I spent Sunday afternoon through Monday evening in Manhattan and although I managed to catch up with 3 wine importers and visit 5 restaurants the whole purpose was to check out Selections de la Vina, a new small importer of natural Spanish wines run by Alvaro and his partner Anna. Alvaro grew up moving back and forth between Rye NY and the Seville area of Spain and always new he wanted to do something involving both countries.
I've always wondered why with some hunting I could lay my hands on exciting, honest, hand made French and Italian wines, but most all the Spanish wines in the US were mass produced Tempranillo, Garnacha, or Monastrell. Yes there are exceptions to that statement, but they were always exceptions and not the norm; rare singular lonely gems from a country famous for it's separate cultures and climates. It always struck me as weird.
Turns out Alvaro and Anna were thinking the same thing. So they did something about it and started Selections de la Vina. Every one of their wines that I tasted was either from a grape variety I'd never heard of, a Spanish wine region I hadn't heard of, or came from a well known place but tasted different and unique. After tasting through about 10 wines I realized I had used "interesting" in my description of every wine.
Some of the wines were pretty crazy. Some were intense like a 24 year old door to door political campaigner that you told you'd like to hear more and invited them in. Some absolutely delicious and actually revelatory. All were very real and authentic. They're not wines for every body but on reflection that's ok. I don't want to just have wines for everyone. Everyone has different tastes and preferences and the wines I like least are the ones that taste like they're trying to please everyone. I don't like the wines that taste like some one made them with a specific end result taste in mind, like the wine maker wanted them to be easy, simple, and inoffensive. As I constantly reiterate I love that taste in wine is personal and relative. Personally I don't want safe boring things and I apply that to wine. I want to work with wines that are passionate and polarizing; vivid, dirty, and raw.
So look forward to seeing wild fermented wines from Extremadura, Andalucia, Catalonia, the Basque countryside, and Mallorca. You've never seen Spanish wines like this before