La Guita Manzanilla

La Guita ManzanillaSorry for the shoddy label on this one, there is a bit of string that goes under the label for some reason.  Anyway, this is a very popular manzanilla in Spain, either that or the people who market it are very good, as it has been in the mini bar of just about every hotel I have stayed at in Spain.  Kind of like the Gideon bible, but drinkable.

To be honest, I'm not a big fan of this wine, but I can appreciate the style.  Perhaps it is a bit old whenever I drink it, but I wouldn't know as the bottling date is not stamped on the back (La Goya has it).

Very pale straw in colour, the nose has candle wax, a kind of citrus wiff and what can only be described as a flor character.  In the mouth it is quite fresh, if a little sharp, but nice and tangy. Almonds, candle wax and lemon make up the bulk of the flavours on the palate. It has a nice long finish that leaves you with a tart, grape tang.  Very good and at $10 for a stubbie, its well worth putting in your lunch box for some midday tapas in the park.  87 Pts.

Source: Retail Cost: $10 (375 ml)  Closure: Screwcap


La Goya Manzanilla Pasada


La Goya Manzanilla

I was reading GW's review of some sherry from Rutherglen over the weekend when I realised that I've only got one post on sherry so far.  Very embarrassing.  So, to rectify the situation a picked up a couple of stubbies of Manzanilla, this is the first.


For the uninitiated, Manzanilla is a style of fino sherry that is made in the town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, its close to the sea and the wine is said to have a salty tang as a result.  There are two types of Manzanilla: Fina and Pasada.  Fina is young, light and elegant and Pasada is aged for a longer period of time and gains more complexity.  You can then have an 'en Rama' version of the same wine, which is basically straight from the cask, unfiltered.  I haven't encountered an en Rama Manzanilla in Australia yet, if you know of one please let me know, they are usually a step up from the filtered wine.

A light hay colour, a nice nose of nuts and bread, some white flowers as well. Fresh and crisp in the mouth, load of tangy nut flavours.  You could imagine a small burst of sweetness on the back palate, but you would be imagining it, this is very dry.  There isn't a lot of saltiness here (a trademark of Manzanilla), just a touch.  Great lingering finish.  At 15% alc, this is same alcohol level and many table wines these days! Throw out that VB rubbish and replace it with this.  92 pts. 

Source: Retail Cost: $15 (375 ml)  Closure: Screwcap


Segura Viudas Brut Vintage 2001

Segura Viudas Brut Vintage 2001Segura Viudas is one of the many brands of the massive Fleixenet cava house.  They seem to focus on Macabeo and Parellada for their traditional house style, with a range of newer wines that feature  Xarel·lo.  They also have a range of still wines, that I don't think are out here as yet.

The Brut Vintage is a blend of 67% Macabeo and  33% Parellada that has been aged on lees for 3 years. 

A nice straw yellow in colour, there is a lot of bubbles here, almost building foamy head as its poured into the glass.  The nose has a small wiff of bread and nuts, along with some apple and lemon.  Its very refreshing in the mount, creamy and tangy with loads of acid.  There is some complexity there, with tangy green apple,  almonds and walnuts dominating the mouth with a bit of minerals.  The finish is a bit short, there is an odd aniseed taste on the finish that I was not expecting, but I really like it.  At $16, I'll be grabbing some of this for those hot January days. 87 Pts.

Source: Retail Cost: $16 Closure: Conventional Cork


Castro Martin Albariño 2005

Castro Martin Albarino 2005Its been a while since I've had an albarino, now is the perfect time to start getting stuck in.  I still haven't seen a lot of Australian albarino yet, I hear its going in all over the place.

Light in colour, a slight hint of gold. Classic albarino nose of white peach, jasmine and green apple, not as aromatic as the 04, but I may have it a little bit too cold. Fresh and tight in the mouth, crisp acid, lemon, honeydew melon, and a bit of white peach.  Nice and oily too.  There is a herb tang when its cold, but it disappears as the wine warms up.  All I need now is a big plate of mussels or pulpo de galicia. 89 Pts.

Source: Rathdowne Cellars RRP: $30 Closure: Synthetic Cork


Palacios Remondo Propiedad 2003

Palacios Remondo Propiedad 2003I had a look at the crianza style La Montesa a couple of months ago, this is its big brother.  A similar blend of the 4 Rioja grapes: Garnacha (40%), Tempranillo (35%), Mazuelo (15%) and Graciano (10%).  This time the oak is all french and the wine is more of a Reserva style.  I have said this before, but watch out for the 04, it looked great as a barrel sample in February.

The wine started off a bit closed.  There was a bit of the old: swirl, swirl, swirl…Come on! Swirl, swirl, swirl, starting to get some cloves now….so decant for a good hour at least or lock it away in the cellar for 4 to 6 years.

