Conde de Valdemar Reserva 2000

Conde de Valdemar Reserva 2000I've been amazed at the number of new wines I've found since I started Tinto y Blanco.  Perhaps I just wasn't looking hard enough, but there seems to have been a large increase in the number of Spainish wines available around town, a great thing for a Spanish wine geek like me.

I've had a look at the 2001 and 2002 Crianza from these guys and really enjoyed them, so when Anthony at Boccaccio cellars offered this one up I jumped on it.  85% Tempranillo and 15% Mazuelo with 24 months in French and American oak barrels.

A classic Rioja nose of dark cherry, mulberry, old leather, coco powder and earthy undergrowth.  Leaning heavily toward the lighter, traditional style of Rioja, the wine is soft and round in the mouth, very easy to drink.  Flavours of ripe, red cherries and mulberry with liquorice and earth.  Fresh with very good balance all round, the tannins and acid play a supporting role, as does the oak.  I liked this a lot, and if traditional style Rioja is your thing I think you will too. Great Value. 90 Pts 

Source: Boccaccio Cellars Price: Around $30 Closure: Conventional Cork

Web: www.martinezbujanda.com

Marques de Velilla Tinto Joven 2004

Marques de Vililla Tinto Joven 2004

Joven wines from Ribera del Duero are one of my favorite styles, lots of fresh fruit and very enjoyable.  This one is a little bit different, I don't normally find a lot of chocolate in wines from Ribera but I liked it in this wine.  At around $20 it is fair value. 

This one is 100% Tinto del pais (Tempranillo) and sees no time in oak.  For those that find packaging important, I quite like the label image. You can't see it in the photo, but there is a old bloke hobbling along in the vineyards.

VA on the nose that blew off in a few minutes.  Subtle red berry fruit on the nose with some earthly beetroot aromas. Very clean in the mouth with dark fruits and an overwhelming flavour of chocolate followed up with a bit of leather.  Good acid and light tannins.  An easy drinking, BBQ style was the call from everyone around the table 86 Pts.

Source: Retail Price: $20 Closure: Conventional Cork

Web: www.marquesdevelilla.com

Primitivo Quiles Moscatel

Primitivo Quiles MoscatelI stopped off to pick up something to drink with chocolate cake at home and found this little gem.  There's not much info on the bottle, not even a region other than "Produce of Spain" or a vintage, but that didn't stop me.

A goldern hay colour with a nose of rasins mixed with orange peel.  A little bit funky, but rich in the mouth with a good acid level to balance out the sweetness.  Tart oranges and rasins make up the bulk of the flavours in the mouth, there is a bit of heat and dark tea on the finish.  For 15 bucks it is good value.  86 Pts.

Source: Retail Price: $15 Closure: Conventional Cork

Web: www.primitivoquiles.com

Torres Coronas 2003

Torres Coronas 2003Just a quick note on this one.  The Torres wines are another one of those wines that just about everyone knows, kind of like Penfolds in Australia.  They make wine at all levels, but they are best known in Australia for this one and Sangre de Toro.  Many of their wines come in screwcap, this one was under cork.

Coronas is made from mostly Tempranillo with a bit of Cabernet, there is no mention of oak but there seems to be a bit of oak influence in the wine.

A good nose of red currents and strawberries, a hint of smoke and oak with an earthy undertone.  Straight forward in the mouth, ripe red berries with some herb and more of the smokey oak flavours.  The tannins are in control and develop a bit of velvet in the glass.  Very glugable with a good pizza or pasta.  85 Pts.

Source: Retail Price: $15 Closure: Conventional Cork

Web: www.torres.es

Marques de Riscal 1860 2004

Marques de Riscal 1860 2004Marques de Riscal have branched out from their home base in Rioja with a couple of projects, this one just outside of DO Toro and a white wine project in DO Rueda.  I haven't tried any of the whites as yet, but this one is quite interesting.

Made from Tinto de Toro, the wine sees 6 months in American oak.  It was more integrated and approachable on the second night, so give it some time in a decanter.  Like most of the wines from this area, the alcohol is into the 14% range.

Very deep red in colour with aromas of blackberry with some smoke and shot of toasty oak.  Meaty, concentrated dark berry fruit in the mouth,  with a bit of woody herbs like sage and thyme in the background.  There was a truck load of raspy tannins on the first night, they had calmed a fair bit on the second night.  Acid is not a primary feature here, but the is a bit to keep things moving.  A moderate finish with more some subtle oak influences.  A good example of wine from this area, well worth try with a rustic meat dish.  87 Pts.

Source: Boccaccio Cellars Price: $25 Closure: Conventional Cork

Web: www.marquesderiscal.com

Sierra Cantabria Reserva 2001

Sierra Cantabria Reserva 20

I don't like to admit it, but I am a terrioristo.  I like the fact that wines are a product of their environment and I'm not too keen on industrial type wines.  This wine presented me with a bit of a challenge in that it is a very modern style that tastes like tempranillo, but does not really taste like Rioja.  I had expected spice, old leather, and liquorice but there was none to be found.  It is a good wine however and I would certainly recommend it.

