Enjoy a Taste of Spain with a Spanish Wine Expert

There’s a reason we call it the “world” of wine—it’s neverendingly vast. But sometimes the vinous can feel quite narrow, especially when we read about or drink the same old varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Tempranillo, Merlot. Sometimes, you just want to try something new. 

If, like me, you enjoy stepping out of your comfort zone in search of the next great grape, join us for The New Vignerons: A New Generation of Spanish Winegrowers, one of four master classes taking place at Robert Parker Wine Advocate’s Matter of Taste event on Saturday, December 3 at the Conrad New York. It’s more than a seminar—it’s a book release party, where our expert on Spanish wine, Luis Gutiérrez, releases the English version of his first solo book, whose title is also the name of our master class, on the most exciting new names (and wines) in Spain. 

You don’t have to be a wine lover to appreciate Luis’ resumé. Based in Madrid, Luis is a founding member of elmundovino.com, the most prestigious wine-based website published in Spanish, which he’s been writing and tasting for since its creation in 2000. In 2004 he was awarded the title Cavaleiro da Confraria do Vinho do Porto, a “knight” distinguished for his dedication and service to Port wine. He has received the Spanish National Gastronomy Award for Journalism from the Spanish Minister for Tourism. And his list of publications is staggering: he contributes to a number of wine and gastronomy publications in Spain, Portugal, Puerto Rico and the UK; he contributed to the book 1001 Wines You Must Taste Before You Die, as well as co-authored The Finest Wines of Rioja and Northwest Spain (a favorite in my personal wine library), which won the 2011 André Simon Special Commendation Award in London; not to mention he’s Robert Parker Wine Advocate’s reviewer for the wines of Spain, Argentina, Chile and Jura.  

For two years, Luis and photographer Estanis Núñez traveled through Spain speaking, tasting and drinking with winemakers who are crafting some of the best wines in Spain. The New Vignerons: A New Generation of Spanish Winegrowers profiles 14 of these characters and their wines, covering the majority of the Spanish viticultural geography. But this is no atlas: these are the personal stories of vignerons in Spain who are rescuing and restoring the country’s rich viticultural heritage. Among the list of wines you’ll taste at Luis’ master class are a Cava-not-Cava from Raventós i Blanc (the first of the big-name Cava producers to leave the appellation in search of starting their own on the banks of the Anoia River in Penedès), a dry white sparkling wine made from Muscat and aged under flor from vines a few meters from the Mediterranean, and a multi-grape blend from ungrafted, centenary vines in Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Personally, I look forward to sampling the 2013 Celler del Roure Parotet (91 points) made from 70% Mandó, an endangered variety from the Bierzo region.

If that’s not enough, participants in the master class will receive a copy of Luis’ book, as well as early entry to the Grand Walkabout Tasting, featuring over 250 wines rated 90 points or higher by Robert Parker Wine Advocate reviewers. You’ll be able to leave the seminar and continue straight away with your exploration of Spain, tasting wines from Andalucía, Madrid, Valencia, Castilla y León and many other regions. ¡Salud!

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