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WSET ® Level 3 Wine > Spain > Flashcards

Flashcards in Spain Deck (79)
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1
Q

What are the 3 sweeping climatic zones of Spain?

A

Moderate Maritime - north and northwest coasts enjoy Atlantic influence and high rainfall (e.g. Galicia).

Warm Mediterranean - eastern Spain along the Mediterranean coast going south experiences sea influence and altitude variation.

Hot Continental - the center of Spain (Meseta Central) does not have any ocean or sea influence; rainfall is low and summertime heat is high.

2
Q

What are the main climate challenges that affect viticulture in Spain? 

What effects do these challenges have on the vine?

A

Climate challenges: Hot weather and drought

Effects:

  • Water stress
  • Slower ripening
  • Grapes can shrivel before reaching full and phenolic maturity
3
Q

What is a viticultural benefit of the lack of rainfall in Spain?

A

Fungal disease pressure is low. 

4
Q

What is the traditional training system of Spain?

What is the newer one that is being used?

How does this newer pruning system affect vineyards?

A
  • Traditional: Bush trained - low density planting, usually dry farmed;
  • Newer: Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP) - higher density planting, irrigation possible. 

With VSP winemakers can produce greater yields and use machine harvesting.

5
Q

What is the hierarchy of wine quality in Spain?

A

From highest to lowest:

PDO level

  1. Vinos de Pago
  2. DOCa/DOQ
  3. DO

PGI level

  1. Vino de la Tierra
6
Q

What is Vinos de Pagos?

A

Vinos de Pagos is a category reserved for prestigious single estates whose work exceeds basic DO requirements.  These estates can only use their own grapes which must be grown, vinified and aged on their estate.

Estates which have earned the Vinos de Pago classification lie within established DOs -- notably, though, they do not exist within Rioja or Ribera del Duero -- and they aren't necessarily superior to DOCa. 

7
Q

What is the most planted red grape in Spain?

A

Tempranillo

8
Q

What is the most planted white grape in Spain (it's also the most planted grape in Spain, period)?

A

Airén

Airén is generally a low-quality white grape used for bulk wine and is mostly grown in La Mancha DO.

9
Q

What international grape varieties grow successfully in Spain?

A
  • Cabernet Sauvignon 
  • Merlot
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Chardonnay

These varieties were mostly planted in the 1980s and 1990s to suit the international market.

10
Q

Traditionally, what type of oak used in Spain?

A

American oak

There are several wineries experimenting with French oak today.

The size of the barrel has an important role: usually small new oak barrels are used for shorter aging, where large neutral barrels are used for long, slow maturation.

11
Q
True or False:

All Spanish white wines are only fermented and matured in stainless steel tanks.

A

False

Oak fermentation and maturation is common practice in Spain (for both whites and reds), a tradition going back centuries, but most of Spain's whites are fresh + fruity.  

Many winemakers also stir the lees on their white wines to add texture and depth of flavor.

12
Q

Which white grape varieties are known to make high quality, dry wines in Spain?

A
  • Viura in Rioja DOCa
  • Verdejo in Rueda DO
  • Albariño in Rías Baixas DO
13
Q

What are the 6 geographical regions of Spain?

A
  1. Upper Ebro (Rioja, Navarra, Cariñena, Calatayud)
  2. Catalunya (Penedès, Priorat)
  3. Duero Valley (Ribera del Duero, Toro, Rueda)
  4. North West (Rías Baixas, Bierzo)
  5. The Levante (Valencia, Jumilla, Yecla)
  6. Castilla-La Mancha (La Mancha, Valdepeñas)
14
Q

Where is Galicia in Spain?

A

Galicia is in the northwest corner of Spain, just north of Portugal, on the Atlantic Ocean.

 

15
Q

What is the most important DO in Galicia?

What style of wine is this DO best known for?

A

Rías Baixas is the most important DO of Galicia.

It is best known for producing still, dry, unoaked white wines based on Albariño.

 

16
Q

Is Albariño resistant to fungal disease?

A

Yes, Albariño is resistant to fungal disease, thanks to its thick skin. 

17
Q

How is Albariño typically trained in Rías Baixas?

A

Albariño is trained using the pergola system in Rías Baixas.

Having the grapes situated high off the ground allows for breezes to lower humidity and the threat of rot and mildew.

Some VSP-wired trellised vineyards are also seen, which are easier to maintain.

18
Q

What white grape variety is planted in Rías Baixas that's also planted in Vinho Verde?

