Category Archives: Tasting

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XVIII Fira Del VI de Falset

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Just arrived from Spain where I travelled for the XVIII Fira Del VI de Falset – Priorat AND for the F1 Grand Prix de Catalunya, I bring good and bad news for the wine market in general – the “normal” people!

The good news is that Priorat and Montsant wines are good as always – lots of interesting wines, winemakers exploring different vinification methods as never, and wines which bring all the potential of Garnatxa and Samsò, the most powerful grapes of the region! Some wines I particularly liked was from bodegas Mas de l’Abundància, Joan Simó, Vendrell I Rived, Celler Mas de les Vinyes, Pascona, Vermunver, Cellers Capafons-Ossó, Cellers San Rafel, Ficària Vins, among others… and there are a lot!

Now the bad news: the price, that thing that puts a lot of people off stuff. I’m not saying Priorat wines are not expensive to produce, but there’s more than a mite of ballyhoo, too, part of it fuelled by wine journalists, but part generated by emerging consumers from emerging markets, as China and Russia, not forgetting the king of consumption USA! Basic demand and supply, and the winemakers, as everybody else, have to survive!

Bad for us, the normal, regular consumer.

But don’t give it up, my winelover reader… you always can find good prices, it’s just a matter of digging deeper… and when you find the wine which fits your pocket, buy it with no hesitation! It will surely be a good wine!


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American Way of Wine

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I was recently in Las Vegas for my brother’s wedding, and we took the opportunity to stay some days in Temecula, a city south of Los Angeles, in southwestern Riverside County, California.

To be honest, the wines in Temecula didn’t impress me at all. They were all easy-drinking wines, with an unbalanced sweetness from interrupted fermentation, almost appellative, to the american sweet-teeth taste.

I tried wines from small valleys in Napa and Sonoma as well, Dry Creek, Alexander Valley, Lodi, Mount Veeder, Oakville… and surprisingly it was a bit disappointing… maybe because as I was in a budget-aware trip, all the bottles we got were under US$30!

For sure there are nice wines in USA. The last one I remember tasting I believe was a 2010 Culler Wines Cabernet Casaeda: fantastique, but it cost me US$50!

Differently from Europe, would it be the case that to get serious wines in USA we have to go over US$30?


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Dominio de Tares Cepas Viejas 2008

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Dominio de Tares Cepas Viejas 2008

Dominio de Tares Cepas Viejas 2008

This old vines (Ciepas Viejas) of Mencía variety grapes are over 60 years old grown on terraces and slopes of gravel and slate soils. The best grapes are selected by hand, the stems are removed and they are further lightly pressed. The wine is aged in these barrels for 9 months.

Showing a lively cherry colour, it has red berries, vanilla & spices aromas on the nose. Red berries, chocolate and sweet spices on the palate, with a long and smooth finish.


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Brumont, Merlot-Tannat

Tasting Brumont Merlot-Tannat 2011 – Vin de Pays Côtes de Gascogne

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Brumont, Merlot-Tannat

Brumont, Merlot-Tannat

This 50% Merlot and 50% Tannat was made to develop a complex and balanced wine matching style of New World wine. The grapes grow on clay-limestone hillsides soils located on Ténarèze, and fine clay soils called Peyrusquets. The wine rests over the grapes before bottling.

On the nose it has red plums, cherry jam, prune, blackcurrant and white pepper. A juicy palate of cherry, plum, peppery, and earthy flavours. A lovely red with good fruit and a plump and supple finish!


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Tasting Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur-Lie from Domaine de la Chauvinière 2011

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Domaine de la Chauvinière
Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur-Lie 2011

Leia em Português

This Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur-Lie from Domaine de la Chauvinière was produced from vines surrounding a wind mill, planted in granite soil. It’s clear in appearance, with a pale lemon-green colour. On the nose it has intense aromas of green fruits (green apple), floral fragrances and herbaceous (grass) notes, with mineral hints (stony). On the palate is ample and harmonious, with a long finish.

Can be served with shell-fish, seafood and fish, or on its own, as an aperitif.

 


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Tasting Oremus Tokaji Late Harvest 08

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This Oremus Tokaji Late Harvest 08 is a rich and lusciously sweet wine from Hungary.

On the nose it’s peachy, with hints of cooked orange and dried fruit. Vanilla, butter and honey reveals the oak and the ageing.

On the palate, reaffirms the orange, and reveals some dried fruit (preserved fruit) notes. Its medium acidity balances the sweetness very well. A very good wine, ready to drink!

A 375ml bottle costs around €20.


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Tasting Ressons Clot de la Vella 2009

Mas d’en Canonge is a newly-created winery in DO Montsant, Spain, and this Ressons Clot de la Vella 2009 is their brand new wine, in its first vintage, made from old vine Grenache single varietal – a gem!

I’ve just opened it and it still requires a bit of time for aeration, but it doesn’t take long to reveal its complexity. Its primary aromas has notes of oak ageing, which will satisfy those who like intense wines, but the fruitiness becomes apparent, revealing ripened black and red fruits.

Ressons Clot de la Vella brings the powerfulness of those old Garnacha vineyards. Ripe fruit and black fruit on the palate, volume and body very well balanced, pleasant, mineral and juicy, with an oak aftertaste in the back of the mouth.

This affordable first vintage made me curious to learn about its evolution, and the new vintages yet to come from Mas d’en Canonge.


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Tasting Puerto Salinas 2008

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Leia em Português
Wine:
This DO Alicante red wine was elaborated with old vine grapes of Monastrell, Cabernet Sauvignon and Garnacha Tintorera. Aged 12 months in French oak, was bottled without filtration. ABV 14.5%.

Eye:
Beautiful clear and deep ruby colour.

Nose:
Clean and pronounced aromas of fruits, spices and oak.

Mouth:
Dry in the mouth, its high acidity balances well with tight tannins. Full bodied, fruity and floral, with a silky chocolate taste on the back of the mouth. Long finishing.

Conclusion:
This is an amazing wine! Fruity aromas, full of flavours and subtle oak. Outstanding!


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Tasting L’esquerda 2009

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Leia em Português

The name come from its unique terroir, L’esquerda. Located 350 meters above the sea level, it’s composed of granitic over hills. L’esquerda is characterized by an assembly consisting mostly of Syrah, and completed with a little of Grenache and Carignan, all harvested by hand. As stated in its label, “Roussillon, a land of legend and history. A place of contrasts too, as Domain de Bila-Haut”. This L’esquerda has 10% aged in oak barrels, which balances well the wild aroma of Syrah, the silky texture of Grenache and the freshness of Carignan.

Eye: Deep ruby color

Nose: It expresses its maturity with notes of black fruits, warm spices, floral and a slightly earthy from its terroir.

Mouth: Good acidity and powerful tannins, both powerful and tight, with a long fresh finishing.

Conclusion: A very good wine, potent and well balanced acidity and tannins, with lots of fruits. A truly discovery!


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Tasting Lar de Paula 2010

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Leia em Português

This Lar de Paula 2010 is a fantastic DOC Rioja, 100% Tempranillo, very clear ruby colour, with a clean medium nose, aromas of fruits, spices and liquorice. On the palate the medium acidity balances well with the rounded tannins, with a medium to full body. Quite jammy red berries and fruity, cherries, and a bit of tobacco as well. Medium to long length, making this wine a very good one, with a potential to keep for 3 to 4 more years yet.


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