Many years ago I bought the 2009 Prima and wrote about it- I liked the wine and my clumsy notes reflected that so when I saw this 2015 it took zero time for me to add it to my cart. I think I paid $13 for this Tempranillo. It is deep ruby in the glass and the nose has medium intensity aromas of dried cherry, blackberry jam, charred wood, leather and earth. The palate is dry with medium acidity and medium (+) tannins. High alcohol and medium (+) body with medium intensity flavors of black cherry, dried black cherry, blackberry, charred wood and those typical Spanish notes of leather and earth. The finish is decent in length and is nice and tannic. I like this wine and will go 90 points, it will drink well till 2026 and pair with charred steak. For the price it gets 5 stars from me. Glad I ran into an old friend. Salut….
Trying to pair a spicy Pork dish requires thought. I’m gonna take a punt on this Godello which a grape from Spain. It’s pale golden and shows no legs (12.5% ABV). On the nose I get pronounced aromas of ripe tangerine, lemon, peach, acacia and perhaps a touch of buggle gum? Exquisite smells. On the palate it is dry, crisp with medium (+) acidity, low alcohol as mentioned, medium body and medium (+) flavors as on the nose, except the bubble gum! It is very floral and aromatic, but it doesn’t pack a big punch- it’s more of a crisp wine. The finish is medium length and tapers off with a nice minerality. I like this wine and think it will work well with the pairing. 89 points and for $15 it gets 4 stars. Drink now with seafood, or Jerk Pork! Salut….
Several months ago I purchased every style of Sherry made by the same producer that I could find- in hopes of expanding my knowledge and palate. I tried the dry ones, the off dry ones and now we get to the sweet one. Made from the the Pedro Ximenez grape in the Solera system, it promises to be a lush dessert wine.
In the glass it is amber and weeping, it looks very viscous. On the nose it is exactly what I was hoping for. Dried sultanas, walnuts, prunes, coffee, dried cherry, chocolate and stewed apricot. The palate is very thick, unctuous and sweet. Delicious flavors of nuts, dried fruit, honey, gentle acidity make for a very velvety and luxuriously rich mouthfeel. The sweetness is something to behold. Low acidity is actually key here as it would be a detractor if there were loads of it. This is lovely stuff that gets 91 points from me and for the $25/500ml price point it gets 5 stars. A great dessert wine if you like ’em sweet. Salut….
I have been getting into Grenache more and more lately so when this bottle showed up with 9 years of cellaring- I had to try it. In the glass it is of medium opacity and still bright ruby. The nose has earthy Spanish dirt alongside blackberry, blackcurrant, vanilla, bramble, dried herbs and eucalyptus. The palate is gorgeous. The richness and freshness of the black fruit is amazing. The earthiness is somewhat subdued, allowing the fruit to shine. Lithe tannins and medium acidity make for a lighter than expected body but the mouthfeel is great. The finish is short but makes me reach for more, it’s that delicious. My pairing is Lamb chops and roasted sweet potatoes. This wine has plenty of age but is youthful. Drink till 2028 and for $12, this 90 point wine is a 5 star winner. Salut….
I find Spanish wine to be the most consistent. You always know what to expect and you know it will taste great- it’s my go-to in a pinch. This particular bottle is short and squat, unlike any other wine bottle I have seen so I had to try it. The wine is semi opaque and a nice shade of ruby. On the nose it’s a medium intensity with aromas of stewed black plum, graphite, blackberry and that earthy/dusty quality I love in Riojas. The palate is dry and offers up rich blackberry, black plum, dust, charred wood and chocolate. The tannins are grippy and the acidity is quite lithe. I get black tea and earthy bramble on the mid plate and the finish is a dry affair with medium length. Overall its a decent wine that I would cellar for another year or two unless you like them tannic. It should drink well after that till 2028. I’m pairing mine with Honey Bourbon London Broil. 90 points for this $40 wine makes it a 4 star effort. Salut….
I have a lineup of wines that are waiting to be tasted, I call them the ‘bench wines’. Tonight’s dinner is a vegetable tart with tomato reduction so I could go anywhere as far as region or varietal. I asked Moxie to choose one, she stated ‘Number 5″. This Tempranillo might just hit the spot. Rich, bold, earthy and probably a great choice for the puff pastry shrouded veggies that have been caramelizing in the oven.
In the glass it is very opaque- deep purple to be precise. The 15% ABV is evident by the thick legs on the glass walls. On the nose I get spicy oak, earthy bramble, rich blackberry, blackcurrant and roasted coffee. There is a whiff of heat, but not obnoxiously overpowering. There is complexity to this nose that I can’t wait to taste. On the palate it is all I hoped for, classic Spanish Tempranillo- rich black fruit, good acidity, full body and grippy tannins that make for a great mouthfeel and long finish. The blackberry fruit is almost jammy and somewhat hides the coffee I got earlier but it re-appears on the back end. Good oak integration here folks, not overdone yet present. I believe it scored highly with a commensurate price north of fifty bones. For me, it’s a 92 pointer that gets 5 stars cause I got it for $20. Drink till 2030 with grilled meat. Salut….
As part of my wine education I have purchased all the major types of Sherry to try. It started out with an Amontillado, then I tried Fino and Oloroso. Now it’s time for a Manzanilla. This is a dry, fortified white wine that is aged under Flor and is served chilled.
