Robert Parker in Spain

The critically acclaimed American wine connoisseur, Robert Parker,  was at the Winefuture ‘09 in Logroño last week to do what he does best: enlighten us with his always valued wine tastings.

One would probably expect Robert Parker to be distant, but on the contrary, he is rather modest and cheerful. He transmits he is cultured and wise, yet complex-free. Read through this interesting interview with the world’s most renowned wine critic.

He was asked how wine and its consumption are evolving, since many worry about that in Spain.

“The change I appreciate the most is that people no longer throw themselves to old, aged wines, but to recent ones. People want fresh, pure wines that are gracious and are immediately attractive….very, very, very early. To enjoy them it is not necessary to wait a long time, wines are attractive even when they are young, including Mediterranean wines. Many young and light wines walk hand in hand with the latest cooking tendencies.

Americans are eating Mediterranean style food more and more. More blend, more fresh herbs, more vegetables, less beef and more fish and poultry. Wines that match this type of cooking – and that will continue being popular- are from Spain, southern France, Italy and Argentina.

Even though Borgoña and Burdeos wines are excellent they are dying due to their high price.

In California wine prices are sky high because they forgot that most wine is bought by people who don’t drink expensive wines”.

What is the future of the Spanish wine?

It has a great future, despite the crisis. Cellars should provide more interactive, on-line information, in which Spain is a bit backward. It has world-class, extraordinary D.O. wines, such as Yecla, Jumilla, Toro, Navarra, Campo de Borja, which make people fall for them.

On Thursday, during the tasting among 540 other experts I said that in 1978 hardly three or four Rioja cellars and maybe two or three Catalan cellars were known of in the US, there were very few cavas, Vega Sicilia wasn’t even imported. Today there are at least a hundred Rioja cellars represented in my country.

What about cava and Catalan wines?

They have a really brilliant future. Lately champagne does not dominate as it used to, it still gives out an image of luxury but due to the crisis people look for other less expensive options. Cava is widely sold in my country, which didn’t happen five years ago, it competes with champagne which is the result of increasing the quality and lowering the price. Personally I like the Catalan Priorat but it is really expensive, it has turned into a very chic wine.

What about Grenache grape?

I think it has got great potential; its quality is really high. The wine is beautiful, fruity with spices and herbs, reminds of strawberries and cherries. If you add oak it isn’t a good combination.

I like Grenache, one of the most popular wines in the US this year is the borsao del Campo de Borja (Aragon).

Source: La Vanguardia November 15th 2009

The wineries included on our Priorat Wine Getaway Tour have won prestigious accolades and qualifications by  Robert Parker himself, infact one of the family-owned Spanish wineries in the tour was awarded one of Robert Parker’s highest ratings and he regards it as one of his favorite vineyards!