A new year, uphill both ways
Year 14, No. 01
“Time marches on, for whom the bell tolls.” - Metallica
The page turns and thus we find ourselves in another year. Or, the reality is more that we glance at our mobiles to see, “2024” now and go, “Oh yeah, that.”
Since the last newsletter there have been a jump in the number of subscriptions which seem to have come from the Hudin Top 100 2023 (*), a bit on Substack that went viral (for Substack), and then a recommendation by the always-excellentwhich was great—more on that below.
Given this, I should summarize the angle of this newsletter in that it’s a bi-monthly update on all the articles and wine tasting reports for Hudin.com, a publication focused on Spain and Southern Europe, including France and the Balkans. Please read more about the site as well as our Disclosures for reports and tastings.
In addition to these updates, I like to include a running commentary on the vintage/harvest from where I’m based in a small wine village in the Priorat, Catalunya. For instance, why has the glass recycling still not been picked up after the heavy imbibing of the holidays? Rumors abound. Look to fresh, continued reporting on that topic as well as how only now that the temperature has dropped below 0C for a few days are people out pruning. Undoubtedly all that drinking during the holidays didn’t help.
Beyond this, there’s a rather large announcement in that going forward, the Cul de Cuvée is now its own publication!
You want updates on the latest, ridiculous happenings in the drinks world? Make sure to sign up there as, in keeping the theme of “attempting humor”, there will be contributors adding in their take with some in the future apparently so edgy that they’re requesting pseudonyms. Titillated? You should be, so don’t miss out and note that there’s a paid subscription option there in order to fund the pursuit of humor, but this newsletter, “Be Wine Curious” remains free.
On the main site though, we start out this year with what’s become the yearly ice breaker which is La Cuesta de Enero. (*) Why “the slope of January”? Because it’s Spain, January is uphill, both ways and a selection of more wallet friendly (yet still delicious!) wines is very much needed.
Then it’s taking a deep look at the Clos Erasmus 2020 vs 2021 which is admittedly a bit harder on the wallet, but so worth it. This is always one of Priorat’s (and really, Spain’s) top wines and taking a deep look at these two very different vintages tells a lot about what winemakers are up against in these days of schizophrenic climate conditions.
“Ja ha arribat el vi novell!” which is to say that the very young Catalan wines from the 2023 are now available. Here I take a look at them and how they’re something of a canary in the coal mine for the potential wines to come from their respective regions.
And then if you’ve ever wondered, “Which of Rioja’s ‘Reserva’ wines should I buy?” well, you’re all taken care of with this batch of Six Rioja Reservas to know right now.
Lastly, as a bit of housecleaning, in February I’ll be up in Roussillon and then Northern Croatia so please get in touch if you’re a winery I don’t yet know. For readers that means, yes, there will be new reports for Roussillon and Croatia in the coming months so stay tuned.
Thanks for hopping on board and hope to see you around.
Drink well, be well.
(*) Free to read
The Featured Reports
Broke, battered, and running a touch thin after the holidays? Of course we’re talking about your wallet which is why it’s very much time for the annual look at some very enjoyable, yet more budget friendly wine options.
Hudin in the news
It was a pleasure to wake up tomaking a recommendation of wine newsletters to follow, including Be Wine Curious which you’re reading right here. And yes, I take the “beholden to no man” comment in pride… I hope. If you don’t follow Henry, you really should as he’s always on my must-read list and not just because he writes about wine and drinks, but because his writing is excellent.
Wine Searcher made a round up of top Spanish wines including a number of those which have been reviewed here on the site.
And lastly, Vadevi covered (CAT) the Top 100 Wines report which came out in December.
The Featured Wine
This is an outstanding wine that honors the darker rosé style that used to be the norm in Spain before Provence checked in at the local hotel and refused to leave. Here, owner and winemaker, Sandra Bravo make a punchy, savory, juicy wine that’s stood the test of time and solidly earns its 93pts at a fine price of just 12€. While it’s probably sold out everywhere at this point, do keep an eye out for the 2023 will be arriving shortly.