This particular bottling is very pale lemon in the glass and has a nose of green almonds, yeast, baked bread, sea spray and citrus rind. The palate is quite dry and bitter. The Flor gives these wines a definitive bread component, yeast and all. The characteristic flavors of lemon in whites is somewhat muted by the saline and baking notes. I’m starting to get my head around what a dry sherry is supposed to taste like- certainly not like a sweet Cream Sherry. It has a nuttiness and it begs for food. Tapas, cold appetizers and certainly olives are fit for the role. I can’t even score something I am completely unfamiliar with but I’m enjoying the experience of expanding my palate and slowly getting accustomed to this unique flavor profile. $17 gets you an intro to a unique taste that the pro’s gave 90 points. Salut….
My wine course is winding up and we are studying Sherry this week- not my favorite. I wrote a post about the differences in biological versus oxidative maturation and then I tasted one of each, the notes are below.
Sherry is matured and basically ‘blended’ in a cascading system that uses large oak barrels known as Butts to supply steadily older wines to the bottom rung of the cascade, known as the Solera. In the Solera System, at least three levels and up to 14 can be used to introduce fresh wine that is being held at the ready in a Sobretabla. Once the winemaker has drained off some of the ready-to-blend-and-bottle wines from the Solera, he taps off wine from the next level up, called the 1st Criadera to refill what he removed. The same process happens to this Criadera when the 2nd level Criadera is used to refill it, etc. The winemaker will never empty a Criadera or the Solera, only taking enough to keep the process going, replenishing the 600 gallon Butts up to about 500 gallons maximum, allowing for extra contact with oxygen which is vital for this aging process.
There are many styles of Sherry, ranging from dry to sweet, made in different manners- oxidatively, biologically or a combination of the two.
Oxidative aging uses the ample volume of air in the partially filled Butts to allow the wine to contact oxygen. Potentially this can happen over long periods of time as it passes through the various levels of the Solera System. If it is made from the Palomino grape the resultant wine will show as brown in color and be full bodied with tertiary aromas and flavors of toffee, leather, spice and walnut. Other styles include Pedro Jimenez (PX), which uses raisined, sweet grapes for the base wine, resulting in a much sweeter product. Cream Sherry is a blend of Oloroso and the sweet PX.
Biologically aged wines start off at a lower initial alcohol fortification that allows a yeast cap called Flor to develop on the top of the wine which does several things. Flor prevents oxygen from reaching the wine and adds certain flavors like citrus, almonds and herbs while showing a pale lemon in the glass. Not made for extended aging, they are served chilled with tapas and should be drunk soon.
Combining some biological aging with oxidative aging gives you Amontillado, which is the first sherry I poured. I was taken aback by what appeared to be quite a dark and aged wine that had bright flavors of Christmas pudding with brandy butter. Raisins, cooked cherries, walnuts and bitter almond. The palate was not at all what I expected- thin, very little depth of flavor but a touch of acid. Green un-ripe almonds, bitter citrus and yeast are what I ended up with on the palate. The finish was a touch better with some refreshing bitter lemon notes. This is not my style by any stretch, but I am here to expand my palate, even if I don’t like something!
Mil Pesetas Fino Sherry, Spain 15%ABV. Biologically aged
- Appearance- Medium lemon, watery legs
- Nose- medium(+) intensity nose of lemon, blossom, biscuit, bread and cheese. Youthful.
- Palate- Dry, medium acidity, low alcohol, medium (-) body, medium (+) flavor intensity of lemon peel, bread, bread dough and blossom. Medium (+) finish.
- Conclusion- Good quality wine to drink now: not suitable for aging or further aging.
Mil Pesetas Oloroso Sherry, Spain 19.5% ABV. Oxidatively aged
- Appearance- Pale amber with thin legs.
- Nose- Medium (-) intensity nose of walnut, caramel, toffee, coffee (?) and cooked lemon (?). Fully developed.
- Palate- Dry, low acidity, high alcohol, medium (+) body, medium intensity flavors of toffee, caramel, walnut and cooked lemon. Medium (+) finish.
- Quality level- very good quality wine that can be drunk now; not suitable for aging or further aging.
This was the last bottle of our 19th Virtual Wine Tasting. Intense purple in the glass- this wine had a rustic nose with earth, barnyard, dill, dried herbs, blackberry, cedar and dark fruit jam. On the palate the group got toasted marshmallow, jam, Angostura Bitters (?), blackberry, black cherry, cedar and dusty earth. My initial reaction was that this wine was yummy and very smooth. It is very balanced and the tannins are so fine grained it gives a beautiful mouthfeel. Richness and complexity galore make this an excellent wine that gets 94 points from me. At $60 it’s a pricy one for sure, but worth every drop. 5 stars. Drink till 2030 with grilled lamb, shish kebabs or pasta. Stunning Tempranillo and one of the best we have had in our tasting group IMHO. Salut….
I have had this wine before and raved about it. Now, three years later, it has evolved- still amazing, yet different. I love it when the label tells you exactly what’s going on here, 80% Tempranillo, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged in French oak for 24 months. This wine runs a hefty 14.5% alcohol by volume. It is pale ruby in the glass but I was expecting a little more opaqueness. The nose is gorgeous. Luscious oak, blackberry, black currant, cinnamon, tobacco, cedar and a whiff of heat. The legs are literally falling down the sides of the glass. The palate is stunning- rich fruit enveloped in copious yet refined oak, aged beautifully with tertiary notes starting to come through whilst the primary fruit and secondary notes are still very much in force. The spiciness of this wine replaces the usual dusty component that I get from Spanish Reservas. I’m not upset as I love this flavor profile. At 11 years of age it is still young and promises to last another 10 to 15 years. It will develop nicely and gain more tertiary notes with time. Punctuated acidity is going to hold the wine really well as are the very well integrated tannins. I’m loving it. 93 points at the very least. For $20, it’s a steal worthy of 5 stars. Salut….