Paco & Lola Wine Tasting

Paco & Lola Wine Tasting

David Geary

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a wine pairing dinner featuring the wines of Paco & Lola from Galicia Spain. The dinner took place at a local restaurant and wine bar, Tree Tavern, and a representative from the winery, David Geary, was on-hand to offer interesting information about the wines, the winery and Galicia Spain, where the winery is located.

About Paco & Lola

Paco & Lola is a relatively young winery founded in 2005 that’s committed to making wine in a modern, fresh way and for exuding a sophisticated-yet-fun image for wine drinkers with its polka dot branding.

Paco & Lola was born from a business initiative of a group of independent winegrowers from O Salnés who wanted to take their production to a professional level. These winegrowers formed “Sociedad Cooperativa Vitivinícola Arousana” which is now the largest cooperative in the DO Rías Baixas with over 400 members.

Paco & Lola is a producer of Albariño, considered THE white grape variety grown in Galicia. It’s an early ripening grape variety with small, tightly-packed clusters of sweet, deep golden berries that are renowned for their outstanding sugar-producing ability and remarkable high acidity.

Some tasting notes from the wines we tasted at the dinner:

Paco & Lola 2016 Albariño – 100% Albariño ($29.99)

In the Glass

Light straw yellow with a touch of green.

Nose

Lovely fragrant aromas of juicy pear, green apple with a bit of tropical fruit and some floral notes.

Palate

Tropical fruit continues on the palate with some Meyer lemon notes. Medium-full bodied wine with nice amount of acidity on the long-ish finish.

Food Pairings

Fish, seafood, white meats

Nº12 by Paco & Lola – 100% Albariño ($19.99)

12 were the days that the must fermented in the tank number 12.

In the Glass

Light straw yellow with a touch of green.

Nose

Meyer lemon and floral aromas with a hint of tropical fruit.

Palate

Big mango/lychee fruit flavors with good acidity.

Paco Red 2014 – 50% Tempranillo, 50% Garnacha ($18.99)

While Paco & Lola focuses on Albariño, it produces this red out of the DO Navarra, where Tempranillo- Garnacha grapes from old vines are harvested in vineyards of the Valdizarbe subzone. It was recommended this wine be served a bit on the cooler side, at around 56 degrees and I completely agree.

In the Glass

Dark cherry red with some purple hints.

Nose

Big red berry aromas with some floral notes.

Palate

Juicy dark berries and cherry flavors.

Food Pairings

Solid Tuesday night wine ideal for pizza, red sauced pasta, grilled burgers.

 

Paco & Lola 2010 Vintage – 100 % Albariño ($54.00)

Special high-end wine made in a limited edition of the best harvest of 2010. There were 400 bottles produced, I wouldn’t expect to find this in stores.

In the Glass

Intense straw yellow.

Nose

Candied tropical fruit with notes of nutmeg/cumin spices.

Palate

In love with this wine from the first sip – mouth-coating texture with big ripe fruit flavors and yeasty/toasted bread notes. Great acidity on a long finish.

Food Pairings

Lightly spicy foods (Thai, Indian), seafood, fish, roasted chicken or grilled pork.

Paco & Lola is expanding its reach in the USA and I highly recommend you check its wines out.

Cheers,

Veronique

2015 Heart & Hands Sparkling Riesling

2015 Heart & Hands Sparkling Riesling

I’ve been a member of Heart & Hands’ Claddagh Club, its wine club, for several years and enjoy that, once in a while, I’m contacted about something totally unexpected by this stellar Finger Lakes winery. This time, it was about its sparkling Riesling with bottle cap enclosure – how could I pass that up? The one thing I regret is only buying a half case.

Looks: Palest of yellow in the glass with tiny bubbles.

Smell: Apple and pear aromas with hints of citrus.

Taste: Green apple and tropical fruit flavors with a dry, bright, crisp finish.

Texture and Finish: Nice minerality and acidity with a medium finish.

This bubbly is great as an aperitif but it’s also very food friendly.

Winemaker’s note(s): Crafted in the traditional method: primary fermentation in stainless steel, then bottle fermented and aged en tirage on the lees.

Pairings: Fried chicken, grilled fish, seafood.

