The Heart of Spanish Living Beats in Battle Ground

The Heart of Spanish Living Beats in Battle Ground

I n Madrid, they’re called tapas – small savory bites commonly served in bars. In the Basque region of Spain, it’s called a pintxos crawl. Whatever the descriptor, the tapeo culture is the heart of Spanish living and, thanks to Emanar Cellars in Battle Ground, its infectious conviviality can be experienced without taking a flight across the big pond.

Opened on Oct. 26, 2013, Emanar Cellars’ authenticity is not just found in its stout, carved wood door, extensive lineup of all Spanish wines, or a thoughtfully curated tapas menu…

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Pilgrimage through Spain a wine adventure

Pilgrimage through Spain a wine adventure

El Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage to the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. In the Middle Ages, The Way of St. James was an epic religious journey. Walking hundreds of miles to arrive at the final destination believed to hold the remains of St. James must have been a thoughtful, introspective undertaking.

Today, some of the most popular routes parallel freeways, train tracks and villages whose main industry is tourism. Regardless of modern conveniences it is still an impressive physical achievement. For example, the Northern Way consists of 509 miles from its beginning in San Sebastián, Spain. Battle Ground resident, Nancy Herron, completed Camino del Norte in October and shared her experience recently at Emanar Cellars along with pairings of wines found along The Way.

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Gran Reserva heats up winter camping

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Enjoying a few dry, warm days along the Long Beach peninsula last week Sitting around a smoky campfire with Cape Disappointment State Park nearly all to ourselves last week it seemed appropriate to open a bottle of Juan Ramon Lozano’s 2008 Gran Oristan Gran Reserva from the La Mancha D.O. (Denominación de Origen) of Spain.

Made mainly of tempranillo with 25 percent cabernet sauvignon that bumps up the tannins and leans tasting notes more toward black fruit than the strawberry characteristics commonly found in a 100 percent tempranillo, the aging process of Spanish wine is really what distinguishes the quality.

Spain’s labeling system is tiered from Joven to Gran Reserva with Gran Reserva being a wine aged in oak barrels for 24 months and then matured in the bottle for another 36 months before release. As Richard and Mar of Emanar Cellars like to point out, when a wine lover buys a bottle of Spanish wine, they are buying a bottle meant to be consumed now. The Spanish wineries have done all the work for us.

Salt-crusted prime rib roast was a perfect pairing for this 2008 Gran Oristan Gran Reserva.

As expected, there’s considerable toast, vanilla, coffee and a hint of walnut in the 2008 Gran Oristan which goes far enough for the winemaker to mention a ‘rancio edge.’ Rancio is typically used to describe Port wine, Cognac and even Madeira—all fortified/distilled wines that see a lot of time in oak.

Rancio is not something detected on the nose of this Gran Oristan as it might be on the nose of the fortified/distilled wines but, with five years in oak, all those flavors do hint of rancio on the palate to give the taster an idea of how a stronger version might present itself in a Cognac that’s been aged for 10 years or more.

What this all translates into is a wine that goes down smooth and pairs fabulously with meats and Iberian cheeses for $18 a bottle. It’s recommended to enjoy this wine at 59 degrees so stick it in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before pouring it—or leave it on the picnic table of your campsite in January for about 10 minutes before cozying up to it fireside.

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