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….
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….
It’s Middle Eastern cuisine tonight so I pulled out this Lebanese blend of 35% Cab Sav, 26% Caladoc (?), 22% Syrah and 17% Tempranillo. Interesting varietals all mixed together. The wine itself is semi opaque in the glass and has medium intensity aromas of red currants, raspberry, blackberry and cloves. The palate is dry but has a blackberry jam sweetness to it, I doubt there’s any residual sugar here, it just tastes that way. The black and red fruit components are well balanced with the lithe tannins and medium acidity. There is a black tea hint on the mid-palate and I also get charcoal on the back end. The finish is mid length and tasty. There is a medium weight body to this wine and good mouthfeel. I am enjoying it and think it’s a 90 pointer that gets 5 stars for the reasonable $15 price point. Drink till 2025 with grilled meats aka shish kebab! Salut….
Moxie and I took a trip to Austin and a nearby resort recently. On our drive out of town, headed to Hill Country we stopped at this quaint winery and enjoyed the wares. The drive off the main road was down a near-single lane country road with cattle fencing and massive Texas cows. We ended up drinking most of the offerings which seem to have Tempranillo as the common varietal. My favorite was the Cabernet/Merlot blend and we did not care for the sparkling wines- way too yeasty. The winery offers a tasting of grapes grown on property or wines from sourced fruit. Overall it was a very pleasant afternoon, lazing around with a full glass of red after working through the list. I gave rough scores and tried some note taking but in the end these are 85-87 point wines that retail for between $20-$40+. A fun place to go if you are in the area. 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….
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….
If you read my previous post on the Guillaume Pinot Noir, this Rioja is the second bottle we tasted. Like the Pinot, this one has suffered some severe cork damage to the point where I had to drain the wine through a hole in the middle of the cork and filter it into a decanter. Having said that it’s drinking beautifully and is full of tertiary flavors with a little bit of primal fruit left alongside fully melded tannins. Leather, game, steeped plum and cinnamon stick are all present. Typical for Rioja Tempranillo this one has a dusty component to go alongside the flavors of dried fruit and sage. I love Crianza’s from Spain, the oak influence is always well done and delicious. This brand is always consistent with a good reason; decently priced wines that apparently have good cellaring capacity even if stored incorrectly. 90 points for this $12 bottle make it an absolute steal. Salut….
I was in my local wine shop the other day and came across this aged Tempranillo in the clearance section- for $ 23. I couldn’t pass it up, a Reserva FFS. In the glass it is slightly hazy, but a deep shade of ruby that I can barely see through. The nose is classic Spain- brambly with ink, huckleberry, sweet blackberry, smoky oak and a dusty component. The palate is a touch dry right off the bat, the tannins never got the message to settle down after 8 years. It’s a full onslaught, drying the gums and overpowering the fruit initially. I finally work my way through the astringent quagmire and start to enjoy the black and blue fruits. The tertiary notes are starting to appear with some leather, charcoal and black tea developing on the mid palate. The finish is a really dry affair with the tannic grip almost too much. I pity the fool who doesn’t like ’em dry. There is a decent acidic component but it is overcome by the tannic structure, a little out of balance methinks. This medium weight wine will pair (begs for) a fatty cut of meat, think Ribeye or Lamb chops. I would consider cellaring some for a while to allow the wine to mature even more, say till 2028. Right now the balance concerns me a bit and it will detract from the scoring, I would hope it softens over time. 89 points and 3 stars. Salut….
Last up at the virtual wine tasting #18 was this Tempranillo. In the glass it is mostly opaque and a dark claret in color. The nose was a bit of a shocker to us…. figs, dried fruit, mulberry. It was port-like and not very fresh and inviting. On the palate it was gamy with vanilla, dried sage, cedar, bramble, dried fruit and ‘Plummy potpourri’ from one of the group. The wine has slight tannins and low acidity. It was a bit of a disappointment to me and I gave it a scant 13 points on our 20 point scoring sheet. Technically speaking, it got 89 points from me, and at $17 it is worthy of 3 stars. But wait…… I re-tasted it after a while and upped my score to 15+. It grew on me and the funkiness dissipated somewhat, allowing more fruit to come out versus tertiary notes. It is fully mature at this stage and needs to be drunk asap, but I’m not sure of pairings. The flavor profile is very advanced and not what I would want to drink with dinner. An interesting wine for sure compared to the ’04 Beronia I loved. Salut….