Ever since the Phoenicians and Romans brought their knowledge of vine cultivation to Spanish soils, the country’s culture has grown alongside wine production, with wine being a vital part of Spanish identity and Spanish traditions. Each region of Spain has a wine quite distinct from the others, and it is produced by smallholders and families as much as it is by large companies and established wineries. From the relatively mild and lush regions of La Rioja to the arid plateaus that surround Madrid, grapes are grown in abundance for the now booming Spanish wine industry, and new laws and regulations have recently been put in place to keep the country’s standards high. By combining traditional practices with modern technology, Spanish wineries are continuing to produce distinctive wines of great character, flavor and aroma, with the focus shifting in recent decades to quality over quantity.
Bodegas Enrique Mendoza Alicante Merseguera Chardonnay La Tremenda 2014 750 ML
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Their entry-level Monastrell is already the 2016 La Tremenda is sourced from the vineyard that names the wine, from their estate El Chaconero in the village of Villena, a plot at 600 meters altitude planted some 25 years ago. It fermented in stainless steel and matured in French barriques for six months. 2016 is a cooler year than 2014 or 2015, and the wines reflect it. It was not an easy year; they had to do a strict selection of grapes, and it paid off. It has the character of the variety, with its elegant rusticity with a fresh, herbal twist and a palate with fine-grained tannins, nicely textured and with a supple, very tasty finish. This is a superb introduction to Monastrell from Alicante at an incredible price.