A

Albariño, known as Alvarinho in Portugal.

19
Q

Albariño from Rías Baixas - is it usually aged in oak or stainless steel?

A

Albariño is usually aged in stainless steel because oxidative aging environments, like oak, reduce aromatic characters.

However, examples of Albariño aged in oak do exist.

 

 

20
Q

What are the two DOCas of Spain?

A
  1. Rioja DOCa
  2. Priorat DOCa
21
Q

Name all 3 subzones of Rioja DOCa.

A
  1. Rioja Alta
  2. Rioja Alavesa
  3. Rioja Oriental 
    • Renamed in 2018, previously called Rioja Baja
22
Q

What are the climate influencers of Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa?

A

Elevation and Atlantic Ocean breezes

Cantabrian Mountains protect Rioja from the worst weather coming off the Atlantic.

23
Q

What is the elevation range for vineyards in Rioja?

A

500-800 meters asl

24
Q

Which of Rioja's subregions is on the south bank of the Ebro and is hotter+drier than the other two?

What are some specifics that differentiate this subregion from the others?

A

Rioja Oriental is hotter+drier; it's also east of Logroño (Rioja's most important city).

  • Rioja Oriental receives a strong influence from the Mediterranean Sea, whereas Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa are influenced by the Atlantic Ocean;
  • Garnacha is the main grape, not Tempranillo.
25
Q

How many white grape varieties are approved for use in white Rioja?

What is the main white grape of Rioja DOCa?

A
  • 9 (updated from 8 in the WSET 3 Addendum published in August 2021) ;
  • Viura is the main white grape of Rioja DOCa.
26
Q

What is the other name for Viura in Spain?

In which region will you find it as this other name?

A

Macabeo, found in Catalunya.

27
Q

What is the minimum aging requirement for white and rosado Crianza?

A

White and rosado Crianza must be aged for a minimum of 18 months, including at least 6 months in oak (the remainder may be in bottle, oak or stainless steel).

28
Q

What is the minimum aging requirement for white and rosado Reserva?

A

White and rosado Reserva must be aged for a minimum of 24 months, including at least 6 months in oak (the remainder must be in bottle or oak).

29
Q

What is the minimum aging requirement for white and rosado Gran Reserva?

A

White and rosado Gran Reserva must be aged for a minimum of 48 months, including at least 6 months in oak (the remainder must be in bottle or oak).

30
Q

Tempranillo is the main grape of Rioja DOCa.  

Which grapes are traditionally blended with Tempranillo in Rioja DOCa?

A
  • Garnacha: adds body + alcohol
  • Graciano: adds black fruits, tannin + acidity
  • Cariñena (aka Mazuelo): adds tannin + acidity

International grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot being blended with Tempranillo are on the rise.

31
Q

Where is Graciano mainly grown in Spain?

A

Rioja DOCa

Graciano adds acidity, tannins and black fruit notes.

32
Q

What is the range of styles, or designations, Tempranillo can be made into?

A

Joven: made for early consumption (1-2 years of age) displaying punchy fruit; no oak treatments, no aging requirements, and occasional semi-carbonic maceration is used to soften tannin and texture.

Crianza: lightly oaked and fresh with primary fruit flavors, sessionable.

Reserva and Gran Reserva: highly complex wines due to a long maturation process and controlled oxidation.

33
Q

With the exception of Rioja and Ribera del Duero (as both have more stringent, longer aging requirements), Crianza on a Spanish red wine label indicates the wine was aged for how long?

A

Crianza Reds

  • Wines must age a minimum of 24 months, with at least 6 months in cask

NOTE!  The chart on p.132 in the texbook designates aging minimums for general DOs in Spain.  While the minimums are close to Rioja's, they're not the same.  See the note below the chart about Rioja DOCa requiring longer aging.

To view Rioja's aging requirements on the Rioja Consejo Regulador website, click here.

34
Q

With the exception of Rioja and Ribera del Duero (as both have more stringent, longer aging requirements), Reserva on a Spanish red wine label indicates the wine was aged for how long?

A

Reserva Reds

  • Wines must age a minimum of 36 months, with at least 12 months in cask

NOTE!  The chart on p.132 in the texbook designates aging minimums for general DOs in Spain.  While the minimums are close to Rioja's, they're not the same.  See the note below the chart about Rioja DOCa requiring longer aging.

To view Rioja's aging requirements on the Rioja Consejo Regulador website, click here.

