A dull shade of purple belying the age of this Tempranillo blend. It’s about 75% opaque. The nose is a bit subdued- I’m really having to swirl the glass. I finally get steeped plum, bramble and a hint of oak. The palate is a little thin but I get some blueberry and plum notes alongside anise and that dusty note I like in Riojas. The mid palate is quite acidic and juicy, but I also sense a touch of heat. The finish is rather plain with black and blue fruits, really tart acidity and a token dash of tannins. I’m not overly impressed by this $20 wine, might be in a dumb phase. For now it gets 86 points. 2 stars. Salut….
This Tempranillo is inky and opaque in the glass. The nose gives me black berries, iodine, espresso bean and earthy bramble. The palate is textbook Rioja- dusty, earthy, black fruit driven, smoky and delicious. The tannins of this 9 year old wine are well integrated but the acidity is what I’m really enjoying. Jaw dripping and long. The mid palate continues the black fruit theme and I pick up some oaky notes. The finish is quite dry from the remnants of tannins that are holding this wine together and will allow it to cellar for another 5 years. Yummy stuff that I am pairing with Middle Eastern Goat stew. 90 points from me and at $15 per bottle it gets 5 stars. Salut….
This blend of Tempranillo and Trincadeira took three days for me to rate. We opened it at the 13th Virtual Wine Tasting and the panel felt it had cardboard box, pepper, black cherry, dark chocolate and earthy notes. It was tannic right off the bat but we coaxed black licorice, dark cherry, sun dried tomato and a hoppy note out of it. I recall writing that this semi opaque wine of medium purple color was quite rich, if not a tad young and rushed. On night 1 it got 12/20 on my rating scale and a technical score of 91 points. I tried it again on night 2 and found it had a muted nose with some red currants and orange peel. The palate was slightly sour with blackberry, licorice and rhubarb. It was still earthy and tannic as heck. Night 3 is when this wine finally opened up for me. Black pepper, jammy blackberry and licorice on the nose gave way to a much smoother palate of iodine, blackberry, bramble and that earthiness. Oak is now evident but restrained making this wine quite complex. It has a smooth finish with well integrated tannins now and is in balance. I’m glad I got to witness a three day evolution of this highly rated $14 wine. It finished out at 92 points from me and gets a massive 5 stars for the QPR it brings. Drink till 2027. I would pair with a hearty steak if opening right now, or decant the heck out of it to soften the tannins. Salut….
This is an interesting blend out of Oz, it’s more Spanish in composition but here goes! Semi opaque and light purple in the glass. The nose is red in nature… currants, raspberry and orange peel. On the palate it’s a racy wine, if not a touch thin. Sour cherry, red currants and judicious oak are all present. The mid palate continues the sour theme and some very fine grained tannins start to coat the gums. The acid component is really making my jaw water. The finish is short in length and pleasant with more red fruit and an intro to some rhubarb. It’s an interesting blend that unfortunately was a little too thin for my liking. Technically I would give it an 86 point score and 2 stars for its $30 retail price. Drink now. Salut….
Last up at the 11th Virtual Tasting was this stunner. It did not appeal to many yet was my wine of the night even though I did not really enjoy drinking it. Let me explain….. This monster is a baby. It has so much complexity, depth and power that is hidden behind a huge tannic wall that it’s hard to coax anything out of it unless you have an aerator, a few days of patience or are willing to take my word for it and cellar some for another 4-5 years. The tasters noted the following:
Inky and nearly black. Clove, grape hubba bubba, graphite, pencil shavings, creosote. Very young with loads of tannins. Cloves, blackberry, iced coffee. Bitter finish. Black currant, jam, tawny port like. Tomato. Short to medium finish.
