Wine Time

Dennis Sodomka is a guest columnist | Contact Dennis

Wine Time: Terras Gauda O Rosal 2012, Spain

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COST: $23-25

WHAT: The Terras Gauda O Rosal 2012, the flagship wine of the Terras Gauda Group, showcases the beautiful Albariño grape that is popular in Spain and Portugal. It is fresh and bright and relatively low in alcohol (12.5 percent), a perfect food wine.

In the glass the wine is a light yellow with green tints, and powerful aromas of peach and orange peel. The peach continues in the flavor, with some eucalyptus and crisp minerality. The finish is clean and long with good structure and balance.

Though this wine is a blend, the Albariño clearly dominates. The grapes are all native to the Rías Baixas (ree-ass by-shass) region. The grapes are grown in the O Rosal Valley, located near the Portugese border. The blend is 70 percent Albariño, 18 percent Loureiro and 12 percent Caiño Blanco.

After a separate cold maceration of each variety, traditional fermentation took place at controlled temperatures in stainless-steel tanks. After adding natural yeasts from the vineyards, the wine was cold stabilized, filtered and finally bottled. More than one million bottles were produced.

Albariño (al-ba-ree-nyo) is grown primarily in northwest Spain and northwest Portugal. In Portugal it is called Alvarinho (al-va-ree-nyo). The grape is thought to have come from the Alsace region of France. The name means the white wine from the Rhine.

This is a wine meant to be had young and well-chilled. It is perfect for many occasions, from sipping on the porch to formal dinners.

WINERY: The Terras Gauda Group began in 1989 and now includes three wineries: Bodegas Terras Gauda, Viñedos y Bodegas Pittacum and Quinta Sardonia. The company later added the A Rosaleira cannery.

From 37,000 bottles with the initial harvest in 1990, the company has grown to more than 1.5 million bottles.

The group has about 400 acres. Terras Gauda is in the O Rosal Valley, within the territory of the Rías Baixas Denomination of Origin.

Bodegas Pittacum, in the Bierzo Denomination of Origin region, concentrates on quality red wines from the grapes of an old vineyard. Quinta Sardonia winery is in Sardón de Duero, where they create high-range red wines from grapes grown according to biodynamic agricultural principles.

The three vineyards produce a wide variety of wines and spirits.

Collaboration with Spain’s national research institute has resulted in several patents and development of new clones of Albariño.

GOES WITH: My wife, Teri, and I had this wine with a spicy chicken tortilla soup. We loved the way the crisp wine softened the spice in the soup, which has rotisserie chicken, diced tomatoes, chiles, red pepper and cilantro and is topped with grated jack cheese and crispy fried tortilla strips.

The wine would be good with many spicy dishes (Asian food comes to mind), but the rich flavor also would pair well with seafood, especially oysters and crab.

WINE EVENTS

THURSDAY, OCT. 17

Wine and tapas tasting, 5 p.m. until closing, La Maison on Telfair, 404 Telfair St.; four wines and three tapas; $25; (706) 722-4805

Wine tasting, 5-8 p.m., Wine World, 133 Georgia Ave., North Augusta; three whites and three reds and cheeses; $5 rebate on purchase of featured wine; (803) 279-9522

FRIDAY, OCT. 18

Wine and beer tasting, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Vineyard Wine Market, 4414 Evans to Locks Road, Evans; price dependent on flight selection; (706) 922-9463

Wine tasting, 6-8 p.m., Evans Towne Market, 4460 Washington Road, Evans; several wines, cheese and crackers and live music most Fridays; $5; (706) 303-8591

SATURDAY, OCT. 19

Wine and beer tasting, 2-6 p.m., Vineyard Wine Market, 4414 Evans to Locks Road, Evans; price dependent on flight selection; (706) 922-9463

Columbia County Wine Festival, 1-4 p.m., Savannah Rapids Pavillion, 3300 Evans to Locks Road, Martinez; an assortment of foods, more than 200 wines, imported beers, live jazz, and door prizes; $35 in advance from The Vineyard Wine Market, Ninth Street Wine Market and Evans Towne Market or $40 at the door

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 23

Wine tasting, 7 p.m., Vineyard Wine Market, 4414 Evans to Locks Road, Evans; wines of J. Lohr; $25; reservations, (706) 922-9463


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