From: Monterrei, Spain
Taste: On the nose, a mix of earth and fruit showcases ripe red and black fruits like bing cherry, raspberry, black raspberry, and blackberry. These fruit aromas meet dark floral notes and a hint of earthiness, like freshly turned earth. These aromas follow through to the palate, balanced by subtle spice and rocky minerality. This wine boasts a well-structured body, balanced acidity, and smooth tannins, leading to a lingering, elegant finish.
Pairing: This versatile wine pairs exceptionally well with a variety of cuisines. Its vibrant fruit profile and balanced structure make it an ideal companion for grilled meats, such as lamb or steak. The wine's subtle earthy notes complement mushroom-based meals or dishes like the recipe we’re featuring below (this combination works by playing up the umami components of the dish, and the wine plus the medium-body and lighter tannins in this red allow for a successful pairing with something like octopus), while its acidity cuts through the richness of pork or duck main courses. For a regional pairing, try it with traditional Galician dishes, such as 'Pulpo a la Gallega' (Galician-style octopus) or 'Empanada Gallega' (Galician pie).
Octopus, Galician Style
By Mark Bittman
About: The story of Fraga do Corvo is particularly entwined with the crows that inhabit this area. As the grapes ripen, crows perch on the electric power lines near the vineyards every September. In what can be described as a natural symbiosis, these birds perform a "natural grape selection" by feeding on some fruits. This unusual activity by the crows inadvertently aids the winery by reducing the yield of grapes, which, in the world of viticulture, often translates to a concentration of flavors and an increase in the overall quality of the wine.
Recognizing the crows' inadvertent contribution to the quality of their wine, the winery decided to pay tribute to these avian partners. They named their wine "Fraga do Corvo," celebrating the landscape and the crows' role in their grape selection process. This name reflects a geographical location and symbolizes the harmonious relationship between nature and winemaking.
Fraga do Corvo wines, thus, are not just products of human expertise and labor but also of the natural environment in which they are produced. The crows, often seen as mere scavengers, are celebrated here for their unwitting contribution to the winemaking process, embodying the winery's philosophy of respect and coexistence with nature.
As one of the lesser-known appellations in Spain, The Monterrei region, situated in the southeastern part of Galicia, Spain, is renowned for its distinctive microclimate and diverse soil types. This region benefits from a unique combination of Mediterranean and Atlantic influences, resulting in a temperate climate ideal for grape cultivation.
The region benefits from a distinctive microclimate, influenced by its proximity to the Támega River and the shelter provided by surrounding mountains. This creates an ideal environment for vine cultivation, characterized by warm, dry summers and mild winters. Monterrei's terroir, characterized by its mineral-rich soils, varies from slate to clay and imparts a unique character to the grapes grown here, especially the Mencia variety. Primarily focusing on white grape varieties like Godello and Treixadura, and reds like Mencía and Tempranillo.
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