April 17, 2012

NYC Wine Tasting Group, Spanish Tasting at La Nacional, NYC

2008 Aalto (Ribera Del Duero) Castilla Leon, Spain – Tempranillo grape
A glass-coating opaque purple color, it is already displaying a complex aromatic array of sandalwood, smoke, espresso, lavender, Asian spices, and assorted blue and black fruits. Smooth-textured, succulent, and structured, it will evolve for 2-3 years and offer a drinking window extending from 2013 to 2028+. In the scheme of things, it offers great value in top-flight Ribera del Duero. Bodegas y Vinedos Aalto is a partnership between legendary vigneron Mariano Garcia and Javier Zaccagnini, former President of the governing body of the Ribera del Duero DO. Aalto is sourced from 7 different villages on a variety of soils with vineyard age ranging from 40-100 years and was aged for 24 months in French and American oak. Rated 95 The Wine Advocate

2006 Vinedos y Bodegas Pittacum (Bierzo) – Mencia grape
Toasty, smoky aromas give way to deep, focused flavors of black cherry, mineral, licorice and mountain herb in this expressive red. Powerful yet focused, ripe yet fresh. Drink now through 2020. Rated 92 Wine Spectator

2010 Rio Madre (Rioja) Graciano – Graciano grape
Glass-staining purple. Highly aromatic bouquet offers dark berry and cherry compote scents along with spicecake and licorice. Chewy tannins firm and focus the wine’s deep bitter cherry and cassis flavors, which are complemented by notes of cracked pepper and spices. Finishes with building sweetness, an echo of licorice and impressive persistence, especially for a wine at this price.” Rated 90 International Wine Cellar

2004 Clos de L’Obac (Priorat) – blend of Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, & Cariñena grapes
“The purple-colored 2004 Clos de l’Obac exhibits a beautiful perfume of spice box, mineral, kirsch, red and black currants and black cherry. Intensely fruity on the palate, it is already complex, sweet and layered. The oak, tannin and acidity are nicely integrated and the finish is long and pure….drink it through 2022.” Rated 95 The Wine Advocate

2004 Bodegas Ondarre Mayor Reserva (Rioja, Spain) – Tempranillo grape
This firm, compact red delivers black cherry and cassis fruit, with leafy, licorice and mineral accents and a modest oak component. There’s firm, well-integrated tannins and a fresh, leafy finish. Not showy, but has depth and purity. Drink now through 2018. Tasted twice, with consistent notes.” Rated 93 Wine Spectator

2007 Marques de Grinon Dominio De Valdepusa Caliza (Castile-La Mancha) – blend of 65% Syrah & 35% Petit Verdot grapes
The 2007 Caliza is a blend of 65% Syrah and 35% Petit Verdot aged for 12 months in seasoned French oak. Toasty black fruits, violets, espresso, and licorice inform the bouquet of this dense, purple/black, layered wine. It opens in the glass to reveal savory blackberry and blueberry flavors, moderate tannin, and plenty of spice, especially pepper. This well-proportioned wine is surprisingly light on its feet and an outstanding value to boot. Rated 90 The Wine Advocate