Wine Focus October: Spain outside the usual suspects

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Re: Wine Focus October: Spain outside the usual suspects

Postby Tim York » Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:03 pm

Victor de la Serna wrote:You missed the real story, Tim... :D

Read it up here.


I did indeed :oops: ; see my postscript. The importer is giving a tasting next weekend and, if I can get to it (an awkward journey to Mol deep in Flanders), I'll have fun ribbing him about it.
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Re: Wine Focus October: Spain outside the usual suspects

Postby Victor de la Serna » Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:05 pm

BTW, elmundovino's tasting panel is notoriously stingy with its points and uses the 20-point scale very differently from, e.g., Jancis Robinson. I've developed a system to adapt it to the WS/WA 100-point scale, which may give you a better idea of what we think of these Bierzo wines:

Ultreia de Valtuille 2008, Raúl Pérez Bodegas y Viñedos, 98 points
Tilenus Pieros 2002, Bodegas Estefanía, 94
Ultreia 2008, Raúl Pérez Bodegas y Viñedos, 91
Ultreia St. Jacques 2008, Raúl Pérez Bodegas y Viñedos, 90
Tilenus Crianza 2005, Bodegas Estefanía, 90
Tilenus 2009, Bodegas Estefanía, 88
Tilenus Pagos de Posada 2003, Bodegas Estefanía, 88
El Castro de Valtuille 2007, Bodegas y Viñedos Castro Ventosa, 86
Valtuille Cepas Centenarias 2006, Bodegas y Viñedos Castro Ventosa, 83
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Re: Wine Focus October: Spain outside the usual suspects

Postby Hoke » Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:36 pm

I'll take a journey to Mol Flanders anyday! :wink:
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Re: Wine Focus October: Spain outside the usual suspects

Postby Victor de la Serna » Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:24 pm

Yeah, and they say Belgium is flat!
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Re: Wine Focus October: Spain outside the usual suspects

Postby Joe Moryl » Sat Oct 09, 2010 6:39 pm

Victor: thanks for your explication of the Raul Perez story. I thought he might be someone like the Alentejo's Paulo Laureano, who consults and also does wine under his own label, from the mundane to the ambitious, but the Perez story has an additonal twist. I also enjoy reading the elmundovino reviews, even though my Spanish is very rough.

OK, I picked up a couple more bottles for this thread, which I will drink when a good occasion arises. They are a 2009 Shaya Rueda Verdejo (apparently very old vines ) and the 2009 Godeval Godello (I loved the 2007, gave 2008 a skip). Anyone know these wines?
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Re: Wine Focus October: Spain outside the usual suspects

Postby Victor de la Serna » Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:17 pm

Shaya is Jorge Ordóñez's new Rueda venture after losing Naia as part of a split in his group of Spanish wineries due to a rift with his partners. I've rather liked the only one I've tasted. Godeval is run by the people who brought the godello grape back from near-extinction in the 1980s (when there were only some 400 vines of that variety left in the Valdeorras area). I haven't found the latest vintages enthralling...
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Re: Wine Focus October: Spain outside the usual suspects

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Oct 09, 2010 9:54 pm

An internet pal who lives in Spain emailed me this today in relation to my 3 Barricas TN on Page 1. Of interest I think......>

Hello Bob,
I use to think that most of spanish wines, however they're white or red, use to be overoaky. Unfortunately verdejo isn't out of this stream. In addition to this years are needed to get this oak merged properly with the fruit, acidity, etc and not drinking a oak soap.

There're more than a bunch of cellars using oak for their wines, many of them use to be generously rated for the usual critics, but well... I don't use to find them my cup of wine :-/

Regarding verdejo I find two flavour streams. Some of them looks quite similar to SB and some others (that I do really prefer) goes to herbaceous/grass hints and even with a minerality touch.

Anyway, I think that an oak verdejo, with maybe a minimum of 2-3 years in bottle could be nicely paired with the dish you mention.

