I've had a bit of a cold the last few days, but I've got a few notes up my sleeve from earlier in the week. Its good to see a wine label with a bit of truth to it. The Dehesa Gago front label usually has a bit of a tale about the vintage, this year its not a happy tale: a mild winter, rainy spring, a good patch then a heatwave just before harvest to unbalance every thing. But to their credit the wine comes out OK, not up to 04 or 05 but still worth buying and drinking.
Very dark in the glass with a hint of ruby towards the edge. The nose offers up the classic cherry cola, with brambly undergrowth, some herbage and dried meat. Meaty, but medium bodied with good balance, the tannins are restrained but chunky. Quite a broad palate that shows really concentrated cherry, cola and pepper on the palate. Good drinking now. 87 Pts.
Source: The Spanish Acquisition Price: $23 Closure: Conventional Cork
So on to the 2004. I often wonder how usefull side by side tastings are, but this one was quite informative. The problem is that while the wines are not too far apart in age (1 year) how much of a difference does that make compared to the vintage? Most of the time, not much I think.
With these two bottles, I think most of the differences are a result of the vintage. The 03 has pure, powerful fruit and tannins with matching oak treatment and perfect balance. Where as the 04 shows a herbal edge and more intraverted fruit, loads of acid and more restrained tannins. Both very good wines and both worthy of the cellar for an extended period.
Restrained on the nose, but opens up really well with earthy mulberry, dark cherry, sage and woody herbs, espresso and cedary oak. Initially, the acid level is quite high, but evens out as the tannins build to give balance. As with the 03, there is savory ripe mulberry and dark cherry, its a little bit shy at the moment but you can see the depth. This added with cola, sage, pepper and liquorice keep more than enough interest going. A big lick of the liquorice strap on the way out. Just pipped by the 03 at this stage, only time will tell the full story. 94+ Pts.
Source: The Spanish Acquisition Cost: $120 Closure: Conventional Cork
I've been lucky enough to have a look at the 03 and 04 vintages of Torresilo side by side over the last couple of days. I had a bottle of the 03 late last year, but it was corked. This time around, no cork issues and this bottle certainly lived up to expectations. As a bonus, the guys at Cillar de Silos now have their website in English as well.
Torresilos is the "super premium/Luxury" wine in the Cillar de Silos range and is made from the fruit off their oldest vines grown in the sandy clay based soils of the eastern most part of Ribera del Duero. Like most areas of Spain the vines here are grown en vaso or goblet style. We generally say bush vines here in Australia. Interestingly they list three different soil types for the vineyards as a source of additional complexity for their wines. The wine sees 16 months in mostly new French oak. Some of the free-run juice from this wine also goes into their Rosado for added oomph.
Very dark royal purple in colour with deep ruby edge. The aroma really barrels out of the decanter with mulberry, mocha coffee, brambly undergrowth, some ripe cherry, pepper and a minerally edge. A bit of musk pops in now and then. Really well balanced with just the right amount of acid with loads of soft chalky tannins. Savoury ripe fruit, mulberry and dark cherry with cola, liquorice and light chocolate. The finish is very long with a lick of minerals. This is right up there with Alion and Flor de Pingus for me. Drinking really well now and should do for at least 10 years. 95 Pts.
Source: The Spanish Acquisition Cost: $120 Closure: Conventional Cork
For some reason I haven't seen this wine around town, its kind of been under the radar. More likely I'm just not going to the right places. Anyway, its a cracking wine, one of the best garnarchas I've seen. Pegaso is produced from an old vineyard, high in the hills of Castille near a little town called Brinas. The vineyard is full of slate and sits at 1000 meters above sea level.
A vibrant ruby red in the glass, showing aromas of sweet raspberry and cherry, subtle spicy oak, winter green herbs, and earth. Really refined in the mouth, rich and silky with great balance. On the palate the wine shows raspberry and cherry fruit jubes with pepper and spice, woody herbs and roasted meats. Ripe fruit, savory finish and great balance make this great drinking right now. You could put it away, but I'd drink now. 92 Pts.
Source: The Spanish Acquisition Price: $65 Closure: Conventional Cork
We're doing a spot of renovating at Casa Tinto y Blanco at the moment, so I haven't been drinking much this week. We've had a couple of disasters as well, so I decided to open something to wash away the past week with. And what better than a 2004 Priorat to help you forget the woes of the week?
I wasn't going to write this wine up initially, as its quite a rare wine this. The importer sold out in a matter of days (and at a insignificant price hike from 2003) and it seems that only a case or two made it out to other retailers. This wine has a huge following in Australia, but the huge wrap the Wine Advocate gave it seems to have added to the buying madness. The wine comes in a very cool wooden box that has a very simple system to hold the bottles in place, rather than the normal plywood things that hold the bottle in place.
The nose starts of quite rustic and smokey/sooty and then opens up with mocha, violets and sage. It builds with more air to add blackberry, dark cherry and plums with aniseed. But its in the mouth where this wine really shines at the moment. Its the balance and complex fruit characters that put a smile on your face. Medium bodied, but powerfully concentrated flavours that are well structured. Oh and the tannins too. Dark currents and plums with loads of minerals and old gold chocolate on the palate. This is so young at the moment, it drinks like it could go 20 years no problems. But drink your 02 and 03 over the next 5 years while you wait for this to come around. 97 Pts.
Source: Boccaccio Cellars RRP: ??? Closure: Conventional Cork
A year ago today, I made the first public post on Tinto y Blanco. It really does't feel like I've been doing it for a year, more like three months or 3 years. Anyway, it seems that people are still reading, so I'll keep posting.
Here are some stats on the past year:
- In July last year 1,000 people (or sites) looked at the site. Last month, just over 12,000 dropped by.
- The top 3 search terms for the site are: Flor de Pingus, Numanthia and Manzanilla.
- For some reason there is a link pointing to the site from a US Marine Corps forum.
- The bulk of readers are Australian (59%). There is a fairly big international readership as well, with readers from USA (14%), the UK (11%) and New Zealand (4%).
- There have been 546 real comments, 4,000 spam comments.