In the last decade, Spain has emerged as a key source of “value for money” wines in the European market. Surprisingly however, much of the country’s viticultural production remains unknown among UK drinkers, beyond the perennial favourites of La Rioja and Ribera del Duero.
One of the key aspects of our business ethos at l’Art du Vin is the commitment to work with small, family-run, independent winemakers from all corners of the globe. As a result, we pay the majority of our bills in euros and therefore, in the period following the EU membership referendum, we have found ourselves on the receiving end of a fluctuating exchange rate that shows no sign of steadying any time soon.
However, rather than spend too much time feeling sorry for ourselves, we have set off on a sourcing mission in an attempt to uncover new wines which, even in these circumstances, still offer our customers a great deal of ‘bang for their buck’. Unsurprisingly, it was our Spanish trip that shed the most results.
Highlights included the ‘Pablito’ from Casa de Si (£13.30) – a natural Garnacha possessing wonderful finesse and structure – and the Viña Almate Joven, a juicy young red from Bodegas Alfredo Maestro in the Ribera del Duero (£12.45).
The voyage to discover new wines also reaffirmed that a couple of our personal favourites still offer excellent value for money, most notably Albariño from Bodegas Terras Gauda (£15.20) and Mencia 'Petit Pittacum' from the arid region of Bierzo (£11.20).
Ultimately, our recent activities have reassured us that the current state of doom and gloom engulfing the wine trade should be ignored, and that the key is to be open to sampling wines from upcoming regions or lesser known grape varieties. In the current economic climate, stretching your wine buying horizons slightly can allow you to find the hidden gems that still offer a lot of bang for your buck.
Check out some of our most exciting new wines, hand selected to make up our "New Discoveries Mixed Case".