Hope this helps & regards,

Jose
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Re: Wine Focus October: Spain outside the usual suspects

Postby Tim York » Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:04 pm

Bierzo Villa de Corullón 2006 – Descendientes de J.Palacios (biodynamic)- Alc.14.5% (€36), from Mencía 100%.
I should not have allowed this WF to induce me to open a bottle of this ambitious wine so young. I was perhaps too much influenced by my memories a tasting a year ago when I wrote –
It was my wine of the day. Its aromas were subdued but fragrant with notes of sour cherry, violets and a touch of raspberry and its body was ample and long with fine fruit, minerals and considerable finesse and elegance; the 100% new wood was already well integrated; 17.5/20.

This evening, even after decanting, its nose was very subdued with no more notes than some fine blackcurrant and hints of elegant plank but none of the other notes noted last year. Body was quite full, shape was elegant and long, substance was present but the aromatics were very muted which, I think, brought more forward some undigested but inoffensive wood which had seemed better integrated before. This has all the symptoms of a wine plunging further into a closed period compared with a year ago. This would not worry me with Bordeaux, Barolo, Rioja, etc., so why with Bierzo? 15.5/20 for present pleasure but maintaining 17.5/20+ for potential.

The Palacios heirs offer several other Bierzo cuvées, including Pétalos (€14,75) through San Martin, Moncerbal and Las Lamas to La Faraona (€222). I loved the 2006 vintage of the first but have not tasted any of the others.
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Re: Wine Focus October: Spain outside the usual suspects

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:41 pm

Oh wow, we are on a Bierzo roll here as I have a Peique TN to post too. I have to think these/some wines might indeed close down on the nose Tim. I have a similar experience with mine.
Joe mentions a "shy nose" on Page 1 .
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Re: Wine Focus October: Spain outside the usual suspects

Postby Noel Ermitano » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:09 am

Tim York wrote:The Palacios heirs offer several other Bierzo cuvées, including Pétalos (€14,75) through San Martin, Moncerbal and Las Lamas to La Faraona (€222). I loved the 2006 vintage of the first but have not tasted any of the others.

I've tried a couple/few vintages each of Pétalos, Corullón and Moncerbal and have liked pretty much all of them. The Moncerbal is quite pricey though (well, here in Manila anyway).

Best,

N
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Re: Wine Focus October: Spain outside the usual suspects

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:40 pm

WTN: `07 Peique Tinto Mencia, Bierzo.

Good natural cork, $18 Cdn, 50 yr old vines, opened half-hour, not decanted. Small family operation since 2000. Cellared for one year.

Color. Big deep inky center with pale watery purple tinges on the rim.

Nose. Rather restrained at first, dark fruits, fragrant floral, hint of oak. Did not develope overnight either.

Palate. Initial thoughts were some ripe fruit, medium tannins, full-bodied, good acidity. The finish took a while to open up, the mid-palate was good. Black fruits, plums, spice. This is a big wine but at 13.5% alc, quite acceptable.
Really opened up on day 2, some pepper hints and blackberry, quite elegant actually. "We should have brought more" from across the table, my in-house PO!

**** Tim, no closed thoughts with this one!

Food was a rib-steak with Thai noodles.
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Re: Wine Focus October: Spain outside the usual suspects

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:59 am

Noel Ermitano wrote:
Tim York wrote:The Palacios heirs offer several other Bierzo cuvées, including Pétalos (€14,75) through San Martin, Moncerbal and Las Lamas to La Faraona (€222). I loved the 2006 vintage of the first but have not tasted any of the others.

I've tried a couple/few vintages each of Pétalos, Corullón and Moncerbal and have liked pretty much all of them. The Moncerbal is quite pricey though (well, here in Manila anyway).

