Tag Archives: Spain

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Barbazul 2010

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Made from Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and the outstanding Tintilla de Rota, a recovered local variety, this wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks and rests in French oak barrels for 5 months.

Very bright and deep cherry colour with purple reflections and an explosion of aromas, black berries, jammy fruit, spicy, with a creamy touch, chocolate, toffee, liquorice and some toasted aromas. Subtle herbal and mineral aromas. Very tasty in the palate with  notes of fruit and creamy feeling with nice balsamic and toasted aromas in the background. Good and long finish, very pleasant and tasty.


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Priorat Wine Fair

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The 20a. Fira del Vi – Falset (el Priorat), happening now, 2 and 3 of May 2015, is the tasting show for Montsant and DOQ Priorat wines held in Falset, an extraordinary event which brings together the very best producers in the region, a program rich and diverse, full of surprises, with joy and good wines and oils that are part of a landscape that is pure culture.

The fair itself takes place on 2 and 3 May, in which attendees can enjoy an excellent representation of the wines of the region, along with region’s olive oil and artisan cheeses of Catalonia.

On May 2 at 10:00 the twentieth edition of the “Falset Wine Fair” opened its doors to the public with a timetable and ongoing attention that lasted until 20:00. This year marks the 20th edition of the Fair, and as such, needs new and important events that underlie its importance and prominence.

This is a HUGE opporyunity to find new business!


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Finca Labarca Reserva 2006, DOCa Rioja

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Appearance: Clear medium garnet.

Nose: Clean, pronounced aromas of red baked fruits, spices (nutmeg, cloves), vanilla, cream, butter and oak.

Palate: Dry, medium acidity, medium tannins, medium alcohol, full body, pronounced flavours of cooked fruits and sweet spices. Long finish.

Conclusion: A classic Rioja Reserva: full body, creamy and buttery, and a subtle oak after taste. Supervalu special for €12 (from €15,99, they say).


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The day after: Viña Arnáiz Roble, DO Ribera Del Duero

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2b0de98adb5c11e2b9fd22000a9f4dd4_7I love to host people at home, it’s such a pleasure! Last night we had a friends couple for bruschettas – or something like that! Basically tapas & wine. Who needs more? To match the bruschettas – chopped tomatoes, buffalo’s mozzarella, olive oil, black pepper, and bread – I opened one of the my recent discoveries, Viña Arnáiz Roble 2011, DO Ribera Del Duero. A young crianza red wine made from Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes.
A careful treatment is given to strains along the year, from setting the date of the harvest when the grapes have reached optimum maturity in each plot, till proceeds to hand picking the grapes, where plots are manually selected, which of those grapes will be part of the blend of the wine.Once the grapes get at the winery, they are are ground and pass the maceration tank till they achieve the desired balance in the composition of the wine. They then proceed to racking it by gravity without mechanical actuation and  the wine obtained after a first racking, is the malolactic fermentation.This Viña Arnáiz matures in French oak barrels for 4 months, during which is performed three racking to help oxygenate the wine.They recommend to open this Ribera Del Duero Roble at least one hour before drinking it, and to pour it in a decanter – if you can – to better appreciate all its virtues… And so I did. Opened it a good hour before serving, poured it into a decanter and… voilá! The wine was fantastic… BUT, I have to confess, ashamedly, that we didn’t finish the second bottle, and I had to pour it back to the bottle and left it on the refrigerator till the next day.Lunch time – gnocchi à bolognesa. What to drink? The left-over Viña Arnáiz Roble. And guess what? The wine was even better! All the subtle aromas were more accentuated, the velvet sensation from the malolatic, the freshness from the maceration, the red & black fruits, and even a mocha finish!

This is, among others, one of my The Day After Wine”.


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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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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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Spanish Wines – The Use of Oak Barrels

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The use of oak plays a significant role in winemaking for Spanish wines, and can have a profound effect on the resulting wine, affecting color, flavor, texture and quality. The use of oak barrels can impart other qualities to wine through the processes of evaporation and low level exposure to oxygen.

