Rene Barbier Mediterranean White NV

The Rene Barbier Mediterranean White wine is a blend of 40% Xarel.lo, 30% Macabeo, and 30% Parellada, three grape varietals I have never even heard of. So this is new for me. Grown in the Catalunya region of Spain which receives the warm breezes of the Mediterranean Sea and protected by the Pyrenees this wine was a real surprise.

So, here’s the low down – the Xarel.lo is a high acid grape pronounced two ways. One is Za-rel-oh and the other is cha-rel-low, take your pick but I’m presuming this is where the high acidity comes from. Macabeo is pronounced Maca-bay-oh and is one of the most planted grape varietals in Northern Spain. The Parellada grape is a high quality grape resisting rot and disease and is pronounced Pa-ray-yada. 

Okay, on to the tasting notes – you knew I was going to plop it in here somewhere – right? 11.5% alcohol by volume and citrus aromas mixed with orange peel, lemon rind, and pineapple on the nose left a very pleasant memory in the aroma bank. A medley of peach, honey, lemon, Bosch pear, and apricot on the palate. There was more going on here than I thought would be given the $4.99 price tag.

I paired this with a Caesar salad with chunks of chicken and as many veggies as I could fit in the bowl and used balsamic vinegar for the salad dressing.


Vinos de Alborea, SL 2009 “La Sima” Tinto

The Vinos de Alborea, SL 2009 “La Sima” Tinto is from the Manchuela region of Spain where they have approximately 30 vineyards producing around 1 1/2 million liters of wine per year. Now those kind of numbers I can relate to.

The wine starts off with 14% alcohol by volume and is a red ruby color (indicative of young red wines) with dried fig, black cherry, and eucalyptus on the nose. On the palate black cherry dominated the flavor with hints of fresh blueberries ending with a smooth, silky mocha finish.

This reasonably priced wine at $8.99, is a blend of 90% Tempranillo and 10% Bobal and definitely in the category of “a drink now wine”, so don’t bother cellaring this. Enjoy it this weekend with your favorite dish. I paired this with Rotini and marinara sauce with Romano cheese and a Romaine salad.

Cortijo Tinto 2009 Rioja

This Spanish dark ruby red colored wine is made with 80% Tempranillo and 20% Garnacha grapes and has a 13.5% alcohol volume priced reasonably at $9.99. This is a very decent young wine with red berry and flower (I’m thinking violets) aromas on the nose followed by raspberry, strawberry and black currant fruits with earth and spice notes. A hint of licorice followed on the finish.

I paired this with pork, egg noodles and steamed broccoli and surprisingly went very well together. I hesitated serving this with the pork as I am used to serving this blend with red meats, not white meats. You never know what your palate is going to reveal. Even though this was a young wine I still sent it through the Vinturi aerator for good measure.