Tue 24 Feb 2009
It’s easy to tell that this Spanish wine named The Spanish Quarter is intended for the American market. First: the name. You won’t find a “Spanish Quarter” in cities in Spain because, you know, it’s already Spain. It would be like looking for Chinatown in Beijing. Second: There’s a whimsical little back-story, based on the premise that Americans like their wine cute. Third: The company’s website — thespanishquarter.com — is animated and busy, offering games and downloads but little information about the wine or its making. The wine is produced by Coniusa, a division (or alter-ego) of the giant Cordoníu concern.
Having said that, I’ll assert that The Spanish Quarter Chardonnay-Albariño 2007, Costers del Segre, is a terrific quaffer. It’s a charming wine, a blend of 60 percent chardonnay and 40 percent albariño grapes whose first impression is of spring rain on wet rocks, that is, immediate freshness and naturalness to which it adds whiffs of citrus, peach and grapefruit and gentle spice. Vivid acid keeps an even keel in a texture that’s invitingly dense, almost talc-like; a few minutes in the glass pull up notes of roasted lemon and quince, of deeper spice and a touch of jasmine. We drank this quite happily with linguine shrimp puttanesca, a lively dish (it has capers and red pepper flakes) that was well-matched with the wine. Very Good. At about $12 (often discounted to $9 or $10), buy this by the case for drinking through the end of 2009.
Imported by A.V. Brands, Columbia, Maryland.