This company (Eguren) is a rather large affair and have created a number of the cult wines of Spain, Amancio from Rioja and Numanthia from Toro.  This wine is part of their "traditional" range which aims to combine traditional and modern methods to produce a range of wines in the classic crianza, reserva etc style.  The Reserva is a blend of Tempranillo and Graciano aged in French and American oak for 18 months.

A deep ruby in colour.  The nose opens up with a strong mocha coffees wiff that moves on to strawberry and raspberry.  Medium bodied and modern in the mouth, mulberry and raspberry with coffee and an undergrowth character.  Unbalanced to start with, it develops and integrates a lot with some time in the decanter to become quite elegant and balanced. The finish is quite long and the tannins build to a fuzzy texture as the wine gets air.   Give this a good decant if you are going to open it now. 90 Pts

Source: Boccaccio Cellars Price: Around $50 Closure: Conventional Cork

Web: www.eguren.com

Coto de Hayas Reserva 2001

Coto de Hayas Reserva 2001Grenacha is the queen of Campo de Borja, in fact the regulator for the DO is calling the place 'the Granacha Empire', sounds like a good catch phrase to put on a license plate. 

This is a co-op wine and a very good one at that. These guys produce about 30 wines from local and 'International' varieties, but grenacha is really where its at.The reserva is 100% grenacha from 40 year old vines and sees 15 months in a mix of american and french oak. 

Medium cherry in colour.  Dark fruits on the nose, cherry and plum, with some smoke and spice.  Medium bodied in the mouth, more dark fruits but if you are looking for loads of fruit,your in the wrong place. There is some highlights of caramel, asian spices and a bit of earth.  There is quite a bit of acid in there that makes the wine seem austere, it mellowed out a bit after 20 minutes in the glass. The tannins are quite soft play a supporting role, given a bit of time they develop into a good texture.  Great with good pizza, it cuts through the cheese and handled the salami very well. 90 Pts.

Source: Boccaccio Cellars Price: Around $30 Closure: Conventional Cork

Web: www.bodegasaragonesas.com

Palacios Remondo Rioja La Montesa 2003

Palacios Remondo Rioja La Montesa 2003 Its been one of those weeks, too much work, not enough drinking!  I stopped off on my way home and picked up this little gem, which was nice, but I also found a couple of Spanish wines I have not seen before. Bonus.  Just a quick note on this one, but it is the 50th tasting note for Tinto y Blanco.  

The wine is Garnacha (40%), Tempranillo (40%) with some Graciano & Mazuelo for good measure.  The oak treatment is a mix of French and American oak, with only 10% new each year.

Red berries on the nose, with some cherry liqueur and lavender. Initially a lot of raspberry in the mouth, turning into plum as the wine gets more air.  There is a bit of spice and woody herbs in there as well.  Develops a nice texture and is an upbeat kind of wine: sunny, well balanced with ripe fruit .  The finish is fairly long and savory.  It would go really well with a lamb stew, or some thing spicy like chorizo in white wine.  Between two of us, the bottle didn't last long if that is any indicator… 90 Pts.

Source: Retail Price: $32 Closure: Conventional Cork

Web: www.vinosherenciaremondo.com

Marques de Riscal Reserva 2001

Marques de Riscal Reserva 2001I’ve been drinking old school Rioja all this week, so I thought that I’d finish off with one of the classics.  Marques de Riscal has been around for ages and it is one of the best known Spanish wines.  It was also one of the first Spanish wines I tasted, I remember wandering around the narrow street and plazas of Seville eating tapas and drinking bottles of the stuff each night. 

The wine is made of grapes from vines that are at least 15 years old and is the classic mix of 90% Tempranillo with the remainder made up of Graciano and Mazuelo. It sees two years in American oak and a further year in bottle before release.

This is clearly the best Marques de Riscal in a long time, it has a great nose of jammy blackberries and dark cherry, and some oak characters like cigar box and mocha coffee.  I had decanted it for an hour, but it needs much more time, the wine continually evolved in the glass.  The palate shows sour cherry, a bit of liquorice, cinnamon and black pepper on the finish. There is some good structure in the mouth with the tannins making themselves known, but keeping it nice and smooth.  Very good now, but I’ll be putting a few away for at least 5 years, maybe 10.  91 Pts.

Source: Boccaccio Cellars Price: $44 Closure: Conventional Cork

Web: www.marquesderiscal.com

From the Cellar: 2008

Marques de Caceres Gran Reserva 1989

Marques de Caceres Gran Reserva 1989Its not often that you walk into a bottle shop and find a 17 year old wine for $30. The strange thing is, there seems to be a fair bit of this wine getting around town at the moment.  Perhaps someone discovered a hidden cache of it somewhere?

The bad news is this was the first bottle with a faulty cork I've come across since I started Tinto y Blanco.  Not a bad strike rate tho, 1 in 44.  This looked interesting, both french and american oak was used and 89 was quite a good vintage from what I have seen.  Oh well, perhaps I'll pick up another one at some stage. NR.

Source: Retail RRP: $32 Closure: Cork

Web: www.marquesdecaceres.com