Best,

N


Noel, there is an interesting piece on Verema about oak-aged verdejo. First page in English, rest in Spanish. Look on the forum.
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Re: Wine Focus October: Spain outside the usual suspects

Postby Tim York » Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:21 am

Valdeorras Godello Pezas de Portela 2004 – Bodegas Valdelsil (white) – Alc. 13% - was the last but best of three bottles of this excellent cool climate white. It was beautifully balanced with fine aromatics, creamy white and exotic fruit wound with minerals and fine lively acidity on a medium/full body; the caramel note towards the finish which I noted at a tasting a couple of years or so ago has now fully integrated. It is slightly richer and more intense that the excellent basic cuvée, Val de Sil, and can be used to substitute for a good Côte d’Or Burgundy but with its own character and less expensive. It has continued to improve through its 6th birthday but I do not know whether its future would be very long; 16.5/20+++.
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Re: Wine Focus October: Spain outside the usual suspects

Postby Tim York » Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:23 am

Noel Ermitano wrote:
Tim York wrote:The Palacios heirs offer several other Bierzo cuvées, including Pétalos (€14,75) through San Martin, Moncerbal and Las Lamas to La Faraona (€222). I loved the 2006 vintage of the first but have not tasted any of the others.

I've tried a couple/few vintages each of Pétalos, Corullón and Moncerbal and have liked pretty much all of them. The Moncerbal is quite pricey though (well, here in Manila anyway).

Best,

N


Moncerbal is pricey here too; €90.
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Re: Wine Focus October: Spain outside the usual suspects

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:44 am

Have never seen too many Godello TNs so thanks Tim. Sounds like a white I would surely enjoy!
DeVines has a sample downtown so will persuade store management to open.
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Re: Wine Focus October: Spain outside the usual suspects

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:07 pm

WTN; `09 Infinitus Gewurztraminer Terra de Castilla.

Could not resist getting out my notepad as a rep was pouring this at a wine seminar for the servers at the Grill.

Pale yellow in color, typical nose of mango, lycees, perfume, spice. On the palate, off-dry, good acidity, grapefruit, not too sweet. This has some character but nothing stands out for me. Pretty easy-drinking but good for $8 a glass but will be more if put on the list? Nose better than the palate. Think from Martinez Bujanda?

WTN: `08 Dominio de Tares Baltos, Bierzo.

$18 Cdn, 13.5% alc, good natural cork, opened one hr/not decanted, Lot #2. Winery established in 2000, some of the Tares wines cost up to $60 Cdn and more. Weird looking contemporary label.

Color. Dull ruby/purple. Medium depth of center, not opaque.

Nose. Very aromatic/not shut down. Very earthy, floral, cherry. Raspberry on day 2.

Palate. Initial entry thought was vastly different from the Peique. Dry, earthy tannins, some oak here. Plum cherry, could use some food. Finish is lengthy with the pepper and tannin. Put away for a couple of years I guess, quite a different profile from the Peique I posted on. Could be some barrel variation, some CT notes are more complimentary!

******day 2 no real evolvement but some ripeness on day 3 along with some cocoa.
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Re: Wine Focus October: Spain outside the usual suspects

Postby Victor de la Serna » Fri Oct 15, 2010 5:17 am

Baltos 2008, an entry-level wine at Dominio de Tares (price in Spain, 5 euros – prices are important to have an idea what we're talking about!) was rated by us 13/20 (my equivalent in WS/WA terms: 85/100) in our recent Bierzo tastings with the following notes: "An intense nose with ripe dark berries, charcoal, black pepper, cloves and coconut. The American oak is also present in the flavors, where good fruit is marred by a touch of rusticity."
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Re: Wine Focus October: Spain outside the usual suspects

Postby Tim York » Fri Oct 15, 2010 6:20 am

Reviewing my recent drinking of cool climate wines from North Western Spain, here is my TN of the last bottle of Albariño which I opened last summer.

Rias Baixas Albariño 2008 – Ophalum – Alc. 12.5% (€12)- showed crisp dryness and acidity, juicier fruit than many RBs and good mouth-fill. It, however, lacked the class of the Dônnhoff and Fèvre Chablis, subjects of separate TNs at about the same time; 15.5/20 QPR.

I always feel that Rias Baixas Albariño, Valdeorras Godello and even Bierzo Mencia, when not too oaky, have quite a French profile due, no doubt, to their cool climate.


Here is another recent bottle of white from rather less cool climate and deeper inland Rueda. Original flavours from the Verdejo grape and this terroir.

