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Videotasting: Casa Antonete Crianza

24 de August de 2011 | 1:54 pm By

Videotasting hosted by Charlie Arturaola during DO La Mancha Roadshows 2011

Wine: Casa Antonete Crianza

Type: Crainza Red Wine

Grape variety: 100% Tempranillo

Producer: Casa Antonete


Food pairing: Roast Suckling Pig, veal chops or lamb leg.

Casa Antonete Cenbitel Crianza







Facebook: La ManchaWines


Ritz-Carlton Sommelier Loves D.O. La Mancha Rosado

22 de August de 2011 | 5:03 pm By

By Doc Lawrence

The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta faces fabled Peachtree Street where the world premiere of Gone With The Wind took place in 1939. Just a few blocks away is the white marble tomb of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the nearby Jimmy Carter Presidential Center. The regal Ritz-Carlton is widely viewed as occupying the pinnacle of luxury in this region and is the centerpiece of Atlanta’s global reputation for Southern American hospitality. It’s no surprise that the hotel and its gourmet restaurant enjoys an unmatched reputation for fine dining and great wines and continues to be a top choice for visiting celebrities and heads of state.

Esteemed wine professional Brian White serves as the landmark hotel’s sommelier and we sat down recently to discuss the wines of D.O. La Mancha.

“I think that La Mancha is a region whose time has come,” White said. “Not to overstate the obvious, but why wouldn’t the world’s largest wine region produce some gems? La Mancha is a workhorse region producing wines from a multicolored rainbow of grape varieties. The single varietal and blended wines coming out of this region are great for a dinner party, backyard barbeques and easy sipping.”

The conversation confirmed that variety, affordability and utility are attractive advantages D.O. La Mancha wines offer.

We discussed some of his favorites from La Mancha. “The rosé, or rosado, wines are particularly intriguing,” he said, “because they are fresh, vibrant, and a great value at ten dollars or less at retail. These wines are made from Garnacha, Tempranillo, and many other grape varieties, and they range in color from light pink and salmon to almost a violet or lavender hue.”

White advised wine shoppers to “look for sparkling wines from La Mancha in the rosé category.” (These are also found under Rosado.)

On of White’s favorite D.O. La Mancha wines is actually a sparkling, Gotas de Plata, Brut Rosado, produced by Viñedos y Reservas S.A., Bodegas. “This is a delicious summer sparkler with dense and fragrant strawberry aromas and flavors.”

The interesting thing about rosé wines, continued White, particularly the ones he selected from D. O. La Mancha, is that they have been overlooked by Americans for decades.

“I for one am very happy to see things turning around for this forgotten warm weather wine,” White added.

We both agreed that terrific rosés like these from La Mancha deserve a place on the wine menu of a heralded restaurant. “These are just some of my picks to look for from this often overlooked region.”

Doc Lawrence is a veteran wine, fine dining and travel journalist and is managing editor of Wines Down South in Atlanta and food and wine editor of Today’s Texas Woman published in San Antonio.

Videotasting: Portento Syrah Joven

17 de August de 2011 | 10:08 am By

Videotasting hosted by Charlie Arturaola during DO La Mancha Roadshows 2011

Wine: Portento Syrah Joven

Type: Young Red Wine

Grape variety: 100% Syrah

Producer: Bodega Romero de Avila


Food pairing: Pasta or pisto manchego (manchego ratatouille)

Portento Syrah







Facebook: La ManchaWines


Videotasting: Semblanza Tempranillo Joven

17 de August de 2011 | 9:24 am By

Videotasting hosted by Charlie Arturaola during DO La Mancha Roadshows 2011

Wine: Semblanza Tempranillo Joven

Type: Young Red Wine

Grape variety: 100% Tempranillo

Producer: Bodegas San Isidro de Pedro Muñoz


Semblanza Tempranillo







Facebook: La ManchaWines


Videotasting: Parra Jimenez Graciano

8 de August de 2011 | 2:10 pm By

Videotasting hosted by Charlie Arturaola during DO La Mancha Roadshows 2011

Wine: Parra Jimenez Graciano

Type: Organic Red Wine

Grape variety: 100% Graciano

Producer: Parra Jimenez Family


Food pairing: Hearty soups, roast beef and cured cheeses.Try with: Curries.