For me it had layers of anise, tar, black fruit, oak and teeth staining tannins. Great structure will hold this wine together till 2035, but I would cellar until at least 2025, giving a decent 10 year window of enjoyment. Pairing this muscular red with anything but the heartiest of Ribeyes would be foolish, it needs juicy, fatty meat to help cut the tannic grip. On night 2 it was starting to open up and on day 3 I doubled down on the black licorice/anise flavors. The tannins are finally starting to give way. This wine is going to be amazing and for $35 well worth buying a few for the cellar. 95 massive points from me and 5 stars only because I cannot give 6! It’s 100% Tinta de Toro, aka Tempranillo. Salut….
Semi opaque in the glass with a nice shade of purple. The nose is smoky with black berries, plum and chocolate powder. There’s also a touch of funky Rioja dirt in there. The palate is as hoped- rich, complex and satisfying. Black fruit, tar, licorice and ripe tannins all caress the mouth. The mid palate just builds more on the flavor profile. The finish is delightful- semi dry from the well integrated tannins, juicy from a touch of acidity and brimming with flavors of ripe blackberry, espresso, cacao and that telltale dusty Rioja component. This Tempranillo is drinking beautifully now and will go till 2028. 92 points and 5 stars for this steal at $10. Salut….
It’s a very bright, shimmery purple in the glass with thin legs showing off the potent 14.5% kick. The nose is classic Rioja- dark plums, bramble, well integrated oak and currants of the black kind. The palate is very smooth, with delicious black fruit components, leather, well ingrained tannins and a touch of acidity. The earthiness of the wine is somewhat subdued, making way for the concentration of black currants, blackberries and mouth coating tannins. The mid palate is really full bodied with black fruits galore, dry mouthfeel from the beautiful tannins and just enough acidity to make my jaw water. The finish is longish and really dry. Iodine and plum reduction come to mind. Oak is ever present and the tannins go on forever. This is a well made wine built for the long haul and some serious, juicy steaks. Drink till 2035. 92 points and for $40, 5 stars. Read all about the 2010 vintage here. Salut….
This blend shows up as very dark purple in the glass. On the nose I get blackberry reduction, charred oak, black tea and blueberries. The palate is sublime- dark fruits intertwined with lush oak, bramble, black tea and fine grained tannins. The mid palate is very satisfying. Gobs of blackberry, lashings of wood, crunchy tannins and juicy acidity all come together. The wine finishes semi dry with good mouthfeel and a medium length serving of those delicious, ripe fruits. Figs also come into play right at the end with the last vestige of gum searing tannins. This is a young wine that can be enjoyed now if you like them very dry. I would drink till 2030 with all sorts of roasted meat, venison in particular. Yummy stuff. 91 points from me and at $26, it get 5 stars. Buy a few for the cellar, it will reward you. Tempranillo 75%, Cab Sav 12%, Shiraz 9%, Merlot 3% and Petit Verdot at 1%.Salut….
Bright purple in the glass, semi opaque. The nose is lovely, warm and chock full of dark berry fruits, charcoal and bramble. On the palate I get a really smooth intro to the blackberries, Ribena and earthy notes that allow some oak to mingle. There is a certain rustic twist to this wine. On the mid palate I start to get tertiary flavors of leather and bramble, that earthiness I love in aged Riojas. The wine is quite juicy at this point, the acidity making its presence known. Lithe tannins crop up and the whole mouthfeel is really nice. The finish is a touch dry, acidic and medium in length. The black fruits really present alongside that charred oaky wood note. 91 points, drink till 2027 with steaks, grilled goat. At $30, it’s a 4 star effort that I really enjoyed. Salut….
Dark shade of purple with nice legs. Almost opaque. On the nose I get red currant, violets, iodine and plum. On the palate it presents with red and black fruits, a touch of oak and black licorice. The mid palate has some black tea, raspberries and tannins that coat with a tarry taste. The finish is quite tart with some juicy acidity. It gives the mouthfeel some cut to the drying tannins, which peaks on the finish. Black cherry is the final note on this 89 point wine. Drink till 2022. For $7, this Tempranillo is a steal that gets 5 stars. Salut….