Rueda Verdejo 2008 – Bodegas Prado Rey – Alc. 13% - (approx €8) was full of juicy green fruit and tangy lively acidity; perhaps too close to boiled sweets in perfume for my ideal but it was very popular; 15.5/20++ QPR!
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Re: Wine Focus October: Spain outside the usual suspects

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:03 am

WTN: `07 Luna Beberide Mencia Bierzo.

Purchased last night for around $18 Cdn. Good natural cork, 13.5% alc, Lot 05-2007. No oak.

Closed up nose maybe some blackberry but not at all expressive. Good depth of color with ruby tones and light purple rim. Poured straight from the bottle, shortish finish and pretty average overall. Quite dry, dusty tannins in background, cherry but not at all exuberant. Will give it some time to open but am wondering if I have an odd bottle here? Previous vintages have been quite good and of interest
I am usually quite precise eh, but not this time around! Still, we will see.

Tim, I love the packaging of the PradoRey. Was looking at the new vintage just yesterday!
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Re: Wine Focus October: Spain outside the usual suspects

Postby Tim York » Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:34 am

I was planning to go to this Spanish importer's tasting today but am frustrated by the fact that Belgian roads are clogged up with traffic jams due to the railways being on strike :evil: . I can, however, replay my notes from last year (minus Rioja, Priorat and Ribera del Duero). These show a lot of variety all round Spain with some outstandingly individual wines coming out of Catalunya (especially from Gramona) as well as the cool climate wines from the North West which have been the subject of a lot of the posts here and the excellent results from higher altitudes in warmer and drier areas (see Jiménez Landi).

The white table (no growers)
Penedès Selecció Blanc 2008 – Jané Ventura (€8), from Xarel.lo 65%, Moscatel 15%, Chardonnay 15%, Malvasia de Sitges 5%, was aromatic, flowery and very fresh with citrus and grapey notes on the palate; 15.5/20 QPR!
Rueda Verdejo 2008 – José Pariente (€11), Verdejo 100%, was refreshingly crisp and quite Sauvignon-like with grapefruit and floral notes; 15/20++.
Malaga Ariyanas Moscatel Seco – Bodegas Bentomiz (€16), Moscatel de Alejandría 100%, was deliciously crisp as well as being highly aromatic and spicy; 15.5/20+++.

The red tables (no growers)
Bierzo, Ultreia de St. Jacques 2008 – Viñedos de Raúl Pérez (organic) (€10), Mencía 100%. I loved this for its purity and aromas of tangy, spicy sweet cherry and generous body and mouth-fill combined with freshness; 16/20+ QPR!! (see also my more detailed recent TN in this thread).
Pià I Llevant (Mallorca) negre 2006 – Jaume Mesquida (€10), from Callet 40%, Mantonegro 30%, CabSauv 30%, was more conventional in its rich fragrant fruit with grilled meat but also caramel touches; 14.5/20.
Monterrei (Galicia) Alanda Tinto 2006 – Quinta da Muradella (organic) (€15), from Mencía, Bastardo and Arauxa, was described as uncommercial but I liked its unusual flavours of steely and tangy cherry with a lively medicinal hint; 15.5/20.
Navarra Artazu 2006 – Santa Cruz de Artado (€22), from 100% Garnacha old vines, showed dark fruity aromas and concentrated substance with complexity and good acid balance; 16/20+
Bierzo Corullón 2006 – Descendientes de J.Palacios (biodynamic) (€36), from Mencía 100%, was my wine of the day. Its aromas were subdued but fragrant with notes of sour cherry, violets and a touch of raspberry and its body was ample and long with fine fruit, minerals and considerable finesse and elegance; the 100% new wood was already well integrated; 17.5/20 (see also my more detailed recent note in this thread).

Rafael Palacios, DO Valdeorras
Louro 2008 (€15), from Godello 92% and Treixadura 8%, was typically round, creamy and mineral; 15.5/20++.
As Sortes (organic) (€30), 100% Godello, was sadly sold out and no longer on show.

