May 26, 2017

Vacation to Spain - Spanish Wines

1. 2012 Mas d'en Compte Porrera Black Slate Vi de la Vila Priorat (blend of Garnacha and Carignan grapes)
From one of Priorat’s coolest micro-climates, this 2012 Black Slate is composed of 60% old vine Grenache (60+ years) and 40% old Carignan (80 years), and aged 12 months in concrete tanks, old wood foudres, and two-year-old barrels. It reveals lots of licorice, crushed wet rock, sweet blueberry and black raspberry fruit characteristics along with a full-bodied, moderately tannic mouthfeel. The tannins are sweet and well-integrated, and the wine is drinking beautifully already. For a relatively expensive Spanish appellation, this is an outright steal! Consume it over the next 3-6 years. Rated 93 The Wine Advocate

2. 2008 Alejandro Fernandez Dehesa La Granja Castilla y Leon (Tempranillo grape)
"Deep ruby. A complex, perfumed bouquet evokes dark berries, cola, smoked meat and mint. Supple and expansive on the palate, offering gently sweet blackberry and cherry-cola flavors that are firmed and lifted by juicy acidity. The smoky note repeats on the finish, which hangs on with very good tenacity and a whisper of fine-grained tannins. A fine effort for the vintage and delicious right now." Rated 91 Vinuous

3. 2014 Venus "la Universal" Dido Montsant (blend of Garnacha, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes)
The red 2014 Dido had an incredibly perfumed and showy nose from a cold vintage in a cold granitic place. The palate is vibrant and shows citric acidity. The Garnacha is always fermented together with Syrah, and there are small volumes of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon; it aged for some 16 months in large volumes to keep some fruit and the freshness. It combines the floral notes of the Garnacha with the meaty hints of Syrah. It ends very tasty, with a saline note. 67,000 bottles produced; this is their largest production wine. The Syrah shows stronger with time in the glass. Rated 92 The Wine Advocate

4. 2013 Bodegas Castano Solanera Vinas Viejas Yecla (blend of 70% Monastrell, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15 % Grenache grapes)
"Even better is the 2013 Solanera is a “Vinas Viejas” that differs from the Castano (100% Monastrell), as this blend is 70% Monastrell, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15 % Grenache, aged 10 months in French and American oak. Another difference from the Hecula is that it was aged equal parts in tank and the other half in French oak. The Solanera, which comes from relatively high-altitude limestone soils at 900 meters, has a dense purple color, a big sweet kiss of blueberry and blackberry fruit mixed with crushed chalk, a full-bodied mouthfeel, beautiful purity, density and richness. The oak is well concealed by the lavish fruit–the wine just amazing. Drink it over the next 2-3 years, as these powerhouses are best consumed in their exuberant and extroverted youth." Rated 92 The Wine Advocate

5. 2015 Triton Tinta de Toro Old Vines (Tempranillo grape)
The 2015 Triton Tinta De Toro is a stunning wine from this relatively modest appellation and vineyard owned by Jorge Ordoñez and his partners. The wine, 100% Tinto de Toro, spent eight months sur lie in Burgundy and Bordeaux barrels. It is a killer example of Toro, which produces relatively full-throttle, intense wines from ungrafted vines. This beauty, inky purple in color, offers up notes of graphite, forest floor, blackberry and cassis in a full-bodied, pedal-to-the-metal, long, rich and concentrated style. At $20.00 it is a remarkable value and probably capable of lasting up to a decade, although there is no reason to defer your gratification. Rated 94 by Robert Parker

6. 2008 Clos Pissarra La Vinyeta Vinea Antiqua (blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Carignan grapes)
The name Clos Pissarra is derived from the Catalan word for slate, as this is the soil that covers the regions of Montsant (sacred mountain) and Priorat (priory), that lie about 85 miles southwest of Barcelona. Maruxa Roel, our winemaker at Clos Pissarra, refers to this vineyard as “La Reina” (“The Queen”) because it might not have quite the concentration of El Riu, but it more than makes up for it with layers of aromas and fruits that never cease to end. Only 50 cases produced. Winery

7. 2012 Marques de Murrieta Reserva Rioja Finca Ygay (Blend 70% of Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha Tinta, 8% Graziano, and 5% Mazuelo grapes)
"Terrific aromas of currants, berries, cinnamon and perfume. Full body, ultra-fine tannins and a dense palate. Superb length and refinement. Compact. Super length. Superb quality considering the price. More delicate and refined than the 2010. Precise." James Suckling: 95 Points

"The blend of the 2012 Rioja Reserva is significantly different from previous vintages, with more Graciano and Garnacha. The blend was approximately 77% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha, 8% Graciano and 5% Mazuelo. After a very dry growing season, the harvest was saved by some rains at the end of September, which allowed the grapes to reach perfect ripeness. The wine also had a slightly longer upbringing, 23 months in American oak barrels and at least nine of those months were in new oak barrels. However, it seems like the oak is better integrated than in the 2011, and the fruit is fresher. The palate has one extra point in depth, with very fine tannins and especially good freshness that gives it a sense of great harmony." Wine Advocate: 92 Points

8. 2006 La Antigua Clasico Reserva Rioja (Blen of 60% Garnacha, 30% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano grapes)
Brilliant red. A complex, high-toned bouquet evokes dried cherry, redcurrant, rose oil and underbrush, with a note of smoky oak building in the glass. Sweet and seamless on the palate, offering intense red fruit and rose pastille flavors and repeating smokiness. In an old-school style but not at all rustic, with smooth tannins shaping the long, floral finish. This suave Rioja is ready to drink but is in no danger of going over the hill any time soon. Rated 91 Vinuous