Style: Sparkling Wine

Grape Type(s): Riesling

Region: Finger Lakes, NY, USA

Price: $26.99

Tasting Notes – Scarpetta Frico Frizzante

Tasting Notes – Scarpetta Frico Frizzante

I was in Providence, RI for the holiday weekend and was served this fun bubbly at Slow Rhode. I admit I’m always a bit suspicious of wine served in vessels other than bottles, but this was nice. No metallic after taste, good bubbles, light, and refreshing. Think Prosecco but a little lighter on the amount of bubbles.

Looks: Palest of yellow in the glass with tiny bubbles.

Smell: Apple aromas with faint floral notes.

Taste: Apple flavors with a dry, crisp finish.

Texture and Finish: Crazy nice minerality and acidity with a medium finish.

I had this bubbly from Italy as an aperitif but enjoyed it so much that I paired a second can with roasted sunchokes and pan seared squid. I just ordered four, six-packs to take to the beach with us!

Pairings: Fried chicken, grilled fish, seafood.

Style: Sparkling Wine

Grape Type(s): Trebbiano, Glera, Chardonnay

Region: Mendocino, Monterrey, and El Dorado Counties, California, USA

Price: $3.99 for a 187 ml (6-ounce) can

2012 Weingut Stadt Krems Riesling Reserve Grillenparz Kremstal

2012 Weingut Stadt Krems Riesling Reserve Grillenparz Kremstal

Friend shared this bottle with me over oysters and fish. Love this style wine and never a bad bottle by this producer.

Looks: Greenish yellow in the glass.

Smell: Citrus/Meyer lemon and juicy peach on the nose.

Taste: Delicious lemon/lime flavors with some wet stones notes.

Texture and Finish: Rich yet light. Crazy nice minerality and acidity with a long finish.

Pairings: Oysters/shellfish, grilled fish, seafood risotto.

Style: White Wine

Grape Type(s): Riesling

Region: Kremstal, Austria

Price: $30

2015 Dirty & Rowdy Familiar Blanc

2015 Dirty & Rowdy Familiar Blanc

Check out the cloudiness of this baby in my photo – crazy stuff! Kitchen sink blend of aromas and flavors.  

Looks: Deep ruby in the glass.

Smell: Citrus, floral and dried apricot on the nose. What isn’t on the nose would be a better question!

Taste: Lemon lime flavors with hints of under-ride pear.

Texture and Finish: Crazy nice minerality and acidity with a medium finish.

I love these wines. This is the third vintage I buy and I continue to get sucked into the hype. Drink cool, not cold or you’ll lose all the crazy flavors.

Pairings: Fried chicken, grilled fish, seafood risotto.

Style: White Wine

Grape Type(s): 28% Chenin Blanc, 22% Pinot Blanc, 18% Chardonnay, 12% Melon, 10% Roussanne, 10% Viognier.

Region: Mendocino, Monterrey, and El Dorado Counties, California, USA

Price: $30

Fun Fact: Bottle is sealed with a NomaCorc Select Bio closure. It is a plant based, carbon neutral, breathable, recyclable, cork alternative.

2012 Joseph Drouhin Santenay

2012 Joseph Drouhin Santenay

Brought this lovely Pinot Noir to my favorite gourmet pizzeria in anticipation of having forest mushroom pizza and it was a stellar pairing.

Looks: Deep ruby in the glass.

Smell: Wild strawberries with some earthy notes on the nose.

Taste: Raspberry and cherry flavors with woodsy notes.

Texture and Finish: Round, nicely-balanced with medium tannins and medium finish.

Young wine but very drinkable and enjoyable Burgundy. Good price point.

Pairings: Mushroom-based dishes, roasted/grilled salmon, pork, turkey.

Style: Red Wine

Grape Type(s): Pinot Noir

Region: Cote de Beaune, Burgundy, France

Price: $29

2012 Jean Edwards Cellars Petite Sirah

2012 Jean Edwards Cellars Petite Sirah

I decanted this California Petite Sirah for 45 minutes before drinking, drank it over 60 minutes and it opened up beautifully.

Looks: Darkest purple in the glass.

Smell: Dark fruit/berries with some peppery notes on the nose.

Taste: Blackberry flavors with plum, tobacco and leather notes.