A great nose of plum, cherry, cloves, pepper and mocha.  A bit of extra air brings out a really nice anise wiff.  Concentrated, bold and middle weight in the mouth, there are some great flavours here of mulberry, dark cherry, dried herbs and a lick of liquorice.  The finish is nice and long with a mineral tang.  Sweet tannins and impeccable balance. Really enjoyable wine, who said Rioja Baja was only good in cold years? 92 Pts.


Source: Importer Sample RRP: Around $50 Closure: Conventional Cork


Importer: The Spanish Acquisition

Bodegas Castano Monastrell 2004

Bodegas Castano Monastrell 2004

Here is an interesting little number, a Monastrell from Yecla that has had 40% carbonic maceration and 60% traditional.  If you've tried monastrell and written it off as a bit weird, have a look at this one, I think it will change your mind. 

Deep ruby in colour, the nose starts of with sweet red cherry and adds white pepper and violets as the wine opens up.  Soft and approachable in the mouth, but bursting with grape hubba bubba (bubble gum), cranberry and juicy blackcurrant flavours with a good wack of leafy herbs for added complexity.  The fuzzy tannins build to a good texture and there is a bit of acid to keep everything moving.  The finish is quite long with a liquorice tang.  Possibly the most interesting wine I've had this year, and an absolute bargain at $17.  88 Pts

Source: Winestar Price: $17 Closure: Conventional Cork


Samuel’s Gorge Tempranillo 2005

Samuel's Gorge Tempranillo 2005 Mclaren Vale is well known for lush, full wines with loads of tannin and fruit.  This one is no exception.  It's not over the top however, quite subtle in flavor actually.  There is no new oak treatment, and the wine is all the better for it.  This is the second release of Tempranillo for this label. 

Some really appealing aromas of red berry fruit, earth and mocha as the bottle is opened, the colour is a solid deep red.  Velvety and savory in the mouth, there is some lush dark fruit that coats my mouth and matches very well with the tannin and acid profile.  Well balanced and a medium finish.  Very McLaren Vale with a lot of tempranillo character.  90 Pts.

Source: Winery Sample RRP: $35 Closure: Conventional Cork


Bodegas y Vinedos Alion Reserva 1994

Bodegas y Vinedos Alion Reserva 1994A couple of bottles of this came up at Langtons, so I decided to take one for the team and buy them.  I know that this vintage had some issues with brett, but at last report it wasn't too bad. 

Well it is on this bottle…my tasting note would be something like: 'aromas of poo, dirt and rotting hay.  A great core of fruit ruined by a hard metallic taste'.  I'm not the quickest off the blocks when it comes to finding minute levels of brett spoilage, but there is no doubting this one.  Its a buggar, the fruit you can see looks really good.

The good news is that this is the only vintage of Alion I've seen with large scale brett problems, from the 95 onwards the wines all look very clean.  NR

Source: Auction Price Range: $50-$85 Closure: Cork


Torres Gran Coronas Reserva 2001

Torres Gran Coronas Reserva 2001Torres make a number wines under their 'Gran' label, basically these are Reserva versions of their younger brothers. So, here we have Gran Coronas (I had a look at the 03 Coronas here), a blend of 85% Canbernet and 15% Tempranillo that sees 12 months in french an eastern European oak, 30% of which is new.

I also notice that the Gran Coronas is labeled as D.O. Penedes, while the Coronas is labeled as the broad D.O. Catalunya.

A deep red core with purple at the edges and some great aromas of concentrated dark fruit with vanilla, oak and spice.  Full flavoured in the mouth with more concentrated dark cherry and plum with a bit of complexity.  There is a fair bit of tannin here as well, but it is are smooth and round.  A medium length, jammy fruit finish. I liked it, well fruited and in balance. 87 Pts.

Source: Boccaccio Cellars RRP: $23 Closure: Conventional Cork


L’Hereu de Raventos i Blanc Brut Reserva 2004

Raventos i Blanc Brut Reserva 2004I had a look at the Brut Nature version of this wine last week and from what I can work out the only real difference between these two wines is dosage, the Brut has 8.8 grams per litre of residual sugar where as the Brut nature has less than 3.  Again the blend is mostly Macabeo (60%) with the remainder Xarel-lo and Parellada (20% each). 

I bought this bottle back from a tasting and shared it around the office, I am now quite popular as a result.  Personally I prefer the Brut Nature, however I think the Brut is a lot more versatile with food. If you like a little bit of sweetness in your sparkling wine, this will be right up your alley.  I found the main difference in taste between this and the Brut Nature the wine was a softening of the citrus characters and more apple and pear notes.

A pale gold in colour with a vigorous bead.  There is a bit of sweetness, but the citrusy acid keeps the palate fresh.  Apple and pear with a noticeable mineral tang. The bead is quite vigorous and it finishes of with a creamy fizz. 89 Pts.

Source: Importer Sample Price: $30 Closure: Conventional Cork


Importer: The Spanish Acquisition