Spanish Stallion

José Pastor reveals the other side of Spanish wine
José Pastor Selections

Spain has always been something of an awkward outlier in the wine-world clique, too often living in the shadows of France and Italy.

Visionary importer José Pastor is changing that.

Dedicated to the small, the handcrafted and the regional, he's shedding light on the exhilaratingly new (and yet paradoxically traditional) side of Spanish winemaking that has lately begun to alter that nation's oenological landscape.

As a result, the Valencia native (and current Bay Area resident) has brought stunning examples of Spain's nascent wine revolution to New York.

Take, for instance, the briny and crisp 2010 Benito Santos Igrexario de Saiar Rías Baixas Albariño ($16 for 750 ml) from the Galician coast: One of the most authentic expressions of this indigenous grape on the New York market, it sings of its maritime place of origin--it's a perfect complement to any seafood dish.

A fresh and vibrant bottling that defies all stereotypes attached to Spanish reds, the 2009 Juan Matias Torres Vid Sur La Palma Negramoll ($18 for 750 ml) hails from the remote Canary Islands. In the glass, it brims with cherries and spice, offering a peppery smokiness that suggests a whiff of the cratered, volcanic soil in which the grapes are grown.

The Benito Santos is available at Sussex Wines & Spirits, Vinyl Wine and Heights Chateau Fine Wines and Spirit, the Juan Matias Torres is available at Tinto Fino and The Wine Hut; both wines are available at Chambers Street Wines.

Chambers Street Wines 148 Chambers St. New York NY 10007 212-227-1434 Sussex Wines & Spirits 300 E. 42nd St. New York NY 10017 212-867-5838 Vinyl Wine 1491 Lexington Ave. New York NY 10029 636-370-4100 Heights Chateau Fine Wines and Spirits 123 Atlantic Ave. Brooklyn NY 11201 718-330-0963 Tinto Fino 85 First Ave. New York NY 10009 212-254-0872 The Wine Hut 213B Sixth Ave. New York NY 10012 212-229-2409 Chambers Street Wines 148 Chambers St. New York NY 10007 212-227-1434

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