Gramona, DO Penedès
The Cavas from this estate are a revelation. The still whites are pretty good too.
Cava Imperial Gran Reserva Brut 2005 (€20), from Xarel.lo 50%, Macabeu 40% and Chardonnay 10%, had rich aromas with a liqueur touch and round rich body with a pleasing oily touch and great moutn-fill; 16/20.
Cava III Lustros Reserva Brut Nature 2001 (€29), from Xarel.lo 70% and Macbeu 30%, was in a different league of finesse with the profile of the previous considerably refined and a more linear palate and longer finish; 16.5/20++; one of my handful of memorable bubblies from outside Champagne.
Gessamí 2008 (€11), from Moscatel Alejandría and Frontignan 30% each and Sauvignon 40%, was a successful combination of the spicy Muscat aromatics and the bright citrus freshness of Sauvignon; 15.5/20 QPR.
Xarel.lo Font Jui 2004 (W) (€19), from Xael.lo 100%, was fascinating different with an attractive oily spiciness allied to fresh acidity and good mouth-fill; 16/20.

Jiménez Landi, DO Méntrida (near Toledo)
This estate is biodynamic. Altitude of about 400m tempers the torrid summer heat of the Castilian plateau and gives cool nights.
Bajondillo 2008 (€8), from Garnacha 80% and Syrah, CabSauv and Merlot, was a joy with its purity, generous sweet fruit, spicy aromatics and tangy finish; 15.5/20+ QPR!!
Sottorondero 2007 (€15), from Syrah 90% and Granacha 10%, was deep dark and polished with sweet cherry notes, minerals and good length and none of those ripe blackberry notes which diminish (for me) a lot of warm climate Syrah/Shiraz; 16/20+++ QPR.

Anima Negra, Vino de la Tierra de Mallorca
Quibía 2008 (W) (€12), from Premsal 60%, Callet à jus blanc 40%), was attractively fleshy with attractive saltiness and mild bitterness towards the finish; 15/20+.
AN/2 2006 (€17), from Callet 65%, Syrah 15% and the rest Mantonegro/Fogoneu, was deep and dark with toasty dark fruit; 15/20.
Anima Nera 2005 (€34), from Callet 95%, rest Mantonegro/Fogoneu, showed greater depth, roundness and richness with a smooth mouth-feel than the previous and some presence of wood; 15.5/20 now with +++ if the wood recedes.

Celler Joan d’Anguera, DO Montsant (NB This area almost completely surrounds the more famous Priorat on slightly less steep sites.)
Planella 2007 (€12), from Carinyena, Syrah, CabSauv, Garnatxa, showed full and tangy sweet fruit with some sweat saddle and touches of liquorice; style quite Southern Rhône; 15.5/20++ QPR.
El Bugader 2005(€38), from Syrah 90%, Garnatxa 10%, showed complex red and dark fruit with some strawberry and “bonbon” notes together with wet leather and liquorice, depth of body and firm ripe tannins; 16/20+++.
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Re: Wine Focus October: Spain outside the usual suspects

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:11 am

Wow, some great notes there Tim. Montsant is repped here in AB, must take another looksie when in downtown area.
Those Cavas sound especially good! The Gramona website looks great but is only in Spanish.

http://www.gramona.com/web/index.html
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Re: Wine Focus October: Spain outside the usual suspects

Postby Joe Moryl » Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:32 pm

Thanks for those note, Tim. I had the Sottorondero earlier this year and would agree with your note. Oddly, I think it sells for about $15 here, which makes it even better QPR.

In the past I never heard much praise for white Cava grapes like Xarel.lo, but it seems that some nice still wines can be made with these grapes. Will need to investigate. Brings to mind what some have done with Trebbiano in Italy.
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Re: Wine Focus October: Spain outside the usual suspects

Postby Carl Eppig » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:29 pm

2009Jorge Ordonez, Garnacha de Fuego ($8.99 NH Liq Store). It is a fantastic wine for under $10. Alcohol level: 14%. It is a very nice Grenache, with a great balance of fruit, spice, alcohol, and acid. We enjoyed it tonight with Linguini a'la Pesto and Italian Sausage with sliced tomatoes. Basil and tomatoes came from our garden. A great wine with many meals.
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Re: Wine Focus October: Spain outside the usual suspects

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:46 pm

Carl, the label is most eye-catching, is it not. Have had previous vintages, great QPR indeed.
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