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Monasterio de Corias, Guilfa 2006

Let’s look at the most unique Spanish wine to have passed this way in a while.
I should start by saying that Asturias, along Spain’s Northern coast, is much better known for cheese and apple cider than for wine. The weather is too cool and wet for most grapes, so when we start talking about wines from the Cangas region in Asturias we are not talking about wines of abundant production or wide distribution. Monasterio de Corias is, in fact, the only Cangas region winery that is currently available here in California.
This bodega is, as the name suggests, housed in an ancient Benedictine monastery that had fallen in to semi ruin until it was restored for use as a winery in 2001. Historic records indicate that the monks were growing grapes here in the 9th century AD but in modern times the acreage devoted to grape cultivation has dwindled to approximately 250 acres. Just six producers are making wines in the region today.
Coria Guilfa 2006 is an intriguing blend of indigenous grapes. Verdejo Negro (no relation to the white Verdejo from further south), Mencía and Carrasquín are the grapes of choice in Cangas. The wine, perhaps as a result of the Mencía in the blend, has some similarities with wines from nearby Bierzo or Ribeira Sacra where Mencía predominates. Corias Guilfa is lighter in color and texture than the wines from neighboring regions. The alcohol in Corias Guilfa is also a moderate 12.5%. 6 months of barrel age has left no overtly woody notes in the finished wine. An almost Burgundian balance lifts the aromas and flavors, creating a bright, harmonious wine. Subtle hints of loamy aroma and dusty minerality never intrude on the pure expression of red berry fruit character.  A simple roast chicken or grilled fish would work well with this light yet elegant red wine.

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Filed under Red Wine, Spain