Friday, April 1, 2011

Playhouse Primer

The 2011 Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival kicks into action today and I've got a fair bit of my week planned out with tastings and events - but not tonight. Boo doesn't get nearly as wound up as I do for the Festival. Indeed, I figure I've been pretty successful in drawing him out if I can get him to one or two events in any given year. To try and key him up - and give myself a bit of a start to to the week and to this year's theme region - I've picked out a Spanish wine that I haven't seen in the market before.

762. 2006 Bodegas del Rosario - Lorca Monastrell (D.O. Bullas - Spain)

I'm quite looking forward to finding out more about Spain and its wines. For a couple years now, Spanish wines have been getting quite a bit of attention in the Vancouver market (and everywhere else I assume) as the country's producers have been improving the quality of their wines and have been actively marketing the region as providing great bang for your buck - basically taking on Argentina and Chile in the current market and positioning itself as this decade's answer to the Australia of years past. With all those efforts, our household has certainly seen an increasing Spanish presence, but I still don't know a great deal about the great variety of wines that the country has to offer.

Lorca is located in the Bullas region. Never heard of it before - and maybe that's not too surprising. Bullas is a coastal Mediterranean area located in the South-East corner of Spain - along with Jumilla and Yecla, two other appellations that I recognize a little more. This is Monastrell (or Mourvedre) country and the official recognition as a Designation of Origin appellation was only granted in 1994. So far, it seems to have been a fairly slow transition for Bullas wineries to take a big step into the modernization and marketing of their wines internationally.

I didn't find a whole lot of information out there about Bodegas del Rosario but it looks like they produce four or five labels and they represent about 95% of the region's exports. I can't say that I found much in this wine that made me go "Wow" though. It still seemed pretty rustic, with only muted fruit. I'd expected a bigger start to the week.

All the same, it looks like there's going to be plenty of opportunity to get some Spanish exposure this week. I'm looking forward to identifying a few more wines that might strike my fancy a little more.

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