Spanish Wine in San Francisco

I was a fortunate fellow by getting in to a Spanish winery exposition at the Fairmont Hotel a week ago. I think there were around fifty wine importers there, along with a couple of food importers. It was all part of the Spanish Wine Cellar event that was put on in order to connect makers with importers in the US. Obviously I am not a wine importer, but I managed to get in because of various web projects in the wine industry. Perhaps a cheeky thing to do since I was there under somewhat false pretenses. I did feel bad about that for a little bit until I saw people there who obviously didn’t belong, running around in shants and giggling.
Beyond the freeloading, the real question is, how was the wine? After my first tasting, I realized that we are simply not getting the good stuff from España here or I just haven’t been exposed to it. These wines were deep and flavorful. While not my plush Californian tastes, they were different and lovely. Tempranillo definitely has a new place on my palate. Gone are the memories of dry, tannic wines that were generally light in body. These reds meant business! There were a number of stand outs in the crowd. One of the first was Torre San Millán. They have a number of reds which are all based in Tempranillo. Good bodies, good noses, and naturally, the higher-priced one, the Gorrebusto Especial 2003, damn smooth, fine finish. Another vintner that was good, was the Anta. While the names are a bit pedestrian being just a letter and number like a4, the flavors were not. Much like the previous one, good bodies and a round finish. It was much like this through all of the others that we tasted and any one of them I’d take home.
There was the one maker that really knocked me out, which were from Bai Gorri. I think the retail price on these would start about $20 and go up to about maybe $80 or $90 a bottle. It would be money well-spent if you like amazingly fine wines. Their winery looks quite poshy-posh and aimed at the high-end market, but at least their wines can certainly back this up. Deep, deep flavors that are full and just balloon out on your palate. They just bathe you in goodness from start to finish. I highly recommend them if you happen to encounter them.
To close out our adventures at this event, we got a taste from the only sherry maker that I could find there, which was Tradición. The first two dry 30 year-old sherries were good and we enjoyed them a great deal. But it was the 20 year-old Tradición Pedro that knocked our socks off. It was so thick and like molasses. Dark, rolling chocolaty flavors that swirled and rolled around. Even those who were spitting out the tastes not to get drunk, didn’t spit this one. Simply amazing, but with what must be a suggested retail of $120 in the US, you could understand why.
A great smattering of wines overall and it really got my mouth ready for what I’ll be tasting in just three weeks in Spain!
Spanish Wine in San Francisco