Texture and Finish: Well-structured, balanced and elegant. Long finish with peppery notes.

This is still a young wine but delicious after some decanting. This proves once again that there’s not a bad Jean Edwards Cellars wine to be had.

Pairings: Beef short ribs, roasted lamb, grilled steaks.

Style: Red Wine

Grape Type(s): Petite Sirah

Region: Calistoga, Napa Valley, California, USA

Price: $35

Top Rosé Wines Under $15

Top Rosé Wines Under $15

Those of us living in a cold climate are eager to get the rosé uncorked, marking the unofficial start of the Spring-Summer season. I enjoy rosé wines year-around – heavier in the winter and lighter in the summer and below are examples of nice, accessible rosé wines for under $15.

2015 M. Chapoutier Belleruche Côtes du Rhône Rosé (Rhone Valley, France, $10.99)

Fresh and bright floral aromas with some saline notes on this medium-bodied French rosé. In the mouth, the flavors are of raspberries and bright citrus followed by a dry finish. 50% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 10% Cinsault.

2015 E. Guigal – Côtes du Rhône Rosé (Rhone Valley, France, $12.99)

Bright salmon color in the glass, this French rosé wine has raspberry and ripe strawberry aromas that carry over to the palate. Elegant wine with great balance and structure. This family has been making rose since the ‘40s and know what it’s doing. 60% Grenache, 30% Cinsault and 10% Syrah.

Gruet Rosé Brut NV (New Mexico, $12.99)

Bright deep pink in the glass, this New Mexico rosé has a fine mousse bubbles and big ripe strawberry flavors. The floral nose has berry notes. Nice level of acidity on the finish. 100% Pinot Noir.

2015 Marques de Caceres Rioja Rosado (Rioja, Spain, $12.99)

Bright strawberry-peach color in the glass. Big floral and red berries aromas. On the palate, this Rioja rosé offers flavors of red berries and cherries with licorice notes. 96% Tempranillo, 4% Garnacha Tinta.

2015 Chateauneuf de Pierrevert – Domaine La Blaque Rosé (Provence, France, $14.99)

Pale peach color in the glass with citrus, floral aromas. This dry Provence rosé wine has berry and citrus zest flavors with lots of acidity and minerality on the finish. 50% Grenache, 50% Syrah.

Happy rose drinking!

Veronique

Delectable Whites by Heron Hill Winery

Delectable Whites by Heron Hill Winery

Even with the frigid weather we experienced this week, I cooked food ultra conducive to white wine. The Finger Lakes winery I opted to pour at two of those meals is Heron Hill Winery, one of my very favorite FLX wineries.

2014 Heron Hill Semi-Dry Riesling

I served this off-dry Riesling with spicy Indian food I prepared and it stood up to the heat beautifully while maintaining its fresh, fruit-forward flavors. On the nose, this wine offers big Asian apple aromas. On the palate, the sweet apple continues but combined with lovely floral notes. Nice level of acidity on the finish. Great value at $15/bottle.

2015 Heron Hill Reserve Morris Vineyard Pinot Blanc

Aromas of Meyer lemon and juicy pear in the glass on this crisp Finger Lakes Pinot Blanc. Green apple and peach on the palate with some sweetness followed by great acidity on a finish that resonates with minerality. Hated to share it with the mister, it’s so easy drinking. Just a wonderful Pinot Blanc at an affordable price of $20/bottle.

 

Cheers to the Finger Lakes!

Veronique

2013 Williams Selyem Vista Verde Vineyard Late Harvest Gewurztraminer

2013 Williams Selyem Vista Verde Vineyard Late Harvest Gewurztraminer

2013 Vista Verde Vineyard Late Harvest GewürztraminerIt’s the first time I’d bought this dessert wine in my Williams Selyem allocation and won’t miss that opportunity again!

Classic ultra floral / tropical fruit Gewürztraminer aromas. In the mouth, this wine has lovely Asian pear, ripe sweet melon flavors with non-cloying sweet notes. Perfect level of acidity to balance out the sweetness, which dessert winemakers don’t always successfully accomplish.

Pairings: Pear/peach tart, foie gras, crème brulée. 

Style: Dessert Wine

Grape Type(s): Gewürztraminer

Region: San Benito County, California, USA

Price: $40