35
Q

With the exception of Rioja and Ribera del Duero (as both have more stringent, longer aging requirements), Gran Reserva on a Spanish red wine label indicates the wine was aged for how long?

A

Gran Reserva Reds

  • Wines must age a minimum of 60 months, with at least 18 months in cask

NOTE!  The chart on p.132 in the texbook designates aging minimums for general DOs in Spain.  While the minimums are close to Rioja's, they're not the same.  See the note below the chart about Rioja DOCa requiring longer aging.

To view Rioja's aging requirements on the Rioja Consejo Regulador website, click here.

36
Q

Besides Rioja DOCa, what other wine region produces high-quality Tempranillo?

A

Ribera del Duero DO

37
Q

Where is Ribera del Duero?

Does it have any sea or ocean influence?

Vineyards are planted at sea level or high in elevation?

 

A

Ribera del Duero is north of Madrid and south of Rioja; it is located on the northern edge for the Meseta plateau.

  • No maritime influence due to a ring of surrounding mountains;
  • Vines are planted at fairly high altitudes, which can reach up to 850 meters high (wide diurnal shift).
38
Q

What styles of wine are allowed to be produced in Ribera del Duero?

A

THIS HAS BEEN UPDATED per a new law in 2019 and is reflected in the WSET 3 Addendum published August 2021:

Red, white, and rosé are allowed

The majority of production is still red wines made from Tempranillo

The former law only allowed red and rosé wines, no white wines.

39
Q

Name the most important DOs of Castilla y León.

A
  • Ribera del Duero DO
  • Toro DO
  • Rueda DO
40
Q

The Duero River in Spain flows westward and becomes the ___ River in Portugal.

A

 Douro River

41
Q

What styles of wine are produced under the Toro DO?

A

​​Toro DO is best known for its rich, concentrated, full-throttle reds based on Tempranillo, quite similar to the wines of neighboring Ribera del Duero DO.

Toro Reserva and Gran Reserva reds are deeply colored, tannic, and age worthy.

Toro DO also makes a little rosé and white wines.

42
Q

What grape is blended into Toro Joven red wines?

A

Garnacha

43
Q

What is the main grape in Rueda DO?

A

Verdejo

44
Q

What is Verdejo typically blended with in Rueda DO?

A

Sauvignon Blanc

When the two are blended, Verdejo must comprise at least 50% of the blend.

45
Q

Where is Navarra DO located?

A

Navarra is adjacent to and northeast of Rioja DOCa, between Rioja and the Pyrenées. 

 

46
Q

Is Navarra cooler or warmer, and drier or wetter, than Rioja?

A

It is generally cooler than Rioja (because it is about 300ft/90m higher in altitude) and wetter.

47
Q

Fill in the grape for the following:

In Navarra, red wines are based on ___.

Rosés are based on ___ and whites are based on ___.

A

Reds: Tempranillo

Rosés: Garnacha

Whites: Viura, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc

48
Q

What is the general flavor profile of Garnacha grown in Spain? 

Which DOs are best known for their Garnacha?

A

Flavor profile

  • Bright red fruits, high alcohol, moderate acidity

DOs best known for Garnacha

  • Priorat DOCa (red wine), Navarra DO (rosé)
49
Q

Cariñena DO and Calatayud DO both have a ___, ___ climate.

The principal grape in these regions is ___.

A

Warm, continental climate

Garnacha

50
Q

What are some synonyms for Carignan in Spain?

A
  • Mazuelo (used in Rioja DOCa)
  • Cariñena (used in Cariñena DO)

These are the best known synonyms, but this grape has other names across the world.

https://www.jancisrobinson.com/learn/grape-varieties/red/carignan

51
Q

In which appellations does Carignan perform best in Spain?

A
  • Priorat DOCa: bottled as monovarietal or blended with Garnacha;
  • Rioja DOCa: blended with Tempranillo
52
Q

Where is Catalunya?

A

Northeast corner of Spain

53
Q

Name 2 chief DOs in Catalunya producing still wine.

A
  • Penedès DO
  • Priorat DOCa (DOQ in Catalan)
54
Q

Name all 3 local white varieties of Catalunya.

A
  • Parellada
  • Xarel-lo
  • Macabeo (aka Viura in Rioja DOCa)

Mainly used in the production of Cava, these grapes are sometimes bottled as still wines under Penedès DO.

55
Q

What is the synonym for Tempranillo in Catalunya?

