Malcolm Jolley tastes through the extensive Spanish portfolio of All The Right Grapes.
Derek Kranenborg and Alex Klip’s boutique wine agency, All The Right Grapes, is well known for representing Spanish wines, as this ‘Good Food Fighter Profile‘ Jamie posted about them a little while ago shows. So, it was with great excitement that I received an invitation from Derek recently to attend a special tasting put on by the agency and another Spanish wine specialist, Cosecha Imports, of only Spanish wines from Galacia to Andalusia and all the other regions in between. I was not alone in my enthusiasm, and when I arrived at the event space above a downtown restaurant I found it packed with top tier sommeliers and wine and drinks professionals eager to try something new, return to a favourite old taste or both.
Derek Kranenborg, pictured above with wine doyenne Krystina Roman, is a ‘Formador Homologado del Vino de Jerez‘ or an ‘Official Sherry Educator’, so he rightly manned the Sherry table, which was full in interesting things from Anadalusia and included everything from selections from the sommelier favourite Equipo Navaros to Barbadillo’s Arboledilla Manzanilla, which is sourced from one of two estates the ‘Levante’ that receives warmer, drier winds from the Mediterranean and the ‘Poniente’, which received winds from the cooler, wetter Atlantic. Elevated in identical conditions, the twin set of wines are a fascinating study in terroir.
Sherry is a kind of bridge between the wine crowd and the drinks crowd, so it was no surprise that among the attendees was booze and cocktail culture expert, journalist and author Christine Sismondo (right) here chatting with sommelier and Grape Witch Krista Oben.
Of course there was much, much more on hand than Sherry. Here wine writer Michael Godel can be seen working his way through a table of ‘non-Rioja’ reds, often with interesting varietal combinations, or of great value like the 2015 Vinergia Los Tros, which at $33 is both a beautiful wine and great value.
Uh oh, who let in this guy with Courtney Stebbings of Barberians and Genuwine. While there was serious tasting and wine trade to be done that afternoon, there was also a lot of collegiality and catching up to do.
Alex Clip held court at his own table of reds: Rioja in the old and new styles, as well as some interesting things like this Garnacha based 2015 Aaron from the high altitude producer Honorio Rubio.
Among All The Right Grapes fans I found the always on point Archive Wine Bar’s Josh Corea and Nial McCotter from, among other restaurants, Cava, the restaurant that really kick started the contemporary resurgence of interest in Spanish wine and Sherry.
With more than three dozen wines tasted, the event was winding down and my knowledge of Spanish wines had grown a little and my appreciation for them a lot. In my scribbles of notes from the afternoon are exclamation points for things like $12 2017 Castillo de San Diego 100% Palomino table wine, or the 2011 Barborot with 15% Merlot rounding out the Tempranillo from Barbara Palacios of the famous Rioja winemaking family. Or my ‘rediscovery’ of Graciano, I grape I had forgotten about somehow… The list goes on.
Find out more about interesting Spanish producers at alltherightgrapes.com.