WTN: Spanish (mostly)

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WTN: Spanish (mostly)

Postby Bill Spohn » Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:53 am

Notes from a tasting of wines from Spain and ex-Spanish territories.

2005 Quinta do Ameal Vinho Verde – OK, so this was from Portugal, the organiser also allowed this – Iberian peninsula and all. Not much nose until it warmed up, then some smoke. Bit flat in the middle, finshed better than it started, an obvious attempt at a ‘more serious’ VV. Maybe some wines aren’t meant to be serious….

1995 Remurez de Ganuza Rioja – nose of toasty oak and well developed fruit, on the ripe side. Fairly youthful in the mouth with good length and an uplift of acidity at the end. New age Rioja made the way the reviewers (who like California cab) like to see them.

1994 Pesquera – this Crianza is now in prime drinking range. It showed a mildly stinky nose with some cheesiness, backed by cocoa and spice, a nice mouth feel, soft tannins and good length. Perhaps the most traditional wine of the evening.

1996 Errazuriz Don Maximiano Cabernet – didn’t give much varietal cab clue, but a nose that was more honey, the fruit not huge, then sliding into a spiciness and soft tannin. Nice now. I almost brought my 1993 – guess I should get into them to see what is happening. Our only new world entry.

2001 Terra d’Hom Priorat – sweet cocoa nose with huge fruit, excellent balance and surprisingly soft tannin. New world style, and not built for the long haul, rather for early pleasure. Would work well instead of Port with cheese.

2000 Quinta do Valle D. Maria - a wine from the Douro with a heavily oaked nose, lots of in your face fruit, a bit hot, sweet and fruity on palate and not too complex. Better try my 1998 soon.

2002 Finca Sandoval – from Manchuela, a combination of mostly syrah with mourvedre – a Spanish Rhone, if you will. Another non-traditional wine with a warm nose, sweet, young, blackberry and anise, tannic, young and not complex. Would be interesting to see if it improves with age – I’m not sure if it will or not. Anyway, tasty when young!.
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Re: WTN: Spanish (mostly)

Postby Jenise » Thu Oct 19, 2006 1:34 pm

Fun dinner, Bill. Some comments:

2005 Quinta do Ameal Vinho Verde – What's Spanish for yellow, amarillo? Then this wine should be renamed Vinho Amarillo, because the fruit tasted overripe, and though it was hard to be certain by candelight (we're such romantics!), it was more golden-hued than the almost-clear of a traditional VV. Didn't have the usual degree of petillance either.

1995 Remirez de Ganuza Rioja – When someone asked if a lighter red was in the house to put up front in the tasting, I volunteered this wine and then took a ration because it wasn't light-light. But it turned out to be the lightest red of the night, so it was well placed as I thought it would be. My notes observe that it lacked the fruit cake spice that I usually look for in aged tempranillo on the first sips, but that element popped out wonderfully with the unsalted, sweet potato and chili oil soup. Best wine-food match of the night.

1994 Pesquera: Stinky nose. Cow shit stinky. That blew off some with time but the cocoa element you note threw me off the tempranillo trail, it lacked the brightness that made the Remirez so pleasant.

1996 Errazuriz Don Maximiano Cabernet – I like the 'honey' observation. I had been thinking caramel but honey was better, and this is the good side of a heavily oaked wine. I liked the wine's mellowness, it was like a big soft heavy old blanket.

2001 Terra d’Hom Priorat: we didn't know the grapes in this, but the wine smelled more of merlot than grenache with that initial hit of powder sugar and flowers in front of cherry-berry. The wine appeared to be absolutely black (again, candlelight issues). Pretty concentrated but with the perfect low acidity and tannins to be totally at it's best for drinking now. Very new world style but not over the top, I could have drunk this wine all day. Pure pleasure. Thanks, Anne!

2000 Quinta do Valle D. Maria - my notes are almost word for word what you wrote, except that I don't have a 98 to try. Nothing to add!

2002 Finca Sandoval: unable to match this wine mentally to any Spanish grape I'm familiar with, I finally said, "If I didn't know better I'd say it was syrah". Well bingo, I don't know better, and it was 70% syrah. I liked it. Black cherry and fennel with enough velvet-covered backbone to drink very well now but perhaps last longer in the cellar than one might think.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WTN: Spanish (mostly)

Postby Bob Ross » Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:01 pm

I'm not sure whether you or Bill know that the 2002 Finca Sandoval is Victor de la Serna's wine, Jenise.

We followed his efforts to make the vineyards years ago on WLDG -- including a dowser to find water in such an arid region.

We have a local retailer who loves Victor's wines -- I've found that they develop nicely over time.

Regards, Bob
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Re: WTN: Spanish (mostly)

Postby Jenise » Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:11 pm

Bob, yes, I learned about the wine's ownership at dinner the other night but did not otherwise recognize it. Victor's vigneron efforts pre-date my joining this board, but he comes around time to time and I remember him well, especially his ripping my head off for not liking an entry-level Telmo Rodriquez wine. :)
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Re: WTN: Spanish (mostly)

Postby Bob Ross » Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:08 pm

Oh, I remember that, Jenise. He was out of line, that's for sure. :(
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Re: WTN: Spanish (mostly)

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Oct 19, 2006 7:29 pm

Jenise, your `05 Ameal sounds like the `04 notes I posted on the crab cakes thread.
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Re: WTN: Spanish (mostly)

Postby Jenise » Thu Oct 19, 2006 8:48 pm

'05 Ameal? [vacant stare of non-recognition] Doris, I think this note's in the wrong thread.
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Re: WTN: Spanish (mostly)

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:53 am

It`s up there in Bill`s post, the 2005 Quinta do Ameal Vinho Verde.
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Re: WTN: Spanish (mostly)

Postby Jenise » Fri Oct 20, 2006 1:18 am

Oh the VV! Sorry, I should have realized.

