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I have recently tried three magnificent wines and by coincidence they all had Roman sounding names: Malleolus, Summa Varietalis and Tagonius. It was a brave act, because in my very one-sided perspective, I don’t like the Spanish trend of giving Latin names to wine: Romani ite domum!

I admit that a Latin name has a universal ring to it and that Romans loved wine from all of the Iberian peninsula -we don´t know how good it was but they certainly enjoyed it a lot. And yet this return to Latin inevitably reminds me of the surreal names in Asterix comics or in a Monthy Pyton movie. I cannot help smiling when I see some of the new wine names. (“All right, but apart from sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?)

In any case, “in vino veritas”: I would drink again any of these three wines, even if they had Skimo-sounding names! Although each of them deserves careful individual attention, let me summarize in this post how much I enjoyed them.

Malleolus is the top wine of Emilio Moro´s vineyards in Ribera del Duero. It is a light, smooth and balanced wine, so elegant that it went well even with the famous dish of seafood and “acelgas” (bot chard?) that attracts me to La Bodeguilla restaurant in La Coruña. In a shop you can find it for 30 euros, a price well justified.

Summa Varietalis is the creature of Xandra Falcó, daughter of the Marqués de Griñón, the visionary winemaker. Like her father, she is an innovator and shares a similar passion for refined, interesting, out of the box wines. Summa belongs to the Dominio de Valdepusa school in Toledo, but it stands out in this fantastic microcosmos. It is a wine that combines beautifully the three grapes that have grown so well in South Castilla- cabernet sauvignon, shyraz and petit verdot- and surprises you with many nuanced flavors while you drink it. We had a bottle from 2003 it at a recent dinner while discussing the fate and future of World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz. The wine helped us become mellow, joyful and even merciful. At around 20 euros, it is still a great buy.

Tagonius is a top Madrid red, clearly connected with the wine revolution of La Mancha. It is a strong, full bodied wine, very direct and exhuberant. It sells at 10 euros per bottle. I very much admire the way this tempranillo-based wine combines fantastic fruit and wooden flavours.