Alvear PX 1927 Dolce Viejo

Alvear PX 1927 Dolce ViejoIts starting to get cold in Melbourne now, cool nights and nice days.  Even a bit of rain over the weekend (for non-aussie readers, most of Australia has been in drought for the past 5 years).  To celebrate all this I've ordered in some PX to have a look at over the next month or so.

There has been a lot of confusion surrounding this wine and another Alvear PX 1927 that comes in 375ml bottles.  Notice that Dolce Viejo is in the name of this one, thats your first clue.  The 750ml size is the other clue.  They are actually two different soleras, so really two different wines.  The material for this solera has an average age of around 20 years and 405g/l of residual sugar.

Golden syrup, treacle colour in colour.  The nose is full of raisins and dried grapes, intensely rich and concentrated.  Viscus, rich and opulent in the mouth with extreme length and concentration.  There is some old wood, orange peel, huge sweetness and raisiny goodness on the palate.  It is kind of cloying, but that is the point.  The acid keeps your mouth a bit fresh, but this is a one or two glass experience for me.  Well, for one sitting anyway.  89 Pts. 

Source:  Toro/Woods Wines Price: Around $35 Closure: Conventional Cork

Web: www.grupoalvear.com

Bodegas Campante Gran Reboreda 2005

Bodegas Campante Gran Reboreda 2005Ribeiro is just inland from Rias Brixas, around the Mino river.  White wines are still the mainstay here, but there is some red wines made from Mencia.  The main varieties here are Treixadura and Loureiro with small amounts of Albarino and Godello.

Gran Reboreda is from the home estate of Viña Reboreda.  This is quite rare in the Galician regions as many holdings are very small.  Its a blend of 80% Treixadura, 10% Loureira and 10% Godello.

Pale straw in colour, aromas of apple and pear, with a wiff of mineral, bat leaf and white flowers.  Slightly oily in the mouth, nice balance and quaffablity.  The palate shows lemon and lime with more apple.  Soft and highly drinkable, some shellfish would work here, but I'd try a subtle chicken dish.  87 Pts.

Source: Toro/Woods Wines Price: Around $22 Closure: Conventional Cork

Luis Pato Vinha Barrosa 2003

Luis Pato Vinha Borrosa 2003The second of the pair, the Borrosa is another single vineyard baga wine from Luis Pato. The Barrosa vineyard is made up of 5800, 80 year old baga vines surrounded by pine trees in clay/linestone soil. While these wines are powerful and full of fruit, they are restrained, supple and stylish, almost burgundian in style. The Barrosa really shows its old vine pedigree with added complexity and depth of flavour.

Deep purple in colour. What a nose: violets, mulberries, plum with earth, mushrooms and loads of spice and herbs. There is a note of eucalyptus with a bit more air. Great mouthfeel, smooths and silky with great tannins and a touch of acid. The palate shows concentrated fruit, mulberry, plum, black current, cola. And mint, it may be too much for some, not me. The finish is very long. Beautiful wine. 92 Pts.

Source: The Spanish Acquisition Price: around $55 when released

Closure: Conventional Cork Web: www.luispato.com

Luis Pato Vinha Pan 2003

Luis Pato Vinha Pan 2003This is one of two single vineyard wines made from the Baga grape.  Yes, it kind of sounds like buggar, which is excellent in my book.  Walk up to the bar and order a couple of buggars…  Whatever the name of the grape, these two wines deserve some real attention, they are fantastic wines that show real promise. 

Baga, which means berry in Portugese, is renowned for producing wines that need a big sleep in the cellar before drinking and are very long lived.  This is mainly due to the monstrous levels of acid and tannin in the traditional wines.  Apparently the main cause of this was that most producers didn't de-stem.  Luis Pato has been one of the leaders here, and both these wines have been de-stemmed prior to fermentation. 

This wine is made from the Pan vineyard, with a mix of 80 (.4 ha) and 20 (1.8 Ha) year old vines grown in clay and limestone soil.  Its then aged for 12 months in new French oak, which the wine seems to lap up.  I'm told these wines go very well with the local dish of suckling pig and piri piri sauce.  I'm off to the butchers now…

Dark purple wih a royal purple fringe.  Red currents, light game, pepper and spice, minerally and earthy.  In the mouth the wine is very refined, but powerful.  Great balance and structure, you can see the potential for this to age, but its great drinking now.  On the palate its full of mulberry, mocha coffee, with a slight rasin character.  The lighter wine of the two but different and exotic.  91 Pts

Source: The Spanish Acquisition Price: around $55 when released 

Closure: Conventional Cork Web: www.luispato.com

Luis Pato Vinha Formal 2004

Luis Pato Vinha Formal 2004The Vinha Formal is 100% Bical.  Again, this wine needs to be a bit warmer to really show its stuff.  Too cold and it looks all angular and awkward with loads of acid, let it warm up a bit and its a lovely drink.

The wines in this range (there are 3) aren't currently available, but they should be available later in year.  If you're really desperate to give one a try, call the guys at TSA and they might be able to help you out.

Light gold in colour, with aromas of lemon, roasted pineapple and fennel bulb with ginger, spice, candle wax, some kind of nut and a wiff oak good oak.  Luxurious mouth feel, waxy and oily with flavours of lemon, minerals and a mix of suitable herbs.  The finish is very long with touches of mineral.  This is a world class wine that shows real character and great winemaking.  92 Pts.