Facebook: La ManchaWines



Videotasting: Los Galanes Airen

8 de August de 2011 | 1:30 pm By

Videotasting hosted by Charlie Arturaola during DO La Mancha Roadshows 2011

Wine: Los Galanes Airén

Type: White Wine

Grape variety: 100% Airén

Producer: Santa Catalina


Food pairing: Ceviche or appetizer with clams

Los Galanes Airen


Facebook: La ManchaWines


Videotasting: Torre de Gazate Crianza

8 de August de 2011 | 1:19 pm By

Videotasting hosted by Charlie Arturaola during DO La Mancha Roadshows 2011

Wine: Torre de Gazate Crianza

Type: Red Wine

Grape variety: 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Tempranillo

Producer: Vinícola de Tomelloso


Food pairing: Red meats, cheeses and roasted

Torre de Gazate Crianza



Facebook: La ManchaWines



Videotasting: Viña Cuesta Colora Tempranillo

8 de August de 2011 | 1:01 pm By

Videotasting hosted by Charlie Arturaola during DO La Mancha Roadshows 2011

Wine: Viña Cuesta Colorada Tempranillo

Type: Organic Red Wine

Grape variety: 100% Tempranillo

Producer: Parra Jimenez Family


Food pairing: Asian food

Cuesta Colora



Facebook: La ManchaWines



7 D.O. La Mancha Tempranillo Value Wines

5 de August de 2011 | 8:42 pm By

By Fred Minnick

Oh, how delicious the Tempranillo grape is.

The native-Spanish grape has won the hearts of wine lovers from around the world. This rich, well-structured red wine provides the perfect acidity, tannins and color, with a frequent nose of black fruits and floral notes. It’s often blended with Syrah and Garnacha, and is the cornerstone of Spanish wine. But, it’s not always called Tempranillo.

In the D.O. La Mancha, it’s often referred to as Cencibel. To appeal to the international market, however, many vineyards are labeling their bottles Tempranillo.

Whatever it’s called, this red presents great value. Whether it’s a family get-together or an everyday outing, Tempranillo pairs nicely with so many foods. It’s not too overpowering that it cannot be paired with pork. But, it has enough backbone to pair with grilled fleshy meats, such as a ribeye steak. It’s simply one of the best food wines available.

Here are seven D.O. La Mancha wines under $10.

Canforrales 2010 Clásico Joven Tempranillo, Bodegas Campos Reales

This is a bright cherry color with a violet rim, presenting aromas of strawberry and blueberry. On the palate, it explodes with up-front berry flavors with balanced acidity and silky tannins.


This fruity red gives a color of garnet red and a nose of raspberries. On the palate, it’s fruity with a medium-body finish.

Flor del Montgo Tempranillo 2010

Flor del Montgo is a collection of wines focusing on the Spanish indigenous grape varieties from their historical appellations. This D.O. La Mancha Tempranillo is complex, expressing mature strawberry and blueberry with notes of cigar box and spices. Its deep violet color is lovely to look at, and it’s long-lasting finish is wonderful to enjoy.

Gladium 2010 Joven Tempranillo, Bodegas Campos Reales

This bright cherry-colored wine gives aromas of strawberry and blackberry. It’s black fruit forward with balanced acidity and smooth tannins.

 Torre de Rejas Tempranillo Rosado 2010, Bodegas Lopez Mercier

Tempranillo makes lovely Rosado, the Spanish rosé. The Torre de Rejas Tempranillo Rosado is a light pinkish red with a nose of ripe red fruit. It’s fresh, elegant and filled with notes of red fruits, slightly spicy and fruity finish. Wonderful summer picnic wine.

Artero 2010, Bodegas y Viñedos Muñoz, S.L. de Noblejas

This dark cherry-colored wine hits the nose with dark cherries, same as its color, with notes of ripe red fruits that are very expressive. Lovely structure.

