those tasting and the winery.
I decided to go to the session for Villavid Winery. Spain was on my mind and they’re a producer I was completely unfamiliar with previously. It turned out that my lack of familiarity is no surprise; Villavid Winery is not yet distributed in the US. This trip to the NY Wine Expo was set up in large part to introduce them to the US Market and find someone to bring the wines in. While they’re new to us, Villavid has a long history. They were founded in 1952 and have been producing wine ever since. They’re located in the La Mancha region of Spain and produce a range of wines. My reflections on what we tasted are as follows:
Blanco Villavid (D.O. Manchelua) – This white wine is a 50/50 blend of Macabeo and Verdejo. This fruit was sourced from vines over 10 years old. This selection was bottled without any oak treatment. Gooseberry, grapefruit and very light vanilla characteristics mark the expressive nose of this wine. There are reference points which bring Sauvignon Blanc to mind. The palate features a host of tropical fruit themes; these are underscored by wisps of grass. This wine is crisp and refreshing. The finish beckons you back to the glass for more. Good acidity and balance are in evidence. This wine will work well as a stand alone aperitif. It will also pair well with lighter foods such as soft cheeses. Goat cheese tarts would be a perfect match.
Rosado Villavid (D.O. Manchuela) – This Rosé was produced using 100% Bobal. This is a varietal indigenous to Spain. This Rosé has a medium hue. It’s a bit darker than the average old world Rosé but lighter than many new world examples. Candied cherry in the nose is underpinned by light hints of tangerine. The palate is a bowl of fresh berry fruit; cherry takes the lead. White pepper complements the berry and leads to the finish. A hint of orange emerges and lingers nicely along with continuing spice, berry and some welcome savory notes to close things out. This wine has good balance and will work well with many lighter foods and some medium bodied ones as well.
Tinto Tempranillo Joven Villavid (D.O. Manchuela) – This wine was produced using 100% Cencibel which is the local name for Tempranillo. It was produced using fruit from vines over 35 years old. This selection spent 12 months in French oak. A deep, dark, purple hue makes this a striking selection from the first pour. Cherry notes tell the main story of this wine from the first whiff to the last sip. Along the way the palate is fruity, fresh and bright with sweet plums, blueberries and wild strawberry joining the cherry. The finish is medium in length and this wine has good acidity and nice balance. This offering is tasty on its own but will shine when paired with grilled meats.
Reserva Villavid (D.O. Manchuela) – This wine was produced using 100% Bobal. The fruit was selected from vines with over 30 years of age. Aging was accomplished over 12 months in two year old American oak barrels. Cedar and mulled berry notes mark the subtle but emerging nose of this wine. Dark berry fruit is persistent throughout the palate. The finish features a nice complement of sour berry and savory fruit notes. This offering is persistent and hangs on for a nice length of time.
As I stated above these wines have yet to become available in the US marketplace. I hope that changes soon. The offerings I tasted will range in price from about $10 to $20. The Blanco and Rosé will likely be closer to $10 and the Tempranillo and Reserva closer to $20. Each of them represents good or excellent values. They are distinct and individual but also uniform in things like balance and overall style. Look for them on a shelf near you, soon.