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Wine52’s Spanish Splash – Castilla-La Mancha

Wine52 Castilla-La Mancha Case

Castilla-La Mancha is a large region, in fact the largest wine-producing region in the World, just South-East of Madrid and subject to an extreme continental climate, meaning very hot Summers (+45 Celsius) and very cold Winters (-20 Celsius). The region has some impressive winemaking pedigree as it can boast 18 of Spain’s Vinos de Pago, small wine estates that have seriously high reputations in the wine world. It also houses many regional wines that cover Spanish grapes and international varieties alike with relative freedom in winemaking and blending.

In this case, these are the wines you’ll be discovering, giving you the perfect opportunity to explore and find out how Spanish Sauvignon is beyond the confines of Marlborough and France, or how their Merlot compares to Chile and France. Plus, there’s a Chardonnay and Spanish classic Tempranillo to get stuck into as well.

Mejunje Sauvignon by Bodegas Lozano

The first wine of the case I went for was the Mejunje Sauvignon by Bodegas Lozano who are champions of environmental conservation and biodiversity in the vineyard. This practice is growing vastly in popularity all over the world’s wine regions as climate change becomes ever more threatening to wine production. For a deep dive into how Bordeaux are achieving this, read here.

On first sniff, this wine is much more reserved than your usual Sauvignon Blanc. I wasn’t hit in the face with unpleasant overindulgence in tropical fruits and box tree (the smell of which is otherwise associated with a cat relieving itself), but rather presented with a well held together bouquet. Lemon, tangerine, grapefruit and lime lend a gentle citrus edge with green apple and gooseberry adding some vivacious twang. It also has a herbaceous element with green bell pepper and notes of fresh cut grass.

On the palate the wine comes even more alive. Gooseberry is stronger but not at risk of overbearing the palate. The herbaceous notes come out in equal strength helping to temper this and give the wine a rounded feel. The finish isn’t particularly long but what there is of it culminates into a green apple and lime fusion and leaves your mouth watering for more.

Hola Chardonnay by Bodegas Latue

Wine52 Castilla La Mancha

The next white is an old classic Chardonnay made organically. This is fruit driven and tropical with sweet notes. Think dried mango, dried pineapple, peach and tangerine as your main flavours on the nose.

On the palate this aromatic burst continues with the same sweet nature of the fruits. As if they had been dried, diced and served as a healthy snack! One note that did strike me as different was a foam banana flavour right at the tail end of the sip, which then mellows and coats the rest of your mouth. This makes the finish especially enticing. All in all, the sweet nature of the fruit is well balanced by a high acidity making this very Summer suitable.

Lustroso Tempranillo by Bodegas Latue

Tempranillo is known in Castilla as Cencibel (rather unsensibly this is one of many names for Tempranillo in Spain) and is almost certainly the main grape you have tasted before if you’ve ever had Spanish red. So it was only fitting to include it in this case.

On the nose it has oodles of jammy red fruit with blackberry jam, plum and ripe cherry pouring out. A little hint of violet and then some smoky nuance suggests this wine has seen oak, even if only for a short while.

On tasting the jammy fruit remains but takes a bit more of a backseat. Darker flavours like blueberry and chocolate begin to emerge, and more prominently the longer you have it open too. A nice streak of wild herbs entertains the middle of the palate whilst the finish mellows into sweeter dark fruits. One thing this one does exceptionally well is show off the deft balance between punchy tannin and acidity. Overall, a good wine to introduce people into the approachability of Tempranillo rather than kicking off with a Gran Reserva Rioja. If you’re a fan of “The Guv’nor”, then this will be right up your street.

Wine52 Castilla La Mancha

¡area! ¡adiole! by El Progresso

El Progresso is Spain’s oldest wine cooperative with uninterrupted trading since 1917. They have the pedigree alright! But that counts for nothing if the wine is no good, so, how was it?

The nose reveals an initially jammy layer which is quickly overshadowed by darker fruits and herbal tones. It’s like blackberry jam and ripe raspberry meets violet and rosemary. The fruits are mainly on the red side of the spectrum and very ripe indeed, I suspect thanks to the hot, sunny conditions of Castilla.

The palate is full bodied with great depth and richness that is supported by smooth, easy-sipping tannin. The ripe fruits and herbal nature work together beautifully too. The herbal nature perhaps becomes a little more medicinal in nature but combined with the ripe fruits character this weaves together very well. The finish has decent length and makes me think it’ll be an excellent match for your BBQ.

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David Andrews, DipWSET

David Andrews, DipWSET

David brings great enthusiasm to the wine industry, starting with Majestic Wine in 2019 and now joining us at Winesdirect in 2023. He has completed his WSET Diploma qualification and looking forward to share his expert knowledge and tidbits of the wine world.

As an industry enthusiast and expert, David also writes a regular blog on instagram. Check it out here @oinosattheoikos

Read more articles by: David Andrews

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