Country: Spain  Region: Castilla y Léon  Grapes: Pinot Noir and Tempranillo

Castilla y Léon is situated in northwestern Spain, well known for its traditional beauty, plentiful fortifications, and historical importance ever since the Romans constructed the famed Segovian Aqueduct. It is also the home of the Universidad de Salamanca, the oldest European university, founded in 1134. Castilla y Léon is also a Spanish geographical indication that comprises all the municipalities in Castile and Léon. It acquired its Vino de la Tierra status in 2005.

The Alta Pavina winery and vineyards are in the tiny village of La Parrilla in north-central Spain. Formerly a working farm, the vineyard is at an altitude of over 2,700 feet, where the nights cool down drastically during the growing season, helping grapes retain acidity and lengthening ripening times. Conditions are great for grapes that make intense wines of finesse and definition.

One such is a bright red blend of Pinot Noir and Tempranillo, aged for 6 months in oak, and another 6 months in the bottle. The nose is pure cherries, with restrained minerals. Light and elegant, with soft tannins and medium acidity, it has flavors of cherries, cinnamon and pepper.

Enjoy it now, a bit cooler than room temperature, with prime rib, roast pork, lamb stew or glazed back ribs.

Alta Pavina Selecto:

PINOT NOIR GRAPES — Pinot Noir grapes are finicky and challenging to grow, but the resulting Pinot Noir wine can be one of the greatest wines available. Widely grown, production is limited due to this grape’s pickiness regarding climate and soil. Flavors and aromas can be very red-berry-fruity, or woodsy and earthy. Not usually blended, but outstanding when it is.

TEMPRANILLO — Thick skinned, it produces wines deep in color, but rather low in alcohol. Low in acidity and quite malic, wines may be made solely from this varietal, or blended with other fruit for outstanding blends.

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Tracie Burket
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