Tuesday, July 27

Seven clarets to understand what they are and why they are so fashionable


To begin to clarify a bit the confusion between the concepts of claret and pink, Raúl Escudero, the manager of the DO Cigales, famous for its clarets and rosés, delimits that, historically, they differ not by color, but by the way of elaboration: “the claret, in the end, does not stop being a semitinto, because it undergoes a maceration, fermentation of the must with the skin of the grape; while the rosé is made as a white, it never ferments in contact with the skins “.

Eight wines from the supermarket from 2 to 11 euros for this month of July

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The curious thing is that this differentiation arose due to the order of entry of the grapes to the winery after the harvest: “as the presses were communal, every two years the shifts were raffled and, depending on whether they had to enter before or at the end , the fermentation started sooner or later and, therefore, they made claret if it was less time in contact with the skins or, directly, they made red “.

At the College of Oenology of Castilla y León they also argue that “formerly a claret was a wine that was a mixture of red wine with white wine, a practice that is currently not carried out due to the prohibition of mixing ‘colors’ in wines”, just as the term claret was banned in Europe That is why the word pink was imposed, but recently both can be used again.

The mix of white and red varieties

What is done, of a lifetime, is to mix the grapes, as Luis Oliván, maker of the marvelous Claret of Bespén Aragonese: “clarets were made in Castilla y León, Aragón, Navarra and La Rioja long before rosés as such existed, including the nomenclature itself, in most cases, of vineyards where different varieties of grapes were mixed inks and whites “.

To which the wine expert Javier Ruiz He adds: “in my land, claret is always that of mixed inks and whites, in Soria it is usually fine red and albillo, while rosé is red by bleeding”. Or it can also be by direct pressing, adds the winemaker Xavi Nolla, winemaker of Wines of memory, which considers all of them to be pink.

In that sense, the Palencia sommelier Javier San Segundo notes that “all clarets and rosés are classified as pink by fashion, although the word claret is being re-imposed on some labels.”

Something that is currently supported by legislation, which has been changing until now, when, according to Tomás Curio, agronomist and winemaker, technical director of Bodegas Museum, “Each winery is free to elaborate as it wants and put on the label pink or claret, it is exactly the same and completely legal. The only restriction that wineries have is of a varietal nature and varies according to the Denominations of Origin”, he summarizes in His article Pink or Claret, published in the magazine Argi.

To conclude, San Segundo sheds some light on the chaos: “what happens is that for the same wine, in different vintages, the same winery may decide to ferment a little with the skins depending on the maturation of the grape or the season. vintage, etc. Therefore, some years it may be claret and others pink, with the same name. ”

Claret, by Florentino Martínez, DOC Rioja, made with 80% Grenache and 20% Viura, cold macerated for 48 hours, hence its salmon-orange color. In the mouth, it is fruity, balanced, with violets, roses and anise and a small carbonic touch that makes it fresher, if possible. 13.5% vol. 2.90 euros.

Torondos It is from the Cigales cooperative winery, a classic of the DO with the typical aromas and flavors of lollipops, strawberries and sweets that never fail. It is light, pleasant and fresh and has just been awarded a Gold medal at the Mondial du Rosé Cannes 2021, a Gold medal at CINVE 2021 and a Grand Gold at VIRTUS 2021. 13% Vol. 5 euros.

The Countryman of Tares It is a claret based on Mencia, Garnacha Tintorera, Palomino Fino, Doña Blanca and Godello aged in old oak “cubes” according to the traditional way of elaboration in El Bierzo. A red wine with a white soul that is very good for summer meals in a jar, when you don’t mind getting dirty while sharing a barbecue with friends. Rich, easy and very fresh. 13% vol. 7.90 euros.

Meapilas, by Bodegas Septien, is a claret of tempranillo, garnacha, mencía and 30% albillo and Viura from old vineyards of the DO Arlanza with five months on lees, whose winemaker is an artist who loves his land, as shown in his book What we carry inside (Red Circle Ed.) And in this delicate limited edition with a pale color that does not correspond to its intense, long flavor, it is a bit as if you were squeezing and extracting the flavor of a rose petal. 13.5% Vol. Between 12 in the cellar and 14 euros in stores.

Rose Meadows 2020, from Pagos del Moncayo, DO Campo de Borja, is 60% Garnacha and 40% Macabeo, a silky and deep claret, tropical, with a touch of cherry that last in the aftertaste, refreshing as well as enveloping. With hummus it goes great. 14% and 9.95 euros.

Claret Eagle Rogue 2018, from Dominio del Águila, DO Ribera del Duero. Super bluish claret that goes back to the origins and seeks the essence using the tempranillo and white of the country mainly, in addition to garnacha, bobal and gray tempranillo, which would be destined to great reds, to make a wine with a lot of flavor, with great force , intensity and tannins; a versatility that makes the fat in the ham much more digestible. 13.5% Vol. 21.38 euros.

Torremilanos Ojo de Gallo, from Bodegas Peñalva López, from Aranda de Duero, 100% native white and red varieties: tempranillo, viura, albillo, garnacha, bobal, etc. They offer a strong wine, a semi-wine but fresh, with lots of fresh, palatable and serious fruit. 13.5% Vol. 19 euros.

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