A

Ull de Llebre

56
Q

What is the name of Priorat's unique soil?

A

Llicorella: made of slate and mica

Llicorella is a low-fertile soil but it has good water retention.

Most vineyards planted in this soil are also on steep slopes which must be hand harvested.

57
Q

Where is Priorat DOCa located in Spain?

Name the main two red grape varieties that go into Priorat.

A

Priorat DOCa is in Catalunya, roughly 2 hours south of Barcelona.

Carignan and Garnacha are the traditional, recommended red grape varieties of Priorat.

Some international grapes, such as Pinot Noir, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc are allowed to be included in the blend.

58
Q

Why do Garnacha and Cariñena grapes do so well in Priorat?

A

Because Priorat has long, hot, dry summers and both grapes are late ripeners that love/need lots of sunshine.

59
Q

What is the traditional style of red Priorat?

A

Deeply colored, rich, textural, highly complex wines that are full bodied with high alcohol, high tannins, concentrated black fruits that are age-worthy.  Most have French oak influence.

These wines often need time in the cellar and need to be decanted upon opening, no matter what their age.

60
Q

What is the typical vine training in Priorat?

What is the geography generally like in Priorat?

A

Bush training

Priorat is hilly and most vineyards are planted on steep slopes.

Between the bush vines and steep slopes, Priorat for the most part is hand harvested.

 

61
Q

Are white and rosé wines allowed under the Priorat DOCa?

A

Yes, both white and rosés are allowed under Priorat DOCa although they are uncommon.

62
Q

Where is the Penedès DO located in Spain?

A

Penedès DO is a large, regional appellation of Catalunya south of Barcelona, stretching from the Mediterranean sea coast up into the inland hills.

63
Q

What are the 3 climatic zones of Penedès DO?

How do their climates differ?

A
  1. Coastal plain: hottest, lowest in altitude, Mediterranean climate;
  2. Slightly inland: has mountain and sea influence, a little cooler than the coast;
  3. In the hills: highest altitude, up to 800m asl, moderate climates (this is where most Cava is produced).
64
Q

Why is Monastrell particularly well suited to a warm or Mediterranean climate?

A

Monastrell has thick skins and needs a hot, sunny climate to ripen.  It is also well adapted to drought conditions.

65
Q

Where in Spain does Monastrell grow best?

A

Monastrell grows best in Jumilla DO and Yecla DO.

Both DOs have hot, arid climates.

66
Q

Valencia is known for what styles of wine?

A

Valencia is best known for two kinds of wine:

  • cheap-and-cheerful, everyday wines made from Monastrell and international varieties;
  • Moscatel de Valencia, a sweet fortified wine made from Muscat of Alexandria.
67
Q

What is the local white grape of Valencia DO?

A

Merseguera, a dry aromatic white grape.

68
Q

What is the largest DO in size in Spain?

What is its most planted grape?

A

La Mancha DO

Airén

69
Q

What is the local name of Tempranillo in La Mancha DO?

A

Cencibel 

70
Q

Which grapes are finding success in La Mancha DO?

A

International grape varieties, including:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon 
  • Merlot
  • Syrah
  • Chardonnay
  • Sauvignon Blanc
71
Q

Where is Valdepeñas DO located?

A

South of La Mancha DO

72
Q

Between La Mancha and Valdepeñas, which appellation is better known to make higher quality wines?

A

Valdepeñas

This region focuses on quality rather than quantity.

73
Q

What appellation is situated between Galicia and the Meseta Central?

A

Bierzo DO

 

74
Q

What is the primary grape variety of Bierzo DO?

A

Mencía

Mencía makes medium-bodied, high acid, red-fruited wines that are supple in texture that can be unoaked or oaked.

75
Q

Where is the Levante region in Spain?

A

On the Mediterranean coast, south of Catalunya

76
Q

The majority of Vinos de Pago are located in which Spanish DO?

A

La Mancha DO

77
Q

Red Riojas that are made for early consumption may undergo this winemaking technique, while Riojas that are meant to age typically go into this vessel.

A

Early consumption: semi-carbonic maceration

Age: oak, traditionally American

78
Q

Traditional white Riojas are:

  • light in color, super young, fresh + fruity
  • gold in color, matured in oak, nutty
A

Gold in color, matured in oak, nutty (deliberately oxidized).

If you want to try this style of wine, check out the wines of López de Heredia.

79
Q

Which region in Spain is designated for the production of Vino de la Tierra?

A

Castilla y Léon