The porous nature of an oak barrel allows some levels of evaporation and oxygenation to occur in wine. This evaporation (of mostly alcohol and water) allows the wine to concentrate its flavor and aroma compounds. The chemical properties of oak itself can have a profound effect on the wine, interacting with the wine to produce different flavors. Flavor notes that are common descriptions of wines exposed to oak include caramel, cream, smoke, spice and vanilla. Chardonnay is a variety that has very distinct flavor profiles when fermented in oak that include coconut, cinnamon and cloves notes. The “toastiness” of the barrel can bring out varying degrees of mocha and toffee notes.

The length of time that a wine spends in the barrel is dependent on the varietal and style of wine that the winemaker wishes to make. The majority of oak flavoring is imparted in the first few months that the wine is in contact with oak but a longer term exposure can affect the wine through the light aeration that the barrel which quickens the aging process of the wine.

New World Pinot noir may spend less than a year in oak. Premium Cabernet Sauvignon may spend two years. The very tannic Nebbiolo grape may spend four or more years in oak. High end Rioja producers will sometimes age their wines up to ten years in American oak to get a desired earthy cedar and herbal character.

In Spain, they classify the wines by the time they spend in barrels.

Young Wines are wines that have not seen any barrels, and are better consumed within 1-3 years from released.

Young Crianza Wines are wines that have staged in barrels for a short period, usually less then 6 months.

Crianza Wines are quality wines that are subject to an aging process of at least 24 months, from which at least six in oak barrels. For white and rosé the period is 18 months.

Reserva Wines have a minimum aging period of 36 months, from which at least 12 in oak barrels, and the rest in the bottle. For white and rosé wines, it must be at least 24 months.

Grand Reserva Wines have at least 18 months in oak barrels and 42 in bottles, reaching 5 years in total. For white and rosé wines, the minimum aging period is 48 months in wood and bottle.


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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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Tasting Llebre 2009

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I brought this wine from Spain recently, and offered it to some friends. The feedback was positive… No surprise, as it got a respectable 90 points Parker! So I decided to taste it.

Llebre is produced by Tomás Cusiné, which is located on the northern side of the Sierra de La Llena, part of the Sierra del Montsant. Its vineyards are situated at an altitude between 700 and 740 metres; the soils are limestone and the lands have gravel on the surface with clayey subsoil. Costers Del Sagres is a DO (Denominación de Origen) area.

Llebre 2009 is made from Tempranillo, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Carignan and Syrah grapes, it was aged in French oak for 3 months before bottled, which brings toasty notes to the palate, and subtle oak to the nose.

The nose also is plenty of aromas of red fruits, and in the mouth it’s silky and fresh, with soft tannins and good acidity, plenty of red fruit jam, spices, and a discrete oak.

A very good wine, which I enjoyed which I enjoyed with a wine-peppered sauced steak… Fantastique!


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Nietro 2011

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NietroA wine with character, with excellent value for money, it offers all the fruitiness of Garnacha old vines and transmits all the “terroir”.

In the glass, Nietro wears a cherry color, bright, clean, dense tear but medium-high. The first impact nose tells us that this is a wine with character: it is fresh, clean, Mediterranean, with spicy and black pepper. Attracts. With aeration aromatic drink increases its density, is opening gently, offering sweet notes of ginger, juniper … – Has a touch of Christmas! – Graphite mineral notes and subtle hints about parenting. All very well integrated and essentially and above all, a red fruit (cassis) and fresh.

His entry into greedy mouth, with volume, according to the nose but with a point of warmth. It is powerful, with notes of undergrowth, a gentle presence of tannin structure and maintaining promises a good performance, and a predominantly red fruit. It is soft and creamy. It enjoys.

Nietro leaves a good taste, is long and slightly bitter in the aftertaste, something that should not be associated with unpleasant, simply lengthens its persistence. Alcohol is well integrated and gives us a very good feeling of freshness on your end. To repeat.

Nietro is made ​​from old vines of Grenache, with a mean age of 40 years, grown at 950 meters above ground slate, in the municipalities of Castejón of Alarba, Alarba and Acered. Their name, Nietro, comes from a old unit of measurement equivalent to 16 wine jugs or 160 liters.

Pairings
Sausages | pork | grilled meats


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