Bodegas Lahoz de Socuéllamos

Another bright-cherry colored Tempranillo, this wine brings to the nose: cherry, herbs, red fruits. It delivers a powerful palate of black and red fruits with rounded tannins.

VIÑA CUERVA 2010, Bodegas Naranjo, S.L. de Carrión de Calatrava

Bright dark cherry colored and with a nose of red and black fruits. This well-structured wine delivers red and black fruits with hints of toasted oak, chocolate and plum. It’s soft, rounded tannins leave a lasting impression.

Fred Minnick is an international wine and whiskey writer/photographer. View his work at


10 Airén Value Wines

25 de July de 2011 | 5:54 pm By

By Fred Minnick

When it comes to value, an often-overlooked wine comes from the white grape Airén. Many people might scoff at the suggestion of Airén being a value wine, because it’s so widely used in Spanish brandy, but it’s unfair to blanket label a grape that when tended to correctly can actually be very rewarding.

In D.O. La Mancha, vineyards like Bodegas Lahoz, Bodegas López Mercier and Vinícola de Tomelloso are treating the Airén vines delicately and are producing wonderful whites with pale yellow color with slight green reflections that are fruity and clean, well-balanced, light and easy to drink. Some vineyards are actually hand-harvesting Airén at night, which allows a better quality grape to be picked and gives it a fresher, fruitier and crisper flavor profile. They are planting the vines far enough a part, and not bunching them up like the days of old, to give the Airén vines room to grow. Once the grapes are harvested, some winemakers are practicing a short maceration with the skins in pneumatic press and fermenting at low temperatures to extract as much flavor as possible.

Airén has long been used to blend with red grapes to lighten powerful reds, but the stainless steel and cold-soak fermentation practices have made Airén a splendid single varietal wine that is perfect to pair with grilled fish, light cheeses or sautéed vegetables.

I’ve personally enjoyed sipping on Airén during this heat wave. Its crispness is so refreshing that you just forget how hot it is outside—for a second or two, at least.

You can find most Airén wines for under $12, and D.O. La Mancha, the world’s largest wine-producing region, produces the vast majority of the world’s Airén.

Here are 10 D.O. La Mancha Airen value wines that will boost your next summer picnic.

Torre de Rejas Airén 2009,  Bodegas López Mercier: This lovely straw-colored blanca has a balsamic herbs and citrus nose with a fresh and fruity taste.

Torre de Gazate Airén 2009,  Vinícola de Tomelloso: Bright straw-colored with notes of citrus, flowers. It’s light and fresh.

Armiño 2008, Bodegas Ayuso: A slightly pale yellow color with floral notes. A crisp dry finish.

El Yugo Airén 2009, Cristo de la Vega: With a  pale yellow this light and aramotic wine gives hints of pear and apple.

Los Galanes Blanco 2009, Santa Catalina: Light white with soft yellow hues, this Light white gives an intese aroma of flower petals and is balanced on the tongue with floral, pear and green fruit notes.

Vega Córcoles Airén 2009, Bodegas Lahoz: Pale yellow with an excellent aroma. It’s very balanced and fruity.

 Rezuelo 2009, Galán de Membrilla Bod. Rezuelo: Winemaker’s tasting notes: “Elegant pale yellow with green tones. Aroma of good intensity, fresh and fruity. Balanced and fruity in the mouth.”

Clavelito Airén 2008, Bodegas Entremontes: This lovely elegant straw color meets an intense aroma of fruit and flowers. Pineapple and peach stand out with hints of rose petals and banana.

Viña Cuerva Airén 2008,  Bodegas Naranjo: Staw-colored, and with fruity bouquets, this fresh wine is light and gives notes of green apple and hints of clove.

Visibel 2008,  Cooperativa San Isidro Labrador: A pale yellow color is followed by a floral nose with compote fruit and hints of tropical fruits with pineapple notes that last a very long time.

Fred Minnick is an international writer/photographer who covers wine and whiskey. Visit