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By Jim Boyce | Alberto Pascual of Spanish wine importer Pasion violates a slew of my social media post rules. He uses multiple exclamation marks!!!! Multiple smiley faces. And is a BIG FAN OF ALL CAPS and… … …ellipses. This stuff usually drives me crazy, but in the case of Pascual, I can’t help but read.
Pascual’s posts are intense, powerful, detailed. Robert Parker might call them hedonistic. (If he did, Pascual would only mention it if Parker gave Pasion at least a 90-point score.)
Pascual backs up the prose with images of wines, wineries and winemakers, with screen shots of descriptions, scores and rankings.
The wines live up to the hype, too, at least in my experience. The entry-level ones are good value for money, the rarer ones are superb. In the fight to promote Spain in China as a quality wine producer, Pascual ranks among those who are taking the bull by the horns.
(My most vivid memory of Pascual is from Temple Restaurant Beijing. I was there for a TV segment and saw Pascual in a private room doing a tasting with the staff. Shirt unbuttoned, hair wild, eyes adamant that his wines were excellent. The TV crew interviewed him on the spot. In a wine world where “passion” is sorely over-used, it truly fits Pascual.)
When looking at his posts, it’s hard to decide which ones are best, so here are the most recent four, lightly edited.
“A bomb is coming!! If you tried and you loved SAN ROMAN you will be very glad to hear that the top wine, a single vineyard wine with a production of 3900 bottles a year CARTAGO paraje del pozo is coming to China for the first time. A wine aged 3 YEARS IN OAK BARRELS!!! 90% tinta de toro and 10% of other varieties to provide this world class wine a lot of elegance and complexity. Last year SAN ROMAN was 18th best wine in the world by WINE ENTHUSIAST, 26th best wine in the world by WINE SPECTATOR… probably the best winery in TORO and made by MARIANO GARCIA and his sons EDUARDO & ALBERTO. It’s coming!!!!”
“Stay tuned!!! La GALIA by probably the best vigneron in DUERO area, JEROME BOUGNAUD (vigneron all time at the greatest PINGUS and also vigneron and winemaker in QUINTA SARDONIA) is coming like the masterpiece of one of the greatest names in the wine industry in Spain “THE DUERO VALLEY AS A WHOLE”. 3 wines with productions of 758 bottles, 1073 bottles and 14,559 bottles. Ultra-refined tannins and incredible freshness, balance… these are the masterpieces of a great friend, person and one of the best vignerons you can find… Biodynamic treatments for 3 world class wines… very soon in CHINA. Stay tuned because productions are very limited… the elegance of the DUERO finally in BEIJING and SHANGHAI.”
“Icon wineries in each part of Spain: Cava as one of the top 4 (recaredo, gramona, agusti torello and raventos i blanc), probably the best albariño ever (Raul was the first to put albariño under the sea and now everyone wanna do the same), MENCIA with el pecado in RIBEIRA SACRA, the origin of one area (here started the legend, the history), GRENACHE in its pure expression with Alto Moncayo, a TEMPRANILLO in RIBERA DE DUERO with a very top wine by probably the most international wine maker from Spain MARIANO GARCIA, and a PEDRO XIMENEZ from Andalucia vintage 1987. Different grapes, different areas, masterpieces made by geniuses in Spain and paired with master food. Another crazy nite, why not???!!!”
“Here is where is made one of the best wines in the world, the best ever PEDRO XIMENEZ made in history: TORO ALBALA CONVENTO MADERA VINTAGE 1946, 100 points PARKER, 100 points BETTANE AND DESSEAUVE (best wine of the year in 2016). A masterpiece, an art piece, a gem made to survive forever and ever. One of the greatest wines made in history, just were made 825 bottles for all the world and we imported 300 bottles for China. Now a few bottles left, a treasure, something extraordinary, a gift forever like a piece of art…. very proud to have this jewel, something unique, touching perfection.”
I don’t know about you but I want to DRINK SPANISH WINE RIGHT NOW!!! You can learn more about Pasion, started by Pascual in 2010 with wines from his region of Spain and then expanding to labels from around the country, at the official site here.