Both Lodi in California and Languedoc in France along with other bulk wine production regions around the world have been pigeonholed as second rate producers historically. Castilla-La Mancha also. But whereas investment money pours into these kinds of places with great regularity, the goal here seems to be production work without aspirations for grandeur. Coorespondingly, almost all of the Manchego cheese of the region is industrially produced with artisanal output existing on the margins. The well-made wines of Castilla-La Mancha are all very international in style with fresh crisp fruity whites, roses, and reds along with more complex yet commercially styled reds also.
The blended red wines of Castilla-La Mancha are considered to be the best quality wines of the region. The grapes used in these include some combination of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha, Alicante Boushet, Monastrell, Syrah, and Bobal. Protocolo red is however 100% Tempranillo; the rose is 50% Tempranillo and 50% Bobal; the white is 60% Airen and 40% Macabeo. Until the rose surpassed it in this store this year, the red has always been the best seller. The production of the rose includes a 24 hour cold soak maceration at 16 degrees centigrade, a process we wrote about in Part 3 of the Rose series immediately preceding this one.
In that series we listed all of the foods rose wines compliment. Here's one we forgot: Mexican cuisine. When we started reading up on Spanish food pairings we were dumbfounded by just how food-friendly Spanish wines are. Go to www.worldsofflavorspain.com if you want to see for yourself. Basically, any nightmarish food/wine pairing dilemma can be overcome using Spanish wine and lets credit the noble history and culture of the Spanish people for this one.
On Friday June 14th from 5 to 7pm, Henry Leung of Hemispheres Global Wines will educate us on his latest smorgasbord of fine California and European wines. Please join us for what is always a fascinating experience with one of the industry's best. And become a "follower" of this blog. It won't hurt you to participate in this way.