February 18, 2012

North Shore Wine Tasting Group, Viva Espana Wines, Belmont, MA

NV Cellar Vilafrance Casteller Rose Cava Brut (Spain) – 70% Trepat & 30% Garnacha grapes
“The non-vintage Casteller Rose Cava is made from 70% Trepat and 30% Garnacha. Dark pink in color, it offers strawberry and floral aromas, ripe flavors and excellent length. If there is a better value in Rose bubbly, I’d like to know about it.” The Wine Advocate

2008 Bodegas Atalaya Atalaya (Almansa, Spain) – Monastrell, Garnacha Tintorera (Alicante Bouschet), & other unspecified grape varieties
The 2008 Atalaya is a blend of Monastrell, Garnacha Tintorera (Alicante Bouschet), and other unspecified varieties. It was aged for 8 months in French oak. Deep crimson-colored, it displays an aromatic array of cedar, spice box, violets, blueberry, and blackberry with a hint of licorice in the background. On the palate it has layers of savory fruit, excellent concentration, and a long, fruit-filled finish. It is likely to evolve for 1-3 years but can be enjoyed now. This outstanding value over-delivers in a big way. Rated 90 The Wine Advocate

2004 Clos de L’Obac (Priorat, Spain) – 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 Ondarre Mayor Reserva (Rioja) – 100% 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

2003 Bodegas El Nido Clio (Jumilla, Spain) – 30% Cabernet Sauvignon & 70% Mourvedre grapes
A blend of 30% Cabernet Sauvignon (26-year-old vines) and 70% Mourvedre (61-year-old vines), the 2003 Clio spent 26 months in French and American oak. Its deep purple color is accompanied by classic aromas of creme de cassis intermixed with licorice, espresso roast, chocolate, and toasty oak. Its broad, intensely flavored, super-opulent personality offers up great fruit, plenty of glycerin, and a heady, long finish. Approachable now, it should be at its best in 2-5 years, and drink well for 10-15. Well-known Australian winemaker, Chris Ringland, oversees the winemaking at this estate, fashioning intriguing reds with great depth as well as richness. These wines have broken all the parameters previously established by the backwater appellation of Jumilla. Rated 96 The Wine Advocate

2009 Descendientes de Jose Palacios Petalos del Bierzo (Bierzo, Castilla Leon, Spain) – 100% Mencia grape
This polished red shows density and harmony, delivering complex, well-integrated flavors of mineral, wild berry, fresh herbs and smoke. Rated 93 The Wine Spectator Ranked #26 Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of 2011
The new releases (all 100% Mencia) include the entry-level 2009 Petalos del Bierzo sourced mainly from leased vineyards with vine age ranging from 40-90 years. It was aged for a few weeks in new French barriques followed by 6-10 months in seasoned barrels. It shows lovely density and purity in an up-front style. Dark black cherries, violets, and Asian spices perch on a medium-bodied frame with well integrated oak and an elegant personality. With excellent volume and length, it is a classy introduction to what can be achieved in the DO of Bierzo.
Descendientes de Jose Palacios was founded in 1998 by Alvaro Palacios and Ricardo Perez. The estate has steep hillside vineyards ranging in age from 60-100 years planted to 100% Mencia, the indigenous grape of cool-climate Bierzo. The vineyards are biodynamically farmed and the wines are bottled without fining or filtration. It, along with the Bierzo wines of Raul Perez, is arguably the finest in the DO. Rated 90 The Wine Advocate