Day: November 2, 2014

OT: Viña Zorzal Garnacha Viñas Viejas 2012

Another interesting Spanish red wine with an excellent quality/price ratio.

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          • Winery: Vinícola Corellana S. A. Corella (Navarra) España. 
          • Phone: +34 948 78 06 17
          • Winemaker: Mikel Sanz & Fernando Perez de Obanos.
          • Website: www.vinazorzal.com
          • Brand: Viña Zorzal Garnacha Viñas Viejas 2012 
          • DO: Navarra
          • Type: Red, 13.5%. Aged for 4 months in French-American oak barrels
          • Grape Variety: 100% Garnacha
          • Vineyard: Garnacha vines in the villages of Fitero and Corella averaging 50 years old and more-
          • Price: At the winery below 5.00€ 
          • My wine rating: 9.0/10

Vinícola Corellana was founded in 1989 in Corella, in the heart of Navarra’s Ribera Baja district. Ribera Baja is renowned for its fresh produce—including traditional Navarra grape varieties, most notably Garnacha.

Vina Zorzal Garnacha Vinas Viejas is obtained from Garnacha (Grenache) vines in the villages of Fitero and Corella averaging 50 years old and more. It is an intense red wine, fermented at relatively low temperature and given four months’ aging inin French-American oak barrels.

Zorzal, meaning ‘wood thrush’, is the brainchild of Antonio Sanz. Sanz had been in the wine industry for his entire life and founded his own bodega in 1989 in Navarra. Over the years, his three children have worked alongside him and eventually taken over. In 1998, Mikel Sanz, then an agricultural engineering student, and viticulturist Rafael Reverte came across the centenary garnacha vineyards that, despite having been neglected, showed great potential. They began the laborious work of refurbishing the vines without the use of herbicides or pesticides, working the soils and treating them with organic compost throughout winter and summer and drastically reducing the yields. Later in 2009, Viña Zorzal was created to showcase the indigenous varieties of Navarra, especially Garnacha, Graciano, Tempranillo and Mazuelo. Viña Zorzal is a family affair; brothers Xabi (Export Manager), Mikel (Vineyard Manager), and Iñaki (Project Manager) oversee all aspects of the estate. All wines are estate bottled, grown organically, fermented by native yeasts and aged four months.

Monthly Summary (October 2014)

Books read during last month: 

  • Where the Shadows Lie (Corvus, 2010) Kindle edition, by Michael Ridpath (B)
  • El ruido de las cosas al caer (Alfaguara, 2011) English title: The sound of things falling. Kindle edition, de Juan Gabriel Vásquez (A+)
  • Peril at End House (Harper, 2010) Format: Kindle. First published in Great Britain by Collins 1932, by Agatha Christie (A)
  • Cop Hater (Orion, 2003) Format paperback. First published in the USA 1956, by Ed McBain  (A)
  • Maigret y el Liberty Bar (Ediciones Orbis, S.A. 1983) Título original: Liberty Bar (1932). Traducido por Javier Fernández de Castro, by Georges Simenos. English title: Maigret on the Riviera (A+)
  • The Dance Of The Seagull (Mantle, 2013) Translated by Stephen Sartarelli, 2013. Originally published as La danza del gabbiano, 2009, by Andrea Camilleri (A)
  • How’s the Pain? (Gallic Books, 2012) Translated from the French by Emily Boyce, originally published as Comment va la douleur? 2006, by Pascal Garnier (A+)

Pick of the Month:

It was a difficult decision but my favourite book last month was: How’s the Pain by Pascal Garnier. 

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Book Description:

Death is Simon’s business. And now the ageing vermin exterminator is preparing to die. But he still has one last job down on the coast and he needs a driver. Bernard is twenty-one. He can drive and he’s never seen the sea. He can’t pass up the chance to chauffeur for Simon, whatever his mother may say. As the unlikely pair set off on their journey, Bernard soon finds that Simon’s definition of vermin is broader than he’d expected… Veering from the hilarious to the horrific, this offbeat story from master stylist, Pascal Garnier, is at heart an affecting study of human frailty.

Pascal Garnier was a talented novelist, short story writer, children’s author and painter. From his home in the mountains of the Ardèche, he wrote fiction in a noir palette with a cast of characters drawn from ordinary provincial life.Though his writing is often very dark in tone, it sparkles with quirkily beautiful imagery and dry wit. Garnier’s work has been likened to the great thriller writer, Georges Simenon. His noirs are published in English by Gallic Books.

Books by Pascal Garnier:

        • La Solution esquimau, 1996
        • La Place du mort, 1997 (English title: The Front Seat Passenger, Gallic Books, 2014)
        • Les Insulaires, 1998 (English title: The Islanders, Gallic Books 2014) 
        • Trop près du bord, 1999 
        • L’A26, 1999 (English title: The A26, Gallic Books 2013)
        • Chambre 12, 2000
        • Nul n’est à l’abri du succès, 2001 (Prix du festival “Polar dans la ville” 2001)
        • Les Nuisibles, 2002
        • Les Hauts du Bas, 2003 
        • Parenthèse, 2004
        • Flux, 2005 (Grand Prix de l’humour noir 2006)
        • Comment va la douleur ? 2006 (English title: How’s the Pain, Gallic Books, 2012)
        • La Théorie du panda, 2008 (English title: The Panda Theory, 2012) 
        • Le Grand Loin, 2009
        • Lune captive dans un œil mort, 2009 (English title: Moon in a Dead Eye, Gallic Books, 2013) 
        • Le Grand Loin, 2010
        • Cartons, 2012

Books Bought Last Month:

During the month I bought several books by Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch series) that were on sale at EUR 1.99. Basically I have the complete series now.

Besides I bought The Dance of the Seagull; A Gun for Sale; The Diggers Rest Hotel; Dissolution and The Serbian Dane. And I received by mail: Dirty Snow by Georges Simenon (New York Review Books Classics)

Currently Reading

  • A Gun For Sale: An Entertainment by Graham Greene
  • A Delicate Truth by John Le Carré