Spotlighting Classical Wines

Classical Wines was founded in 1984, its search for quality, individual family vineyards in Spain coinciding with the burst of artistic energy that typified the first decade of that country’s reborn democracy.

This was a soul-searching period in  [map spainwinemap] which renewed emphasis was given to the recuperation of viticultural traditions. Involved with key players from their formative stages, Classical Wines has played a pivotal role in developing style and encouraging the recommitment to natural expression.

The "Classical" philosophy of wine is a universal one, focusing upon the cool river valleys and mountainside exposures originally cultivated by Roman legionaries, and then later, monks. With their extended growing season and mineral soils that gave rise to the noble grape varieties, they remain the best places in which to produce wines that express elegance, individuality and length. Such factors are timeless. And don’t forget that Sept. 6 is First Friday, which means a 15 percent savings on all the following wines:

2009 Mont Marcal Brut Reserva, $14.99
Estate-bottled, this is among the best Cavas, regardless of price. Made from Xarel-lo, Macabeo and Chardonnay, it’s aged 18 months on the yeast and disgorged upon order. You get dried stone fruit, green apple and melon on the nose, while the palate is elegant and refined with supple lime and lemon zest.

2011 Can Feixes Blanc de Seleccion, $15.99
A blend of Parellada, Macabeo, Chardonnay and a touch of Malvasia de Sitges. This is Parellada at its best, from high-altitude, gravelly mountain soils. Offers intense lemon and citrus zest aromas. The palate is filled with lively lime and green apple flavors. Stony and aromatic, it’s reminiscent of a French Chablis.

2011 Morgadeo Legado del Conde Albarino, $18.99
A serious white that’s both rich and undeniably bright. The nose is a floral mix of pear peach and melon. It’s a supple wine with honeydew melon, lemon and peach flavors, with a subtle touch of orange. Citrus zest comes through on the lively finish. Bring on the shellfish, be it raw oysters or steamed lobster with drawn butter.

2012 Principe de Viana Old Vine Garnacha, $10.99
The grapes for this wine are sourced from Garnacha vines typically 50 years and older. They are harvested by hand and lightly extracted to retain aroma without excess astringency. Aged three months in used oak barrels, the result offers bright strawberry on the nose, which carries through on the palate.

2011 Bodegas Carchello C, $14.99
Three varieties (40 percent Monastrell, 40 percent Tempranillo, 20 percent Cabernet Sauvignon) aged four months in French oak come together to shape a well-structured, concentrated and intensely aromatic blend. Structured, mouth filling, juicy and fresh. It’s a polished wine with flavors of dark berry and plum, with hints of chocolate and toast.

2011 Losadas Vinos de Finca El Pajaro Rojo Rojo Mencia, $17.99
Following an explosive period in which the Bierzo region leapt to worldwide fame on the merits of a few highly extracted and noticeably oaky wines, Losada’s founding philosophy is to take the region’s wines to higher level, seeking as a priority elegance, balance and purity of expression. Made from old vine Mencia grapes, this wine is rich and unctuous -- the perfect match for grilled meats.

2011 Cellar Dosterras Vespres, $27.00
Dosterras is a small winery located in Marc, part of Spain’s Priorato region within the monsant Denomination of Origin. Their Vespres is a blend of 80 percent Garnacha and 20 percent Samso (aka Carignan) from old vines (between 40 and 100 years old), aged eight to 10 months in French oak cooperage. It’s a wine filled with dark berry and cherry fruit.