In 1944, 66 wine-growing partners in Cariñena, Spain established Cooperativa Vinícola San Valero. Seventy-five harvests later, they are celebrating this milestone with a renewal of their wines and wineries. The group currently consists of 500 wine-growing partners and 4,000 hectares of vineyards.
The cooperative is made up of Bodega San Valero, the original winery, along with Bodega Gran Ducay, Bodega Particular de San Valero, Bodegaverde de San Valero and Tierra de Cubas. With a rich history of innovation, the cooperative produces expressive and fun wines at wallet-friendly prices.
In the month of April, we are participating in weekly #WineStudio tastings of some of their wines. Firstly, in this post, we look at the five wines that we tasted at the beginning of the month. Secondly, our next post discusses four more wines that we tasted in the last two weeks of April.
Bodega Gran Ducay
Bodega Gran Ducay is the only winery that produces cava-based sparkling wine in Aragon, in northeastern Spain. Gran Ducay is named for Monte Ducay, a unique terroir in the Cariñena wine-growing region which is highly valued for its soil. The bodega offers a brut nature cava in white, rosé and reserve. We were given samples of the white and the rosé.
Grand Ducay Brut Nature Blanco blends Macabeo, Xarel.lo and Parellada grapes into a fresh bubbly with a beautiful nose. The brut is bright and complex, with dry citrus and lemon-apple flavors and crisp minerality. This sparkler pairs well with appetizers and is priced at only $10.99.
Grand Ducay Brut Nature Rosado is 100% Garnacha rosé with a beautiful pink color, delicate bubbles, fruity flavors and also $10.99. This rosé pairs well with Thai food, fish, chicken and seafood salad.
In the words of wine educator Kat Thomas, “Gran Ducay Brut Nature Blanco is alive and nervy, like a gal from Jersey who has learned how to tame her wild tongue. Gran Ducay Brut Nature Rosado is a passionate embrace from the gentleman who just returned the scarf you dropped.”
Celebrities by San Valero
Celebrities is a new collection of monovarietals (single varietals) dedicated to the most indigenous and international grape varieties. So far, we tasted three Celebrities wines: Garnacha 2019, Cariñena 2017 and Old Vine Garnacha 2016. All three cost $14.99.
Not surprisingly, Celebrities wines made a splash at two prestigious international wine festivals held in Europe, almost immediately after their release — the Berliner Wein Trophy and the Mundus Vini International Wine Grand Prix.
Their cheeky, sassy, attention-grabbing labels definitely stand out on crowded store shelves. For example, each person depicted on the label has a grape over her head. In addition, the labels include descriptions such as “more glamor than ever,” “a daring look” and “this special it grape.”
Celebrities 2019 Garnacha is young, obviously, but has such potential. When decanted, it is lovely – lively and bright with lots of cherry, orange peel, and raspberry on the nose and the palate. Pair it with beef and pork dishes.
Celebrities 2016 Garnacha Old Vines has three more years on it and comes from old vines, so it’s more powerful with darker red fruit, figs, minerality, earth and spice. Pair it with a rich, savory stew, lamb, beef or mushroom dishes.
Celebrities 2017 Cariñena is a standout, featuring aromatics and flavors of black cherries, red berries, licorice, spices and citrus peel. Pair it with rich turkey, roasted pork, beef brisket or simply with aged gouda.
Above all, many thanks to the San Valero Wine Cooperative for the samples. Certainly, these wines are delicious, food-friendly and wallet-friendly too. Most importantly, they will be available in the United States in the near future, and we can’t wait.
Moreover, we also appreciate the dedication and education of sommelier Tina Morey at #WineStudio, and wine educator Kat Thomas, Training Manager, Hakkasan Group Las Vegas.
Margot and Dave