Source: The Spanish Acquisition Price: N/A Closure: Conventional Cork

Vinedos de Paganos El Puntido 2003

Vinedos de Paganos El Puntido 2003Vinedos de Paganos is one of the Eguren's modern styled properties in Rioja Alavesa.  A lot of traditional methods are used in producing the wine, but the result is a wine of high expression and restrained power. 

Two wines are produced at Vinedos de Paganos, this wine El Puntido and a new wine La Nieta that was released in 2004.  There were something like 6 bottles of La Nieta 2004 available for Australia. It is a very rare wine and the production methods are crazy, hand selected berries for example.

Anyway, El Puntido is all Tempranillo from the minerally, clay soils of Paganos from 30 year old vines .  The wine is aged in French oak for 18 months.  The 03 is showing a lot of character of the hot 2003 vintage.  Regardless, it is a great wine that will aged for 20+ years.

deep, deep purple in the glass with aromas of coffee, earth, spice, mulberry and blackberry.  There is also some red fruit as the wine opens up, cranberry and raspberry.  The wine moves straight into full bodied mode, mouth coating fruit and tannin, but there is good balance of fruit, acid and oak.  The palate shows characters of the vintage with some raisiny fruit, blackberry, dark cherry liqueur with liquorice and pepper and spice.  There is a huge finish with some iron/mineral character.  This won't appeal to everyone, this is full throttle Rioja.  Keep it in the cellar for at least 5 years.  93 Pts.

Source: Toro/Woods Wines Price: Around $120 Closure: Conventional Cork

Web: www.eguren.com

Sierra Cantabria Consecha dos Anos 2004

Sierra Cantabria Consecha dos Anos 2004Sierra Cantabria is the Eguren families more traditional bodega in Rioja. rather than build one super winemaking facilities for all of their wine making projects, these guys like to have separate facilities for each of their projects. 

This wine shows how good the 04 vintage was in Rioja, its a fairly inexpensive wine that shows all the character of a good, young Rioja wine.  Its a blend of Tempranillo and Graciano that is aged in a mix of French and American oak for six months and released two years after vintage.

Deep red, with purple fringe.  The nose offers up a great array of aromas: mocha, mulberry, walnutty oak, earth, vanilla  and currents.  In the mouth the tannins are fine and dusty, smooth and supple texture and fine balance.   Really great fruit characters of mulberry and  cherry with some cola, spice and undergrowth.  This is fairly classic rioja with a touch of modern craftsmanship.  90 Pts.

Source: Toro/Woods Wines Price: Around $25 Closure: Conventional Cork

Web: www.eguren.com

Luis Pato Vinhas Velhas Brancho 2005

Luis Pato Vinhas Velhas 2005Luis Pato is one of the leading players in the DO Bairrada, he has been leading the way with modern techniques and equipment with a number of ingenious varieties.  Apparently the Bairrada DO has such a poor name in the market that Luis now labels most of his wine under a regional appleation of Beiras.  Pato mean duck in both Portuguese and Spanish, so there is an image of a duck on all of his labels.  Luis the duck, sounds like a '20s mobster.  Nice.

This wine and its bigger brother (notes to come) are possibly the most interesting white wines I've had this year.  Very textural and complex.  If you like Hunter Semillion, I think you will like these wines.  This is the entry level wine, a blend of Bical, Cerceal and Secialinho that sees a bit of time in french oak.  Don't chill this too much, is seems a bit woody and ripe pineappley if it is too cold.  Try around 15 degrees.

The wine is a pale straw colour in the glass with a nose of roasted fennel bulb, smoke, ginger and spice, candle wax and light oak.  The texture in the mouth is the main attraction here, waxy with some nutty flavours as well as minerals, lemons and a nice buttered toast character.  The finish is very long long and the wine shows great balance.  A very classy drink. 89 Pts.

Source: The Spanish Acquisition Price: $25 Closure: Conventional Cork

Palacios Remondo La Montesa 2004

Palacios Remondo La Montesa 2004I've been a bit slack on updates for the past week, but I have been drinking and taking notes.  I've got a load of notes to post this week, so I'll try catch up in the next few days.

I had a look at a few wines with the guys from The Spanish Acquisition last week, this wine really stood out in some very good company.  Its a good mix between very serious and very fun wines.  For pure enjoyment this is a cracker..

A deep red centre, fading to ruby at the edges.  The nose is on straight away, red fruits like currents and ripe red cherry, a touch of spice and a floral note for extra complexity.  In the mouth the wine is open and inviting, plush tannins welcome you in and the great balances keeps you there.  The palate mirrors the nose fairly much, but adds some liquorice and pepper.  The finish is long and shows some minerals and spice.  Excellent value.  91 Pts.

Source: The Spanish Acquisition Price: $35 Closure: Conventional Cork

Web: www.vinosherenciaremondo.com

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Spanish Masterclass

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Spanish Tasting

I was lucky enough to get a seat at a couple of very good master classes last week.  Put on by the Australian Sommeliers Association and the Spanish Trade Commission, there were two sessions complete with a panel of local and imported personalities and lots of goodies in between the sessions.  A lot of work had obviously gone into setting up these tastings, the very nice upstairs room at Comme was the location and a number of hard to get wines where flown in from Spain. A lot of support from all the major importers as well.

Apart from the wine there were a number of good Spanish things to munch on, cheese, olives, bread etc.  But the real standout was the Jamon Iberico from Broadway Gourmet.  I think I ate about half a kilo of the stuff, so I feel qualified to say that this particular Jamon is the best I have had in Australia, really well flavored and textured, impossible to pass up. It not avilable at retail in Melbourne yet, so you'll have to go to Movida to try some.

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