Monday, 11 November 2013

'Viva la Vida': Espadeiro

Okay, so I'm biased, but I'm just going to say it: The Wine Society's buying team has to be one of the best in the country (if not THE best), and discoveries like the Viva la Vida Espadeiro is exactly why. It's one of the most interesting red wines I've tried all year, and not just because of it's gorgeous name, which means 'live the life' or 'long live life' in Spanish. (Yep, and it's also a Coldplay song. May or may not be a selling point, depending on your view.)

When most people think of fine Spanish wine, their first thought is probably Rioja, and maybe wines from Ribera del Duero and Priorat. Of course, these regions yield plenty of beauties, but when you find a truly exceptional wine from somewhere more obscure it's so much more exciting.

The Rias Baixas appellation is in northwestern Spain's Galicia region. It's fairly well-known to wine geeks, especially for Albarino, and indeed it is this grape for which the Lagar de Costa bodega - situated right on the coast of the region -  is most famous. However, it is a red wine, made from a grape most people have never heard of, that has really piqued my interest.

Espadeiro is a red grape variety that is mostly planted in the Minho region of Portugal, where it is used to make vinho verde. It tends to produce wines in a rather light, pale style. Here in Galicia, it isn't particularly renowned for making super wines, but this is definitely the exception that proves the rule.

Viva la Vida is a vibrant, juicy red wine with a whole lot going on. It's wonderfully complex, but not too in-your-face - it has a big dollop of elegance too. It's a bit like a Hollywood siren: stunningly attractive, but with too much poise to need to shout about it.

It's also special because it's a bit of a now-or-never wine: the company only produced 50 cases, so if you're tempted to grab some, you'll need to make your mind up sharpish. Personally, I'd encourage you to 'live the life' and get stuck in.

Viva La Vida is £20 per bottle from The Wine Society. You do have to be a member to order, so take a look at the website for more info.

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