Recently, right outside of Madrid, we found the holy grail of wines. Straight from a private cellar, virtually untouched, and now brought upon our shores for your drinking pleasure. If you missed our first email about these one of a kind finds, you can read it here. We are offering very limited amounts of these rare wines to you directly via email before we list them on our website.
If you are interested, call us or send us an email (email@example.com).
CVNE Vina Real Reserva 1964
Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España (CVNE), founded in 1879, is one of the oldest Rioja producers. For nearly one century, CVNE has produced the top brands of Viña Real and Imperial.
This wine is 54 years old! A rare feat for many bottles, let alone the access to them when stored in perfect conditions. From a vintage classified as “excellent” – perhaps one of the very best in the 20th century noted for being exceptionally long-lived and energetic. What a beautifully mature nose! One of those vintage wines that you want to smell and breathe in again and again, almost being satiated by the aroma before you even get to the actual palate. The drinking part is not a letdown. A touch hard at the beginning – it doesn’t want to give it all away quickly. You coax out all of that warm leather, cedar, spice, and hints of menthol, as well as so many other tertiary notes that make older wine such a joyous occasion.
Tannins are still here, this wine in every way delivers like a time-capsule from the past. The finish has incredible length. Be careful with the cork when opening – use a Durand or a special tool to extract it professionally. A simple corkscrew will be a disaster. If you opened this while you slid a pheasant into the oven to roast, that would be a rather nice accompaniment. Try not to drink this all first, have just a glass, take an interlude of some Palo Cortado, and then come back when the oven timer chimes. You won’t be disappointed with the result.
Bodegas Bilbainas “Viña Zaco” Rioja 1970
The thing is, back in those days, wines labeled as ‘Crianza’ were aged and cellared similar to a modern-day Reserva or Gran Reserva. Bodegas were charged more taxes for selling Reserve wines. To get around this, many wines you see from this era are labeled simply ‘Cosecha’ or ‘Crianza.’ So really, you get an incredible value.
Let’s just get this out of the way first – this wine has so much of that delicious umami going on. You get those earthen, aged aspects, yes, but with a taut muscle structure that comes at you almost slightly unexpected. A wine at 48 years could be seen as too lean, but every bottle we have sampled has been incredibly well preserved and could even handle more time to age. Velvety texture, even after being open for a few hours. Incredible depth, and basically begs for roasted squab with porcini mushrooms and foie gras.
We’ve started a new series here at Vinos Y Más. Many of you have seen our various vintage Butcher’s Block tables in our two stores in SoHo. We have over 600 selections in our wine shop so we’re doing a weekly series where we highlight 5 bottles that are drinking great. Bottles from producers we love, and with a cool story to tell.
This week check out the following:
What Comando G can do with the grape Garnacha is basically limitless. They have certainly hit there mark here again with this delightful Gredos-creation. As per their model: old vines at a minimum of 50 years, from a few select parcels grown in the mountains and in this case harvested a touch early to avoid overly ripe and alcoholic grapes. The wine tastes like a purple parade down flavor town. Or more seriously, like a wine you would like to drink with Ultra Crispy Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder. Elegant, lithe, and unlike any Garnacha you’ve ever tried.
To those that know, Juan Antonio is THE Prince of Bobal (the grape) coming from Manchuela. We’ve loved his wines for years at this point and often carry his entire lineup. The “Pino” is 37 year old, organically-farmed Bobal fermented with natural yeasts and whole-clusters. This brings out a complex and multi-faceted note that is not found in younger Bobal-based wines (i.e.: not the simple fruity style but something more serious and delicious). Its deep, dark, with a hint at floral notes and some savory notes. You want this with charcuterie or with a spicy-sausage pasta.
It seems almost ridiculous to write about the wines from Sara Perez and Rene Barbier Jr. They are gifted, with expert winemaking genes coursing through their veins. It doesn’t hurt that their parents were also winemakers, thus passing down guidance and insight on the terroir of Priorat, Montsant, and Cataluña. ‘Venus’ is the project that came after “years of searching for beauty and looking for femininity from the earth.” Sounds like something you might like to drink, no? “Mystery, seduction, balance, and passion” describe this Garnatxa/Carignan/Syrah blend that is the perfect Mediterranean red, on the fuller-side.