Btw, note to Bob Ross: please understand that I respect Senor La Serna very much. I didn't think he was fair to me on that one occasion, but that just doesn't change my respect for his palate and knowledge.
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Re: WTN: Spanish (mostly)

Postby Bob Ross » Fri Oct 20, 2006 1:54 am

No, Jenise, I do understand. Victor is very knowledgeable in many ways -- I heard him describe a legal matter on NPR three or four years ago -- he was brilliant.

But he was mean to you, I thought. Even Homer sometimes stumbled.
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Re: WTN: Spanish (mostly)

Postby Victor de la Serna » Fri Oct 20, 2006 3:19 pm

Thanks to everyone for remembering me and tasting one of our wines. I certainly don't remember ripping Jenise's head off over anything, but if that's the impression I left when we had an exchange over Telmo's wines, I'm sorry.

I never give opinions on my wines, for obvious reasons of conflict of interest, since I'm both a wine writer and a wine producer, but I can give some basic info: 2002 Finca Sandoval is not 70%, but 93% syrah - the largest syrah content in any of our six vintages to date (it's down to 76% in 2005, probably 75% in 2006). Decanting the wine for at least 2-3 hours is usually recommended before tasting it - otherwise it's often very closed aromatically and in the mouth, as syrah and monastrell are such highly reductive grapes.
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Re: WTN: Spanish (mostly)

Postby Bob Henrick » Fri Oct 20, 2006 4:13 pm

Victor, it is good to see you here, but I do wish we had the benefit of your postings more often. And, what with you being such a pussy cat, it is hard to imagine you ripping the wings off flies, much less the head of a real live woman! :-)

Victor, I thought I should edit my message to state that the pussycat remark was said tongue in cheek. I hope you and others will interpret it as such. I am thinking that the smiley might not be sufficient to convey that thought.
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Re: WTN: Spanish (mostly)

Postby Victor de la Serna » Sat Oct 21, 2006 3:22 am

Hi, Bob! To tell you the truth, I was lost in the latest change of location of this board and only re-registered last month. I'll be around more often.
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Re: WTN: Spanish (mostly)

Postby Robin Garr » Sat Oct 21, 2006 3:40 am

Victor de la Serna wrote:Hi, Bob! To tell you the truth, I was lost in the latest change of location of this board and only re-registered last month. I'll be around more often.


Welcome back, Victor! I'm delighted to see you here - it has been way too long. I'd have greeted you even sooner, but I'm traveling this week, waving at you from Siena, where there's an awful lot of wine and food to be consumed.
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Re: WTN: Spanish (mostly)

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:56 am

Victor de la Serna wrote:Thanks to everyone for remembering me and tasting one of our wines. I certainly don't remember ripping Jenise's head off over anything, but if that's the impression I left when we had an exchange over Telmo's wines, I'm sorry.

I never give opinions on my wines, for obvious reasons of conflict of interest, since I'm both a wine writer and a wine producer, but I can give some basic info: 2002 Finca Sandoval is not 70%, but 93% syrah - the largest syrah content in any of our six vintages to date (it's down to 76% in 2005, probably 75% in 2006). Decanting the wine for at least 2-3 hours is usually recommended before tasting it - otherwise it's often very closed aromatically and in the mouth, as syrah and monastrell are such highly reductive grapes.


Victor, I have seen one of your wines up here in Alberta!! I am pleased to meet you.
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Re: WTN: Spanish (mostly)

Postby Jenise » Sat Oct 21, 2006 1:36 pm

Victor de la Serna wrote:Hi, Bob! To tell you the truth, I was lost in the latest change of location of this board and only re-registered last month. I'll be around more often.


Glad to hear that, Victor. Welcome back.
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Re: WTN: Spanish (mostly)

Postby Bob Ross » Sat Oct 21, 2006 2:05 pm

Victor de la Serna wrote:

"I'll be around more often."

Welcome back, Victor. It's great to read your posts.

I've quoted a couple of your posts from the Purple Pages, where you are a wonderful contributor.

I would love to read more about your vineyards -- I remember the blow by blow accounts you gave us when you first established them. Did you find adequate water?

Regards, Bob
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Re: WTN: Spanish (mostly)

Postby Victor de la Serna » Sat Oct 21, 2006 4:31 pm

Bob Ross wrote: Did you find adequate water?

Our new vineyards (syrah, touriga nacional) are all trellised and have subsurface drip irrigation, Bob. (I see you have a long memory - it was back in 1998 that I was looking for a water source - and found it!) Our old vineyards (mourvèdre, bobal, grenache, alicante bouschet) are all bush vines and dry farmed. This year we harvested 23 hectares (about 57 acres).
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Re: WTN: Spanish (mostly)

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Oct 21, 2006 7:45 pm

Victor, it`s great to have you here. As I said, am looking out for some of your wines!!
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Re: WTN: Spanish (mostly)

Postby Victor de la Serna » Sun Oct 22, 2006 7:21 am

Thanks, Bob (Parsons). We have indeed been exporting to western Canada for the past two years through Liquid Art Fine Wines, and we should shortly be in Ontario and Québec too. We're small, but we try to reach as far as we can...
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Re: WTN: Spanish (mostly)

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:08 am

Well, you are here at DeVines downtown Edmonton!!!
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