From northern Tenerife in the Canary Islands, comes this fantasy tale of farmer-turned-winemaker, Dolores Cabrera. For years she cared for grapes organically, partially certified which is very costly, and sold them off to other wineries. The soil here is very special, all decomposed volcanic ash, which is rare and only found in a few other countries like Italy and Greece. In 2013 she began to vinify and bottle herself. And we’re so glad she did! Listan Negro is the king grape in these lands, which she de-stems and eventually lets it rest in old Burgundian barrels. Filled with all those lovely red-foresty fruits, with cracked peppercorns, and lingering minerality. Grill up some octopus, make a wood-fired pizza, or serve it with a slight chill on its own. Mmmmm!
Prieto Picudo is not (yet) a grape that rolls off the tongue. Hailing from Castilla Y León, and basically no where else in the world, this is a grape that is packed with dark, dusty earth, very strong tannins, and a far amount of acidity to boot. Sometimes we describe them similar to the grape Tennat (equally as obscure to most people). Basically, open this wine with plenty of time to breathe and order a half-pound of brisket from Mighty Quinn’s and you’re all set!
Featuring Camino Pardo, owner of 2 fantastic Wineries in Northern Spain
January 10th 7:30-9:30pm
“Despite being involved in the wine world since 1996, Camino Pardo’s big leap of faith came in 2008 when Nexus & Frontaura began selling its own brand of wines. You see, for years they had simply sold off the grapes and wine they made to other producers, but in the late 2000s, Camino and her husband decided to put their own stamp on things. And for years, the wines were a hit all over the world … except that one very important person still hadn’t tasted them: Camino’s father….”
Don’t miss out on experiencing robust reds that are perfect for winter’s enjoyment.
***Featuring 5 red wines with hearty tapas pairings including a selection of Despaña Brand chorizos, morcilla & chistorra***
Ribera del Duero
Nexus One 2012
Frontaura Dominio de la Valdecasa 2009 Magnum
Frontaura Crianza 2008
Frontaura Aponte 2006
Wednesday, January 10th
Limited seating, must RSVP in advance
This unpredictable May weather has us searching across the spectrum for all sorts of flavors. Here are a few highlights of what’s new on our shelves (and hearts) from Left to Right:
Viñaspral “Honoratus Aurum” Blanco 2008 & “Maisulan” Rioja Tinto 2015
From a small 16-ha dry-farmed, biodynamic estate in the Basque portion of Rioja Alavesa tended by husband-and-wife team Eva & Luis Ruiz.
The white is 100% Viura, fermented in concrete/oak and aged in barrel for 8 months longer. Only 300 cases were made of this wine and we find the flavor of age to be elegantly integrated making it a wine with citrus, subtle minerality, and a “sur-lie” like floral finish. Try it with seafood paella, creamy lemon-basil chicken pasta, or a risotto with chanterelles.
The Maisulan Tinto (which translates to “good hard work” in Basque) is Tempranillo that is electric ruby-colored in the glass, with an aroma of smoky, earthen-berries, floral notes, and plenty of juicy black-cherry flavors that wash over your taste buds. This wine is supple on the tannins, making it pretty much perfect with a slight chill, a plate full of medium-rare cheeseburgers, or grilled tandoori chicken kababs.
Succes Vinicola “Patxanga Rosado” 2016
Really….just look at that label! A watermelon and a beach umbrella. We could just leave the description there, but all jokes aside, this may turn into the “wine of the summer” before we realize it. It is another darling husband-and-wife duo up in the Catalonian DO of Conca de Barberá. “Patxanga” means “party!” according to our Catalan amigos, and boy is this wine ready to rock. 100% Trepat, organic, with vibrant acidity and clean on the finish. Not a sweet rose– this is built for the 90-degree stoop-drinking in NYC with a Picante bocadillo from our cafe next door.
Jordi Miró “Ennak+” 2014
We could be very technical here-35% Syrah, 33% Garnacha, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 5% Tempranillo. Partial cold soaked, partial whole-cluster, partially early harvested, partially larger 300L barrels, and partial in older French oak, and all dry-farmed organically with a mere 3lbs of grapes a vine! Is your head spinning yet? Only 250 cases produced, but most importantly the wine is in harmonious balance with sour cherry, good acidity, and some grippy tannins. Beautifully rustic ruby in the glass and smells like a clean black forest. If you’re into smoked brisket, white beans with rosemary and sausage, or slowly oven-roasted pork loin over garlic and rosemary balsamic-glazed potatoes and call it a night with a bottle of this. There is also an adorable cat on the label, and believe us, that helps too.
Purulio Blanco 2015
An incredibly unusual field-blend of 8+ grapes from Andalucia and ever so slightly a natural orange wine. Made by Torcuato Huertas under the guidance of his Uncle and natural wine whisperer, Manuel Valenzuela of Barranco Oscuro made with…ready for it…Sauvignon Blanc, Macabeo, Palomino Fino, Chardonnay, Viognier, Albariño, Torrontès, Moscatel de Alejandría & Jerezana. What does this taste like? Tastes like you should chill a bottle and bring it to a BYOB Peking Duck spot and be super happy with your friends. It’s aromatic and clean, but a little tannic and just lovely.
Suertes del Marques “7 Fuentes” 2014
So, for many of you, the wines of the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa are already near and dear to the heart. The volcanic ash soils mixed with the Jurassic Park themed landscapes make for some pretty interesting wines. The 7 Fuentes is no exception, chock full of subtle red fruit, saline mineral notes, and dusty earthy tannin that seems to come from wines grown in dried lava. Vines are up to 180 years old of Listan Negro and Tintilla and this is aged in concrete and used French oak. Making rabbit stew with tomatoes or a huge plate of empanadas Gallegas and this wine (with a slight chill) would be marvelous.
Get ’em while you can! Call us (212) 219-1550 if you need more info.
We are thrilled to announce our next special, after-hours wine tasting on April 27th from 7:30pm-9:30pm.
Joining us is Emilio Rodriguez, winemaker for Terras Gauda (in Rías Baixas) and Bodegas Pittacum (in Bierzo).
Enjoy a flight of 6 wines expertly paired with Galician Conservas (those little seafood jewels that Spain is known so well for)
as well as our very own Chef Jaume’s Arroz Negro.
We have very limited space available and tickets must be purchased in advance.
To reserve your spot please call us or send us an email.
Thursday, April 27th (7:30-9:30pm)
We know a thing or two about hosting a great fiesta. Make sure to stop by our wine shop and stock up on all the bubbles and party-friendly bottles to help ring in the New Year right (and help wash down all the delicious Jamón!)
Special SoHo holiday hours this week are:
Saturday (NYE) Open: 11am-6pm
Sunday (New Years Day): Closed
Monday, January 2nd: Regular schedule
Happy New Year from all of us at Despaña!
We think the best way to learn about wine is to imbibe as much as possible! That’s why we host weekly tastings in our SoHo wine shop on Wednesday & Thursdays, with some snacks from our next-door café as well.
Now that we’re in the holiday spirit, for the next week (Monday, December 19 – Friday, December 23rd) we will pour a few special bottles every night of the week, starting at 5pm-7:30pm. For further details give us a call, or better yet, stop by the shop!
We seriously love the Thanksgiving holiday–the food, friends, football and especially, the wines. Since the menu tends to be a standard mix of turkey/stuffing/mashed potatoes/candied yams/pumpkin pie we’ve selected a group of wines that are anything but the usual suspects. Also, they are insanely food (and people) friendly.
The breakdown: 1 bubbly Cava, 1 mineral-driven crisp aperitif white, a light bright red, a red with a bit more body and spicy oak, and 1 lovely naturally sweet half dessert half bottle for pumpkin pie.